On July 5, 2015

Since July 2009, the Designated Beneficiary Agreement Act in Colorado has allowed unmarried people in the state to grant in writing certain legal rights, protections and benefits to their partners.

While this Act can empower unmarried couples to grant their partners the authority to make certain health care decisions on their behalf in the event of an emergency or incapacitation, it also allows non-married couples to provide their partners with the authority to carry out certain estate administration decisions for them.

Below, we’ll point out the specific protections provided by this act.

An Overview of the Protections of the CO Designated Beneficiary Agreement Act

An experienced Denver estate & probate attorney discusses the primary protections and rights granted by the CO Designated Beneficiary Agreement Act.

An experienced Denver estate & probate attorney discusses the primary protections and rights granted by the CO Designated Beneficiary Agreement Act.

According to C.R.S. 15-22-105(3), the rights or protections associated this Act pertain to the following matters:

  1. Granting visitation rights in health care facilities
  2. Filing complaints for partners in nursing home facilities
  3. Acting as a “proxy decision maker” for surgery and/or other medical needs
  4. Questioning the validity of medical treatments
  5. Dealing with the withholding or withdrawal of life-support (or life-sustaining procedures)
  6. Handling matters regarding the disposition of a partner’s remains
  7. Resolving issues related to anatomical gifts
  8. Dealing with inheritance issues
  9. Handling a partner’s real and personal property (following incapacitation or death)
  10. Managing trusts
  11. Receiving recognition as a beneficiary and dependent for a retirement and/or pension plan
  12. Receiving the authority to handle life insurance matters
  13. Receiving the authority to handle health insurance matters
  14. Filing petitions for priority for an appointment as a partner’s guardian, personal representative or conservator
  15. Pursuing workers’ compensation benefits on behalf of a partner
  16. Suing for wrongful death after the loss of a partner.

The CO Designated Beneficiary Agreement Act: More Important Info

  • When an unmarried couple wants to invoke the protections of the Colorado Designated Beneficiary Agreement Act, they must properly inform their employer, insurer or other interested party of the identity of their designated beneficiary.
  • Having a Designated Beneficiary Agreement in place does not guarantee that a partner will receive the proceeds of insurance policies, etc.
  • Certain documents – like wills or powers of attorney – can supersede a Designated Beneficiary Agreement.

Denver Estate & Probate Attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

Are you ready to develop an estate plan or do you need help administering an estate/getting through probate? If so, you can turn to the Denver estate & probate attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. We provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning, elder law and other legal needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.

To discuss your options during an initial consultation, call us at (303) 741-2400 or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Englewood.

Categories: Estate Planning