If you’re thinking about writing a will, no Colorado law says you must use a lawyer. Many people with simple estates may be able to easily write their own will. Some outline their wishes, or make a draft, and hire a lawyer to write the final version. Others with larger estates and/or large families may need more extensive estate planning, which requires legal help from start to finish. In general, you should definitely see an estate planning attorney if:
• You have many questions about your will or how to make a will;
• You and your spouse have children from different, prior unions;
• You are divorced and want to keep your ex-spouse from your children’s inheritance;
• You have a long-term beneficiary—such as a disabled child—for whom you need to provide;
• You have a child with recurring financial problems, or who uses drugs or alcohol;
• You own part or all of a business;
• You own real estate in more than one state;
• You want to disinherit a child or spouse;
• You are worried that someone will contest your will;
• You have received public assistance, such as Medicaid, and want to limit what Colorado can take of your estate after you die;
• You need more extensive estate planning than just a will; or
• You have a large estate.
If none of the circumstances above applies to you, the easiest way to accomplish the daunting task of writing a will is by using a template. Bradford has a will for people without children (39A) and a will with children (39C).
For more information see, Planning a Will in Colorado , Bradford’s Legal Series.