Do I have to have a will?

You do not have to have a will or any other type of estate planning document if you do not want to have one.Colorado law will make one for you. Dying without a will is sometimes referred to as dying intestate. Generally, your estate assets will pass to your heirs.


Dying without a will can cause unintended consequences, which you may wish to avoid. For instance, if you are in a second marriage and have children from a prior marriage, Colorado has special laws protecting the surviving spouse as well as the children from the prior marriage. The distribution rules under Colorado law may not be as you would like. In a will you are able to set out clearly your wishes to ensure your assets pass to your heirs as you desire.


Also, within a will you can direct who is to handle your estate, i.e.- the personal representative.Without a directive on who is adminster your estate, there may be a court proceeding brought by your heirs to determine who gets to control your estate.


There are not many, if any, good reasons to die without a will or some type of estate plan, such as a "trust" estate plan.  Dying without a will may be asking for trouble.