2021 Colorado Code
Title 15 - Probate, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Article 11 - Intestate Succession and Wills
Part 6 - Rules of Construction Applicable Only to Wills
§ 15-11-601. Scope
In the absence of a finding of a contrary intention, the rules of construction in this part 6 control the construction of a will. In the absence of a finding of a contrary intention, the provisions of sections 15-11-603 and 15-11-604 shall apply to wills and codicils executed or republished or reaffirmed on or after July 1, 1995, and prior law (sections 15-11-605 and 15-11-606 ) shall apply to wills and codicils executed prior to July 1, 1995, and not republished or reaffirmed on or after that date. In the process of determining whether a contrary intention exists, the rules of construction of this part 6 shall not apply.
History. Source: L. 94: Entire part R&RE, p. 1003, § 3, effective July 1, 1995. L. 95: Entire section amended, p. 356, § 6, effective July 1.
The cardinal rule in the interpretation of wills or other testamentary documents is that the testator's intent should be ascertained from the instrument itself and given effect. Meier v. Denver United States Nat'l Bank, 164 Colo. 25 , 431 P.2d 1019 (1967); Mass. Co. v. Evans, 924 P.2d 1119 (Colo. App. 1996).
Executor of decedent's estate was entitled to principal of trust created by decedent as a fiduciary, and not personally, under trust provision indicating that principal should go to executor. The mere addition of a codicil to will that named executor in place of previously named corporate executor was not clear manifestation of a new intent to make the executor the trust beneficiary. Mass. Co. v. Evans, 924 P.2d 1119 (Colo. App. 1996).