Legal Last Will and Testament Form for a Single Person with Minor Children
Note: This summary is not intended
to be an all-inclusive discussion of the law of wills in Colorado, but
does contain basic and other information. This summary does not include
a discussion of handwritten wills.
Who may make a will: An individual
eighteen or more years of age who is of sound mind may make a will. 15-11-501.
Execution and witnesses: A will shall be:
(a) In writing;
(b) Signed by the testator.
(c) Signed by at least two witnesses in the presence of the testator.
Writings intended as wills: Although a will
was not executed in compliance with section law, the will is treated as
if it had been executed in compliance with that section if the proponent
of the will establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the decedent
intended the will to constitute the decedent's will. 15-11-503.
Self-proved will: A will may be simultaneously
executed, attested, and made self-proved by acknowledgment thereof by the
testator and affidavits of the witnesses, each made before an officer authorized
to administer oaths under the laws of the state in which execution occurs
and evidenced by the officer's certificate, under official seal.
The will forms provided here contain the self proving affidavit required
by Colorado. 15-11-504.
Who may witness: An individual generally
competent to be a witness may act as a witness to a will. The signing
of a will by an interested witness does not invalidate the will or any
provision of it. 15-11-505.
Choice of law as to execution: A written
will is valid if executed in compliance with Colorado law, or if its execution
complies with the law at the time of execution of the place where the will
is executed, or of the law of the place where, at the time of execution
or at the time of death, the testator is domiciled. 15-11-506.
Revocation of a Will: A will or any part
thereof is revoked:
(a) By executing a subsequent will that revokes the previous
will or part expressly or by inconsistency; or
(b) Burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating, or destroying the
will or any part of it by the testator with the intent and for the purpose
of revoking the will or part of it or if another individual performed the
act in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction.
Incorporation by reference: A writing in existence
when a will is executed may be incorporated by reference if the language
of the will manifests this intent and describes the writing sufficiently
to permit its identification. 15-11-510.
Separate writing or memorandum identifying devise of certain
types of tangible personal property: A will may refer
to a written statement or list to dispose of items of tangible personal
property not otherwise specifically disposed of by the will, other than
money. To be admissible under this section as evidence of the intended
disposition, the writing shall be either in the handwriting of the testator
or be signed by the testator and shall describe the items and the devisees
with reasonable certainty. The writing may be referred to as one
to be in existence at the time of the testator's death; it may be prepared
before or after the execution of the will; it may be altered by the testator
after its preparation; and it may be a writing that has no significance
apart from its effect on the dispositions made by the will.
Contracts concerning succession: A contract
to make a will or devise, or not to revoke a will or devise, or to die
intestate, if executed after July 1, 1995, may be established only by:
provisions of a will stating material provisions of the contract,
an express reference in a will to a contract and extrinsic evidence proving
the terms of the contract, or
(iii) a writing signed by the decedent evidencing
the contract. The execution of a joint will or mutual wills does not create
a presumption of a contract not to revoke the will or wills. 15-11-514.
Penalty clause for contest: A provision
in a will purporting to penalize an interested person for contesting the
will or instituting other proceedings relating to the estate is unenforceable
if probable cause exists for instituting proceedings. 15-11-517.
Deposit of will with court in testator's lifetime: A
will may be deposited by the testator or the testator's agent with any
court for safekeeping, under rules of the court. The will shall be
sealed and kept confidential. During the testator's lifetime, a deposited
will shall be delivered only to the testator or to a person authorized
in writing signed by the testator to receive the will. A conservator
may be allowed to examine a deposited will of a protected testator under
procedures designed to maintain the confidential character of the document
to the extent possible and to ensure that it will be resealed and kept
on deposit after the examination. 15-11-515.
Duty of custodian of will; lodging of will after death; transfer
of lodged will; liability:
(1) Within ten days after
a testator's death or as soon thereafter as the death becomes known to
the custodian of an instrument purporting to be the testator's will, the
custodian shall deliver the will to the court having probate jurisdiction
in the Colorado county where the decedent resided or was domiciled at death
for lodging in the records of such court. If the decedent was not
a Colorado resident or domiciliary, the custodian shall deliver the will
to the court having probate jurisdiction where the decedent was a resident
or domiciliary at death, if known to the custodian, but if such residence
or domicile is not known, to the court having probate jurisdiction in any
Colorado county where property of the decedent was located at death.
If the domicile, residence, and location of property are unknown to the
custodian, or if the court having probate jurisdiction outside of Colorado
refuses to accept delivery of the will, the custodian shall deliver the
will to the court having probate jurisdiction in the Colorado county where
the will was located. Upon being informed of the testator's death,
a court holding a deposited will shall lodge the will in its records.
Upon the filing of a petition or application showing appropriate venue
to be in another state or in another Colorado county, the court shall order
the lodged will transferred to the court having probate jurisdiction in
that state or county. Any person who willfully fails to deliver an instrument
purporting to be a will is liable to any person aggrieved for the damages
that may be sustained by the failure.
(3) Any person who willfully refuses
or fails to deliver an instrument purporting to be a will after being ordered
by the court in a proceeding brought for the purpose of compelling delivery
is subject to penalty for contempt of court. 15-11-516.