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Who receives inheritances if people die without a will?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2022 | Estate Planning News

People in Colorado may want to have a will and know that they should have one before they die. However, for several different reasons sometimes it does not happen.

People generally do not like to think about passing away and wills force people to do that. While it is not something anyone likes to think about, having a will in place is important if they want to control who receives their property.

If people die without a will, Colorado statutes dictate who will receive people’s property. This may not be what the decedent wants. Who receives their property depends on their familial situation at the time of their death.

Intestate succession for people without a will

Below are some, but not all, of the outcomes depending on the family:

  • If they have only a spouse and no children or parents alive, then all of it goes to the spouse. This is also true if all of their children are with their spouse
  • If they have a spouse and parents, the spouse receives the first $300,000 and then three-quarters of the remaining estate with the remaining quarter going to the parents.
  • If the decedent has children who are not the spouse’s children, then the spouse receives the first $150,000 and one-half of the remaining estate with the children receiving the rest of it.
  • If they have no spouse, but they have children then it goes to the children in equal shares.
  • If there are no children, but the parents are alive, then it goes to the parents in equal shares.
  • If there are no children or parents then the property will go to any siblings in equal shares.
  • If there are no children, parents or siblings then it would go to grandparents or uncles and aunts if there are no grandparents living.

Experienced attorneys understand the various aspects of a good estate plan and may be a useful resource.