On March 18, 2014, Rep. Mike McLaughlin and Sen. Ellen Roberts introduced HB 14-1322 - Concerning the Colorado Probate Code. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.
The bill repeals and reenacts, with amendments, certain provisions relating to the elective-share of a surviving spouse.
A specific devisee has a right to specifically devised property in a testator’s estate at death and, in the absence of other statutorily described property and moneys, a general pecuniary devise equal to the value, as of its date of disposition, of other specifically devised property disposed of during the testator’s lifetime, but only to the extent it is established that ademption would be inconsistent with the testator’s manifested plan of distribution or that the testator did not intend ademption of the devise.
To be effective to nominate a personal representative, a will must be declared valid by an order of informal probate by the registrar or by the court.
Under current law, a successor of a decedent may collect from another person any debts owed to the decedent and any personal property belonging to the decedent if the fair market value of the property owned by the decedent at the time of his or her death does not exceed $60,000. Under the bill, this amount may not exceed twice the value of property that the decedent’s surviving spouse is entitled to exempt from the estate, as adjusted for cost of living.
An instrument or other property that is payable or deliverable to a decedent or to the estate of a decedent is considered property of the decedent. A successor of the decedent or a person acting on behalf of a successor may endorse an instrument that is so payable and collect such amount.
The duties owed to a successor by a person acting on behalf of the successor in the making, presentation, or other use of an affidavit to collect personal property of a decedent are the same as the duties of an agent to the agent’s principal. The breach of this duty is subject to the same remedies as are available under the law with respect to an agent.
If a proof of right is established in a proceeding, any person to whom an affidavit was delivered and who refused, without reasonable cause, to pay, deliver, transfer, or issue any personal property or evidence thereof shall be liable for all costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, incurred by or on behalf of the persons entitled thereto.
A provision in a trust specifying a method to revoke or amend the trust does not make the specified method exclusive unless the method is referred to as the “sole”, “exclusive”, or “only” method of revoking or amending the trust or the provision includes similar language manifesting the settlor’s intent that the trust may not be revoked or amended by any other method.
The bill sets forth certain duties and powers of trustees and trust advisors.
This bill is CBA sponsored and was developed by the Trusts and Estates Section of the Bar Association.
The bill passed out of the House on April 14. It is assigned to the Judiciary Committee; a committee hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m.