Each U.S. state has its own requirements for making a will, and to write a will in Colorado you need to follow the guidelines for Colorado. The process is similar in every state, but there are differences. Check and follow the specific requirements for Colorado to make sure that the will is valid. To write an online will in Colorado, be sure to use an online will that is customized for the state.
Can I Write a Will Online in Colorado?
Yes, you can write a will online in Colorado. We recommend using an online will making service. We recommend USLegalWills for the highest quality online will in Colorado.
Here are the legal requirements to make a will in Colorado:
- The Testator, or the person writing the will, must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind.
- After making the will online, it must be printed out. Some states allow digital-only wills, or wills that are made, signed, and witnessed electronically without a paper copy, but the state of Colorado does not allow digital-only wills.
- The Testator must sign it (or if physically unable to sign, the Testator can direct someone to sign in their name in front of them; this person cannot be one of the witnesses).
- The will must be signed by at least two witnesses who see the Testator sign it or acknowledge their signature. The witnesses can be any person who is generally competent to stand as a witness; they can be beneficiaries in the will. Or,
- The Testator can sign the will in front of a notary public.
Does Colorado Require a Notarized Will?
No, the state of Colorado does not require the will to be notarized in order for it to be valid. However, when presented to the probate court, an unnotarized will has to undergo an authentication process. The court will require witnesses to testify to its authenticity. This can cause delays, so having it notarized can help the probate court quickly validate your will. But the will itself is not what gets notarized. Instead, there is a separate document called a “self-proving affidavit.” This is what gets notarized and is attached to the will.
You can find a template for a “self-proving affidavit” for Colorado here. You and your witnesses sign it in front of a notary public, then you attach it to your will. Now your will is considered to be “self-proved.”
Can I Name an Executor in Colorado?
Yes, you can name an executor in your online will in Colorado. The executor is the person designated to settle the estate and ensure that the will is followed after the Testator’s death. You want to pick someone who you know and trust to be the executor. If you do not name an executor, then the probate court will appoint someone.
Here are the requirements for an executor in Colorado:
- The person must be at least 21 years of age.
- The person must be in good mental health and not legally incapacitated.
Many states prohibit someone who has been convicted of a felony to act as an executor. Colorado does not have any laws prohibiting that. However, the probate court can disqualify a potential executor if they are found to be unsuitable.
In Colorado, there are no special requirements to name someone who lives out-of-state as an executor.
Do I Need an Attorney to Make a Will in Colorado?
No, Colorado does not require you to use an attorney to make a will. As long as you follow the legal requirements for a will to be valid, then it will be accepted by the probate court. In some situations, like if you have a very complex or large estate, it is wise to consult an estate planning attorney. But in most cases, when your estate is simple and your will is straightforward, making a will online is a good option. To make an online will in Colorado, you want to make sure you follow the state’s requirements and that you use an online will making service that has state-specific templates.
What Types of Wills Are Valid in Colorado?
Whether you make the will online or not, any type of will that meets federal and state-specific requirements is valid in Colorado.
Can I Make a Holographic Will in Colorado?
A holographic will is a handwritten last will and testament. It is written and signed by the Testator (the person making the will). In Colorado, a holographic will is valid if the will is signed, dated, and if all the material provisions are in the Testator’s handwriting. However, holographic wills can often face delays in the probate court. For example, the handwriting has to be proven authentic. The court will require witnesses to testify to the handwriting’s authenticity, making the process to validate the will longer.
Can I Make a Nuncupative or Video Will in Colorado?
A nuncupative will is an oral will, and some people wish to leave oral wills on video. The state of Colorado does not recognize nuncupative wills. Most states consider nuncupative wills as an emergency or a last resort type of will. If someone is facing imminent death, a nuncupative will is better than leaving no instructions at all.
In Colorado, the court will not recognize a nuncupative will but it may help family members understand your final wishes. However, for the will to be considered valid by the court, it must be written and signed. To avoid long legal delays, choosing to make an online will in Colorado is a better option.
How Is a Living Will Different from an Online Will in Colorado?
A living will, also called an advance directive, is a legal document which gives instructions on medical decisions and end-of-life care. A living will and a last will and testament are two separate documents. In most cases, the last will and testament is not consulted until after an individual’s death and funeral, making it the wrong place to leave medical directives or end-of-life care instructions.
Instead, leave these instructions in a living will—you should give your living will to the executor of your estate or another trusted person. You can make both a living will and a last will and testament online, and you can find a template for a living will for Colorado here.
Why Do I Need to Make a Will Online in Colorado?
If someone dies without a will, then they die intestate. Every state has intestacy laws that determine what happens to any property the individual owns. It can become a lengthy legal process. The estate will be divided between surviving family members according to the intestacy distribution laws of Colorado, and the court will appoint someone as guardian for any minor children. Property owned by the individual who died will often be held up in the probate court process for months at a time.
What Can I Include in an Online Will in Colorado?
When you make an online will in Colorado, you can include the following:
- The executor of your estate.
- A guardian for minor children.
- A trusted person to oversee any property left to minor children.
- A trusted person to care for remaining pets.
- How you wish to leave property or gifts to family members, friends, charities, or organizations.
- How you wish to distribute family heirlooms or sentimental items.
What Should Not Be Included in a Will in Colorado?
A last will and testament is not the right place for designating end-of-life care or funeral instructions. When someone dies, the funeral is usually held immediately. It is not until after the funeral that the will is read and the estate is settled. If you leave funeral instructions or medical directives in your will, family members might not know about them until after the funeral.
For medical directives and end-of-life care, you want to create a living will.
For funeral instructions, you can simply speak with a family member or you can make a separate document describing your wishes. You should give this document to someone you trust or to the executor of your estate.
Can I Change or Revoke an Online Will Made in Colorado?
A will is a legally binding document, whether it is made online or not. But you can change or revoke a will at any time.
In Colorado, here are ways to change or revoke a will:
- You can physically destroy it with the intent of revoking the will by burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating or any other act that destroys it.
- You can order someone else to destroy it in front of you.
- You can write a new will that states it revokes the old one or has contradictory terms to the old one.
Whenever you have any major life changes—like marriage or divorce, birth or adoption of a child, acquisition of significant assets, or relocation to another state or country—it is a good idea to update your will by writing a new one. If you only want to make minor changes, you can add an amendment, called a codicil, instead. A codicil must be finalized in the same way that the original will is finalized.
How Do I Finalize an Online Will in Colorado?
To finalize a will in Colorado, make sure it is:
- In writing,
- Signed by two witnesses in your presence, or
- Signed in front of a notary public.
For a will to be “self-proved” in Colorado, you need to make a separate notarized affidavit and attach it to your will.
Special Considerations in Colorado:
- If you divorce, your ex-spouse is automatically eliminated as a beneficiary.
- You cannot disinherit a surviving spouse if you are legally married at the time of your death.
- You can disinherit adult children, but it is not as clear cut as simply omitting them in your will. You should consult an attorney if you wish to disinherit a child as the wording has to be very precise.
- The state of Colorado recognizes common law marriages.
We tested multiple online will services to find out which ones produce the best last will and testament. Of all the wills we created—and had our lawyer review—USLegalWills had the best end product. To make an online last will and testament, we recommend USLegalWills.