Madison, WI asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado

Q: Deceased Devisee

My dad was named as an heir in my grandmother's will. He preceded her in death, but the will was never updated. Am I eligible for his share? I am his only child, and he was never married. The Colorado code that governs it I believe is § 15-11-603, but I don't quite understand the legal language. Thanks!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin Michael Strait
Kevin Michael Strait
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: This response is generalized information related to Colorado inheritance, and is not legal advice specific to your situation.

Gifts made in a Will are sometimes given special attributes, conditions, or rules. A gift that fails to meet the conditions required in the Will can "lapse." A lapsed gift cannot be collected by an heir.

One common condition placed on gifts in a Will is the attribute of the recipient surviving the deceased person.

Certain language in the Will can make the gift valid even if the recipient dies first. That recipient's estate, or more likely that persons heirs, can still collect the gift. But another common condition in a Will is that a gift will lapse if the named recipient is not alive to collect the gift. A lapsed gift is terminated, and the Will probably includes rules for handling any terminated gifts.

The exact conditions that apply to any specific gift made in any specific Will are unique. Colorado does not require any formal language in a Will to make a gift, or to make the gift with conditions. Some Wills are vague or fail to specify any conditions at all. You may want to consult a Colorado attorney to interpret the Will and tell you if the gift to your father has lapsed or if the gift to your father is collectable by an heir. An attorney can likely interpret the conditions that apply to the gift at a relatively low cost.

Rebecca Pescador agrees with this answer

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