October 22, 2014

SB 12-131: Clarifying a Fiduciary’s Duties for an Estate in Which a Designated Beneficiary Agreement May Exist

On January 31, 2012, Sen. Lucia Guzman and Rep. Dan Pabon introduced SB 12-131 – Concerning the Responsibilities of a Fiduciary with Regard to the Estate of a Person Who May Have Executed a Designated Beneficiary Agreement. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

CBA-sponsored legislation

A personal representative in any probate proceeding regarding a decedent’s estate shall not be surcharged for making distributions to devisees or heirs at law that do not take into consideration a designated beneficiary agreement (DBA) if:

  • The personal representative has made a search in every county in which the personal representative has actual knowledge that the decedent was domiciled at any time during the 3 years prior to the decedent’s death for a recorded, unrevoked DBA in which the decedent granted the right of intestate succession; and
  • The personal representative has not received actual notice nor has actual knowledge of the existence of a valid, unrevoked DBA in which the decedent granted the right of intestate succession.

A personal representative or trustee is not individually or personally liable for making a distribution of property to devisees or heirs at law that does not take into consideration the right of a party to a DBA to inherit property due to a valid, unrevoked DBA if the personal representative or trustee complied with the fiduciary duty to search for the existence of a DBA and does not have actual notice or actual knowledge of the existence of a valid, unrevoked DBA in which the decedent granted a right of intestate succession. The bill has been approved by the Senate and is assigned to the Judiciary Committee in the House.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.