Colorado Probate Blog - Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, P.C.

New Colorado Statutes Effective August 8, 2013

On May 11, 2013, Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 13-077 into law which will become effective on August 8, 2013. This Bill contains the statutory changes requested by the Trust & Estate Section of the Colorado Bar Association. Several statutes will go into effect in August. Among them, the new law modifies Colorado’s Dead Man’s Statute to make it more user friendly, particularly in the probate context in which it often plays a part. It adds to the factors that are to be considered by a judge when determining the reasonableness of compensation and costs in probate matters, and reaffirms that nominated and appointed personal representatives have legal standing to determine their decedent’s probable intent and estate planning purposes on issues involving the decedent’s estate and it allows those representatives to prosecute or defend their decedent’s intent at the expense of the estate, resolving a previously open question in probate proceedings.

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Colorado Secretary of State Increases Filing Fees

For most of the past year, the filing fees for the Secretary of State’s office were $1, including filing Articles of Incorporation (corporations), Articles of Organization (limited liability companies), and Certificates of Limited Partnership. That temporary reduction of fees has ended, and the filing fees are now back to $50 for each new fling, and generally $25 for amendments. Certificates of Good Standing are free on-line, and periodic reports are $10 on-line. The periodic reports cannot be filed in paper form.
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President’s Budget Includes Changes Affecting Estate Plan

The President released his budget on April 10, 2013. While this does not mean these provisions will become law, they could be part of a tax reform package later this year. Some of the changes include: (1) a $3 million cap on IRAs and retirement plan; (2) Inherited IRAs would have to be paid out in 5 years instead of over the beneficiary’s life expectancy; (3) Generation-skipping transfer tax exemption applicable to trusts would expire after 90 years; (4) Grantor retained annuity trusts would have a minimum term of 10 years; and (5) coordination between the value of an asset reported on the U.S. Estate Tax Return and the beneficiary’s reported basis on a sale.
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Despite Willa Cather's Restrictive Will, her Personal Letters Will be Published

Since her death in 1947, author Willa Cather’s personal letters have been off limits per a provision in her Will which prohibited the publication of her personal letters. Her last individual executor died in 2011, which resulted in her copyrights passing to the Willa Cather Trust, the University of Nebraska Foundation and the Willa Cather Foundation, which quickly dropped the prohibition of Ms. Cather’s letters, as well as the restriction concerning the ban on film adaptions of Ms. Cather’s works. As a result, The Selected Letters of Willa Cather will be published this month and will contain 566 of the almost 3,000 letters which are known to have survived Ms. Cather. Go to the link for the New York Times article about this - O Revelations! Letters, Once Banned, Flesh Out Willa Cather
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Civil Unions Become Law in Colorado

On March 21, 2013, Governor John Hickenlooper signed the Colorado Civil Union Act into law, which will become effective as of May 1, 2013. A civil union may be entered into by any two adults (regardless of gender), and will function as the legal Colorado equivalent of marriage. Couples wishing to enter into a civil union must go to their local clerk and recorder and file a license, and the officiant then files a civil union certificate to verify the union. Please note that a civil union will supercede any recorded beneficiary designation.

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