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Colorado Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Colorado on
Q: Is there a statute of Limitations re an inheritance claim in NM? My father died in 2017.

I don't know if he had a valid will @ the time of his death. I am the only surviving child. Since his re-marriage, we've been estranged.

Sabra M. Janko
Sabra M. Janko answered on Jul 25, 2020

You will want to post this in the NM forum. State law governs estate issues.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Employment Law, Estate Planning and Family Law for Colorado on
Q: If I have to take a lower paying job to be close to my children will the court see this as under-employment?

My ex insists on living in a rural community where there are zero job opportunities for my career. To continue to work in my career I have to live in NYC. My children are suffering in bad schools full of high-school drop outs, getting into drugs and lots a bad stuff. I need to be with them and... Read more »

Sabra M. Janko
Sabra M. Janko answered on Jul 16, 2020

This is something that is within the discretion of a Judge so will depend on the evidentiary presentation.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: If I am considered disabled and I inherit a house worth $350,000 can a very old child support case put a lien on it?

Also, because of my disability child support has not pursued me for quite some time now

Sabra M. Janko
Sabra M. Janko answered on Jul 8, 2020

A child support lien can be placed on a real property asset regardless of the age of the support case.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Colorado on
Q: If I have no cattle do I have to have my gate shut I live off i25 and my neighbor does have cattle
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 15, 2020

You don't HAVE to close your gate if you don't mind the neighbors' cattle grazing on your land. Colorado is an open range state. More information about open range here:

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/agbrands/open-range-and-fencing

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Family Law for Colorado on
Q: Does the revocation-on-divorce statute still apply if the divorce decree was set aside?

The district court granted the motion to set aside the court order of dissolution of marriage. The divorce got reopened based on the Rule 16 (fraud). I was named as a beneficiary of the life insurance policy; however, the life insurance policy was not disclosed during the divorce. Does the... Read more »

John Hyland Barrett III
John Hyland Barrett III answered on May 12, 2020

I am assuming that the court set aside the property orders, but not the decree of dissolution of marriage. You are probably still divorced. In that case the revocation upon divorce statute may apply if the insured dies. You could ask the court to have you named you as beneficiary if appropriate You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Colorado on
Q: In my now-deceased sister’s Trust, within the “Durable Power of Attorney for Management of Property and Personal Affairs

what does “Pursuant to 4000 et. seq. Of the California Probate Code mean? (She lived and died in CA. I live in CO.)

Sabra M. Janko
Sabra M. Janko answered on May 7, 2020

You will want to receive an opinion from a California attorney if the trust is in California, however a trust has a Trustee and the trustee is the person authorized to administer the trust according to the terms specified by the Grantor.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Q: Is it mandatory to go to probate after the death of my mother? I am located in Colorado.
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 20, 2020

It is impossible to answer that question without a detailed inventory of what your mother owned when she died and how each item was titled.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Colorado on
Q: If a will leaves houses to 3 people are all three responsible for mortgage payments until will is disbursed?

It is occupied by a beneficiary who pays utilities, lot fee and was making mortgage payments until unable.

Diedre Wachbrit Braverman
Diedre Wachbrit Braverman answered on Mar 31, 2020

The mortgage is only due from the person named on the mortgage. However, if they want to avoid foreclosure the beneficiaries would be smart to keep paying the mortgage.

When the property is distributed to them, they will have to either pay it off or get a new mortgage in their names....
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Q: Is my wife automatically the beneficiary of my 401k and IRAs, regardless of my beneficiary designations?

I am married and live in Colorado. Is my wife automatically the beneficiary of 100% of my 401k, my multiple IRA's, and regular savings accounts, regardless of who I have specifically designated as the beneficiaries on those accounts? I've read conflicting information online regarding... Read more »

Diedre Wachbrit Braverman
Diedre Wachbrit Braverman answered on Mar 31, 2020

In Colorado, a spouse in entitled to up to 50% of your estate depending on how long you’ve been married. They reach 50% at 10 years. If you designate someone else it can cause expensive court proceedings as your spouse seeks the share to which they are entitled. You could designate your spouse as... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Colorado on
Q: Is a Revocable Trust considered abandoned if it hasn't been used in years?

My mom passed away and her will states that her estate be gifted to a 2004 Revocable Trust that references California law. My mom sold her California property in 2005 when she moved to Colorado that same year. She just passed away in Colorado and none of her property here was in the name of the... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Mar 4, 2020

No, not at all. That is called a pour over will. The will needs to be probated. Pursuant to the will, the probate court will order that all of the assets in her estate be transferred into the name of the trust. Then the trust needs to be administered according to its terms. You need a probate... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Q: A check for unclaimed funds made payable to me on behalf of heirs of my dad. Am I able to deposit this in my own acct?

