Colorado Intestate Succession: Do I Get to Inherit Something?

close up of hand signing a Last Will and Testament documentIf an individual who’s a resident of Colorado passed away and did not leave a Last Will and Testament, the Colorado Probate Code’s intestacy succession statutes would dictate who could inherit from the estate of the deceased individual. Here’s a basic summary of who gets to inherit according to different situations.

If the individual passes away and leaves behind:

  • A spouse, with no children: the spouse gets the entire inheritance.
  • Children, but not a spouse: the children get everything.
  • Children and a spouse: the spouse gets the inheritance.
  • Descendants and a spouse, with the spouse having kids from a different relationship: the spouse gets the initial $150,000 of the inheritance and half of the inheritance’s balance, while the descendants get what’s left behind.
  • A spouse and the deceased individual’s adult descendants: the spouse gets the initial $100,000 of the inheritance and half of the remaining balance, while the adult descendants get everything else.
  • A spouse and the deceased person’s minor descendant as well as another descendant: the spouse gets half of the estate; the rest goes to the descendants.
  • Parents and a spouse: the spouse gets the initial $200,000 of the intestate property and ¾ of the overall balance, while the parents get everything else.
  • Parents and no one else: the parents get the entire inheritance.
  • Siblings and no one else: the siblings get everything.
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Now, let’s say that a relative of yours passes away “intestate” or without a will and he or she was a legal Colorado resident or owned property in the state. Even if you’ve figured out from the abovementioned information that you’re legally entitled to an inheritance, you might not get anything, explains a top probate lawyer in Denver.

The reason: your deceased relative might have only left behind debts or non-probated property upon his or her death, and these might exceed the estate’s value which would automatically make it insolvent. With this in mind, if you are considered an intestate heir and are uncertain about your rights, speak with a probate attorney to learn what your options are.