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Almost everyone is familiar with a Will, as it is the most common and effective estate planning instrument available. As such, a Will is the foundation of most legal life planning. But most people do not realize that a Will can do so much more than provide a simple a set of instructions for distributing their property when they pass away. For example, a Will can establish trusts for the support and education of children, it can nominate a guardian for your minor or disabled children, it can establish various types of trusts, and it can even make sure that your pets are protected when you pass away.

To make a valid Will in Colorado, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be of sound mind;
  • Not be inappropriately influenced by another person;
  • Know what assets you have;
  • Know who your immediate family members are; and
  • Know who you want to receive your assets when you pass away.

A Will may be amended or revoked at any time. An amendment to a Will is called a codicil, and it must be signed, dated, and witnessed as though it was an original Will. You should never write directly on your original Will without an attorney’s advice. Penciling in new clauses or scratching out names can create uncertainty as to your intent and could result in increased court involvement and possible litigation.