Will Myth #1: You can write a will on a piece of paper or use an online will kit, put it in a desk drawer and when you pass away it will be valid.
Will Myth #2: No handwritten wills are ever considered valid.
Will Myth #3: Anyone, regardless of age, can write a valid will.
While every state has its own rules, in the state of Colorado there are a few rules that must be followed to make a last will and testament valid. Here are the truths in Colorado regarding the myths above:
Will Truth #1: All typed wills must be signed by the testator (the person who writes the will). The will must be signed in front of at least 2 competent witnesses who must also sign the will. The witnesses must sign the will shortly after reading it and the testator must be present or at least acknowledge when the will is signed.
In Colorado you can also bypass having witnesses sign your will by acknowledging your will in the presence of a notary. If you bring witnesses to the notary and you all sign the will in the presence of that notary, your will can be deemed self-proving which can speed up the probate process after you pass away.
Will Truth #2: Handwritten (holographic) wills are considered valid if they are completely handwritten by the testator, contain no typed portions and are signed by the testator. No witnesses are necessary for this type of will.
Will Truth #3: In Colorado you must be at least 18 years of age, of sound mind and under no undue influence to write a valid will.
The laws surrounding estate planning are always subject to change, so it is recommended that you consult a Denver will lawyer to ensure that the legal document you craft will be valid when you pass. You don’t want to leave your family with an estate mess to clean up or subject them to excessive taxation or probate litigation because you failed to properly write your will.
The team at Brown & Crona, LLC can help you craft a will that can stand up in probate court and protect your assets and your family’s inheritance. Call today to arrange an appointment: (303) 339-3750 or visit our website.