Liability of nonprobate transferees for creditor claims and statutory allowances
(1)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (1), as used in this section, “nonprobate transfer” means a valid transfer effective at death by a transferor whose last domicile was in this state to the extent that the transferor immediately before death had power, acting alone, to prevent the transfer by revocation or withdrawal and instead to use the property for the benefit of the transferor or apply it to discharge claims against the transferor’s probate estate.
(b)This section shall not apply to:
(I)A survivorship interest in joint tenancy real estate; and
(II)Property transferred by the exercise or default in the exercise of a power of appointment, including a power of withdrawal, created by a person other than the transferor; and
(III)Proceeds transferred pursuant to a beneficiary designation under a life insurance, accident insurance, or annuity policy contract; and
(IV)Property or funds held in or payable from a pension or retirement plan, individual retirement account, deferred compensation plan, internal revenue code section 529 plan, or other similar arrangement.
(2)Except as otherwise provided by paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section, a transferee of a nonprobate transfer is subject to liability to any probate estate of the decedent for allowed claims against the decedent’s probate estate and statutory allowances to the decedent’s spouse and children to the extent the estate is insufficient to satisfy those claims and allowances. The liability of a nonprobate transferee may not exceed the value of nonprobate transfers received or controlled by that transferee.
(3)Nonprobate transferees are liable for the insufficiency described in subsection (2) of this section in the following order of priority:
(a)A transferee designated in the decedent’s will or any other governing instrument, as provided in the instrument;
(b)The trustee of a trust serving as the principal nonprobate instrument in the decedent’s estate plan as shown by its designation as devisee of the decedent’s residuary estate or by other acts or circumstances, to the extent of the value of the nonprobate transfer received or controlled;
(c)Other nonprobate transferees, in proportion to the values received.
(4)Unless otherwise provided by the trust instrument, interests of beneficiaries in all trusts incurring liabilities under this section abate as necessary to satisfy the liability, as if all of the trust instruments were a single will and the interests were devisees under that will.
(5)A provision made in one instrument may direct the apportionment of the liability among the nonprobate transferees taking under that or any other governing instrument. If a provision in one instrument conflicts with a provision in another instrument, the provision of the later instrument shall prevail.
(6)Upon due notice to a nonprobate transferee, the liability imposed by this section is enforceable in proceedings in this state, whether or not the transferee is located in this state.
(7)A proceeding under this section may not be commenced unless the personal representative of the decedent’s estate has received a written demand for the proceeding from the decedent’s surviving spouse or a child of the decedent, to the extent that statutory allowances are affected, or a creditor. If the personal representative declines or fails to commence a proceeding after demand, a person making demand may commence the proceeding in the name of the decedent’s estate, at the expense of the person making the demand and not of the estate. A personal representative who declines in good faith to commence a requested proceeding incurs no personal liability for declining.
(8)A proceeding under this section shall be commenced within one year after the decedent’s death, but a proceeding on behalf of a creditor whose claim was allowed after proceedings challenging disallowance of the claim may be commenced within sixty-three days after final allowance of the claim.
(9)Unless a written notice asserting that a decedent’s probate estate is nonexistent or insufficient to pay allowed claims and statutory allowances has been received from the decedent’s personal representative, the following rules apply:
(a)Payment or delivery of assets by a financial institution, registrar, or other obligor to a nonprobate transferee in accordance with the terms of the governing instrument controlling the transfer releases the obligor from all claims for amounts paid or assets delivered.
(b)A trustee receiving or controlling a nonprobate transfer is released from liability under this section with respect to any assets distributed to the trust’s beneficiaries. Each beneficiary, to the extent of the distribution received, becomes liable for the amount of the trustee’s liability attributable to assets received by the beneficiary.
(10)The receipt of funds derived from nonprobate transferees by a person as provided in this section in satisfaction of such person’s claim for a debt or statutory allowances does not constitute the receipt of nonprobate property by such person for purposes of this section or part 2 of article 11 of this title.
(11)In the event of any conflict in the provisions of this section with the provisions of parts 2 and 4 of article 11 of this title, the provisions of this section shall control.
Section 15-15-103 — Liability of nonprobate transferees for creditor claims and statutory allowances,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-15.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).