Colorado Springs, CO asked in Estate Planning for Colorado

Q: How do I write a will and give one daughter 90% of my estate and the other daughter 10%,

My husband passed away in November of 2021. When he died he left everything to me, which included 5 income properties, 2 businesses and several antique vehicles. I need to do a will for myself now. I have 2 daughters, but one of my daughters is living on public assistance and she’s disabled. I do want to leave her something, but I’m not leaving her half, she doesn’t deserve it. I also don’t want to leave her something and have the state take it when she’s put into assisted living or a nursing home, which is inevitable. She is also very frivolous and I feel that she would squander whatever she’s given. So, my question is how do I leave my one daughter the majority of my estate and leave the other something, but keep it from being taken or squandered by her.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kyle Grabulis
Kyle Grabulis
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fort Collins, CO

A: For your two daughters, specifying how much you would like to give each of them (90% to one, and 10% to the other in this case) is almost as simple as saying just that in a properly executed will. Wills can leave what are called "bequests" to different individuals, and you can specify however much you would like to give to any individual with your will.

If you are concerned about one of your daughters squandering the money or are otherwise concerned with the government taking the property you give, the will can create what is called a "spendthrift trust." This trust can manage that 10% of the property you decide to give to her for that disabled daughter's well-being, but she technically does not own that property; it is merely being dispensed in intervals per your instructions that you put in the trust for her health, well-being, bills, or whatever you deem appropriate. The spendthrift trust is then run by a trustee, which is someone that you think is responsible to manage this trust on the disabled daughters behalf (it could even be the other daughter if you think she is a good fit for the job).

For both of these matters, however, I strongly suggest seeking a Colorado attorney to advise you with drafting a will containing these provisions. Even though the first matter of giving 90% to one daughter and 10% to the other is simple to draft, failing to create the will properly may subject your estate to "intestate succession," which based on the information provided would mean each daughter would end up with 50% of the entire estate.

Kevin Michael Strait agrees with this answer

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