Hi, my father passed away about 16 years ago. I visited https://colorado.findyourunclaimedproperty.com/ to search for unclaimed assets, and I found some in his name. He did not leave a will, and there wasn't an obituary. I was executor and sole heir of his estate because I am his only child. I... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 22, 2020

Yes, the state made the check payable that way to impress upon you the obligation to share the funds with your dad's other theoretical heirs, but as there are none, you can safely deposit the funds in your bank account and you need not worry about having to share it with other heirs.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Q: Post death, if secured asset is returned but FMV is below debt, does it get paid off before unsecured credit card debt?

In estate after a death, do secured assets that go to auction but fail to raise funds to pay off balance get paid off before unsecured debt or should they be treated equally? Credit cards are clamoring for money, but so is company that financed deceased loved ones camp trailer for delta between... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 21, 2020

That delta is referred to as a “deficiency” and it is an unsecured debt with the same priority as other unsecured debts such as credit cards.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Colorado on
Q: house left in a will to 3 people how does the buy out work

Does the person wanting to keep the house buy out the others with property value or equity in it

Donald C Eby
Donald C Eby answered on Feb 7, 2020

Certainly one co-owner can buyout the other owners, assuming that you can negotiate a purchase price that is acceptable to all.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Tax Law for Colorado on
Q: I had shares in my family farm that has been handed down for 4 generations. My brother bought my shares of the farm.

Do I have to pay taxes on the money I got from my farm inheritance?

D. Mathew Blackburn
D. Mathew Blackburn answered on Jan 24, 2020

You don't pay tax on inherited property. But it sounds as if you inherited the property then sold it which is different.

You would need to determine the basis in the shares when you received them and compare that to the sales price to determine if any gain exists.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: Can a landlord sell the property you're renting, if you have a standing year lease?

This is actually the second time our landlord has done this. We live in a duplex, and our land lord posted it for sell without notifying us. What happens when it sells and changes hands?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 3, 2019

Yes a landlord can sell the property. The buyer must honor your lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: My mother who is 85 years old is selling her home she has lived in for over 45 years.

it was purchased for $33,000 and is selling for $420,000. In February of this year, she purchased a condo with my husband and I for $410,000. Her name is on the loan but it wasn't on the title. So we did a Quit Claim Deed to put her name on the title. She will be living in the condo by... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 1, 2019

There USED to be a rule allowing taxpayers to defer capital gain on the sale of a house by purchasing a more expensive house within two years. That rule was repealed in 1997. So the purchase of the condo makes no difference.

The new rule allows single taxpayers to permanently avoid paying...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Q: I'm divorced. Does my ex still get everything in my will and make medical decisions for me? Who is my next of kin now?

Will Colorado still consider my ex my next of kin even though we're divorced? Would it go to my teenage daughter? She's not old enough to make medical decisions for me if I'm incapacitated.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 29, 2019

You are asking really good questions. The bottom line is that divorce is one of those events that should trigger an update of your existing estate plan. Schedule an appointment with an estate planning attorney and, in the meantime, be thinking about who you will want to nominate as the guardian... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Colorado on
Q: If my father was a beneficiary of a will before his death, am I now the beneficiary when that estate sales property?

My father was in my grandmas will upon her death in 2015. The estate has been sitting with real property. My father passed in December of 2018. I am the executor of his estate. Am I entitled to my father's portion of my grandmother's estate and listed in her will? Or is my father's... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 15, 2019

Most likely your father lived long enough for his inheritance to vest in him but the only way to know for certain is to review your grandmother’s will. Whether you inherit from your father and to what extent depends on what his will says or, if he did not have a will, what next of kin survived... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Colorado on
Q: Is there a legal time limit for an executor to close an estate and make disbursements in Colorado?

We have been waiting 22 mos with it not contested or in probate. Is there a time limit law?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 1, 2019

Probate should be opened within three years after the date of death, but there are exceptions to this rule. The important thing for you to know is if the executor of the will has not opened a probate by now, there is nothing to prevent any other interested party (such as an heir) from opening a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Q: To be a valid self proving will in Colorado, are a notary and two witnesses required or only a notary?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 6, 2019

Two witnesses, a notary, and a self-proving affidavit.

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