Denver, CO asked in Estate Planning for Colorado

Q: What does heirs and assigns mean in a transfer on death deed mean

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1 Lawyer Answer
Marc Carlson
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Castle Rock, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: “Heir”: An heir is someone who’s legally entitled to inherit your assets if you die intestate, meaning you pass away without a valid will or trust. Your heirs are people related to you by blood or marriage, like your spouse or children. If you die without an estate plan, your heirs will be determined by your state’s intestate succession laws. These laws lay out the order in which your heirs will receive your property. While it can vary by state, the order of succession is commonly, your: (1) spouse, (2) children (biological and adopted), (3) parents, (4) siblings, and (5) extended family, or “next of kin” (like nieces, nephews, grandparents, and cousins). Succession laws generally only include people legally or biologically related to you – no one else is considered a potential heir. This includes foster children or stepchildren. If you want these key people in your life to inherit part of your estate, you must have a plan and name them as “beneficiaries”.

“Assign”: Assign is the act of transferring rights, property, or other benefits to another party (the assignee) from the party who holds such benefits under contract (the assignor). This concept is used in both contract and property law.

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