2021 Colorado Code
Title 15 - Probate, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Article 22 - Designated Beneficiary Agreements
§ 15-22-102. Legislative Declaration

Universal Citation: CO Code § 15-22-102 (2021)
  1. The general assembly finds and determines that:
    1. Not all Coloradans are adequately protected by the provisions of the “Colorado Probate Code”, articles 10 to 17 of this title, and other provisions of Colorado law. Current state and federal laws present impediments and disincentives for people wishing to avail themselves of the protections of this title.
    2. Beyond legal impediments, people often fail to plan for their own mortality. Studies have found that significant numbers of Americans do not have a valid will, and even fewer have executed powers of attorney or other estate planning documents.
    3. A body of law has been enacted to operate by default in situations in which individuals do not prepare estate plans. However, failure to plan for disability, incapacity, or death places people at the mercy of state laws that may vest the power to act in such situations in persons other than those they would wish to have exercise those powers. Many lack access to legal services due to the expense of drafting legal instruments and the necessity to keep these documents current.
    4. The power of individuals to care for one another and take action to be personally responsible for themselves and their loved ones is of tremendous societal benefit, enabling self-determination and reducing reliance on public programs and services.
  2. Therefore, the general assembly declares that:
    1. The public policy of the state should encourage residents to execute appropriate legal documents to effectuate their wishes;
    2. The purposes of this article are to:
      1. Make existing laws relating to health care, medical emergencies, incapacity, death, and administration of decedent's estates available to more persons through a process of documenting designated beneficiary agreements; and
      2. Allow individuals to elect to have certain default provisions in state statutes provide rights, benefits, and protections to a designated beneficiary in situations in which no valid and enforceable estate planning documents exist.
    3. It is the intent of the general assembly that this article be liberally construed to give effect to the purposes stated in this article.

History. Source: L. 2009: Entire article added, (HB 09-1260), ch. 107, p. 428, § 1, effective July 1.

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