When a person in Colorado wishes to create an estate plan, oftentimes the first document they execute is a will. In general, a will can be divided into four parts, with each part having several main clauses. We will review these clauses, but as always, readers should note that this post does not provide legal advice.

The first part of most wills includes preliminary provisions. This may include an exordium clause, as well as a clause stating with what funds any death taxes will be paid. A family statement will also be included in the preliminary part of a will.

The second part of most wills includes dispositive provisions. For example, a devise clause, a bequest or legacy clause and a residuary clause will be included in the dispositive portion of a will. If the will is a pour-over will, there will be a trust distribution clause. Finally, many wills contain class distribution clauses.

The third part of most wills includes appointment provisions. For example, there will be a fiduciary appointment clause as well as a fiduciary powers clause. Guardianship clauses may also be included here.

The fourth part of most wills includes concluding provisions. For example, it will include the testator’s signature. It will state that the witnesses saw the testator sign the will. Finally, a will can include a self-proving clause.

Finally, some wills have a fifth part that includes other types of provisions. For example, some wills contain a no contest clause, a disclaimer clause, or both.

Again, this is only a general overview of this topic, and while some wills may contain all these provisions, others may not. In addition, some wills may contain provisions not named in this post. Therefore, those who wish to execute a will should ensure they understand what language their will should contain to be legally enforceable.