Q&A with Jesse Bopp, J.D., Alpine Bank Wealth Management Vice President and Client Executive
Q: What happens if I die without a Will?
A: As explained in our August Financial News article, having a Will, Trust, or other estate plan is always a good idea. Yet, what happens when a person dies ‘intestate’ (without a Will)? Short answer: the Colorado state legislature has created several statutes to handle intestate distribution. The statutes set forth rules of inheritance that depend on whether the ‘decedent’ (deceased individual) was married, had children, surviving parents, siblings and extended family at time of death; and the statutes differ, for instance, if the decedent had children from a prior marriage, yet is survived by a spouse who is not the biological parent of those children. The statutes also list who has priority to be appointed personal representative (executor) of your estate. Only in rare circumstances, where there is no living person related to you and covered by the distribution statutes, would the state of Colorado receive assets if you die intestate. However, that does not mean your assets are distributed as you would have directed in a Will. For example, you may have given to persons related to you in different percentages or not at all, or to persons not related to you as well as to charitable causes. So, while the statutes on intestate distribution provide a general framework and safety net, it may not be the distribution framework you sought if you had executed an estate plan.
Alpine Bank Wealth Management can help you with your estate planning and wealth management needs. Jesse Bopp serves clients in Durango and Telluride. Contact Jesse to learn what Alpine Bank Wealth Management can do for you. He can be reached at 970-426-7162 or [email protected].
Products of our Wealth Management service are not FDIC insured, may lose value and are not bank guaranteed.