Creating a will is frequently the easiest way to ensure that your property and general assets are left to your heirs in Colorado. You can pass along many different types of items in a will. Drafting this document can help ensure that your survivors don’t fight over your assets after your passing.
Types of property to include in a will
Drafting a will allows you to express precisely how you want your assets distributed. Wills are only one part of estate planning, but they are the ones that come to mind most often when people begin considering what to do with their worldly goods. You can include virtually anything in a will, down to the most minor asset, such as sentimental items of little monetary value.
Before drafting a will, take an inventory of your assets. Everyday items that you can include are:
- Real estate, including homes, land and buildings
- Cash and monetary accounts like savings and checking accounts, money market accounts and investment accounts
- Stocks, bonds, businesses and other intangible property
- Personal items like artwork, jewelry and similar items
What you cannot place in a will
The law excused some property types from wills. Will exclusions include any property owned in joint tenancy, stocks and bonds set to transfer to another individual upon death and any investment accounts that already have a named beneficiary.
What do I need besides a will?
The more assets you have, the more complex your estate will be. Many people benefit from creating one or more trusts to protect their assets while they are still alive. Even though you may have a will, your estate will still have to go through probate court. Placing some of your assets in a trust or transfer on death (TOD) accounts will bypass that process and make things easier for your executor.
Wills and other estate planning tools, like guardianships for minor children, can be modified throughout your lifetime. You should periodically review your estate documents to ensure they meet your current needs. It’s never too early to begin estate planning or change your wishes.