When taking care of estate planning affairs in Colorado, it is important for people to designate someone to act as their power of attorney for finances should they ever become incapacitated or incapable of making sound financial decisions.
Last week, the world lost a musical legend in the form of Prince Rogers Nelson. As the world grieves, his loved ones are left to sort out his estate. Unfortunately, Prince's apparent lack of will and estate planning documents complicate questions about taxes, inheritance, and music rights. Without legally enforceable estate planning documents in place, this tragedy draws attention to the complication that arise without proper planning.
Wills are an important part of estate planning. However, when there is suspicion of coercion or some other type of influence, a deceased person’s will can be challenged with a claim of undue influence. The burden of proof for this type of claim is high. According to The National Law Review, the law limits the time to file undue influence claims in Colorado to three years.
When it comes to divorce, Colorado law is designed to protect the wishes of each former spouse. Practically speaking, this means that any former spouse listed in your estate planning documents is no longer legally valid upon divorce. Clauses that list former spouses as beneficiaries or fiduciaries are revoked, and former spouses that are listed as personal representatives are treated as though they are deceased. Unless the estate planning documents explicitly state otherwise, divorce in Colorado automatically overrides estate planning documents made before the divorce.