Changing Beneficiaries in Your Estate Plan
If Your Circumstance Has Changed, Contact Our Denver Lawyer
For the vast majority of us, the primary estate planning objective is to ensure that your property goes to your loved ones. This can be accomplished by creating a living revocable trust , a last will and testament , or by operation of the law, which involves titling assets so they pass directly to the beneficiary upon the death of the owner.
Real property can be transferred by holding title in joint tenancy or by naming a beneficiary on a deed. A bank account can be transferred by placing a payable on death (POD) designation on the account. Similarly, a brokerage account can be transferred by placing a transfer on death (TOD) designation on the account.
These are just a few examples of the many ways beneficiaries can inherit. To discuss your situation with our Denver estate planning attorney, schedule a consultation today.
Who Can Be a Beneficiary?
Under Colorado law you are free to select whoever you wish to be the beneficiaries of your will or trust. The exception to this rule is that you cannot disinherit your spouse unless she or he has signed a pre- or postnuptial agreement. In other words, children, parents, siblings, and other family are not entitled to a share of your estate unless they are specifically named as a beneficiary.
However, if you die without designating beneficiaries on all of your assets, your estate will be distributed to your closest living relatives, which may be contrary to your wishes. It is for this reason that it is wise to review your estate plan periodically to ensure that your assets will be distributed according to your current situation.
This is particularly true if you have experienced any of the following:
- A second marriage
- New grandchildren that you want to include in your estate plan
- Estranged family members
By keeping your documents current you can avoid future problems and potential lawsuits.
Need to Change Your Beneficiary? We Can Help.
If developments in your situation or relationships have led to the need to change one or more of the beneficiaries of your estate, our Denver estate planning attorney at the James A. Littlepage Law Offices can assist you. We are dedicated to providing our clients with outstanding legal services and can help you make the necessary changes to your estate plan.