My cousin died intestate. His parents, sister, grandparents, and blood aunts and uncles all precede him in death. He has one aunt by marriage living. She has Alzheimer's. He has two first cousins paternally and six maternal cousins. We have double second cousins. That is to say the double second cousins' grandparents and my (and my deceased cousin) grandparents were brothers and sisters. Two sisters married two brothers. My second cousin hired an attorney and became the personal representative, as she lives in the same area has my deceased cousin. She has indicated she believes because of the double business double second cousins have as much DNA relationship to first cousins so therefore double second and first cousins will inherit. Is a court determination of heirs based on the information she gives or is a determination of heirs a matter of lineage fact or can she tell her attorney to distribute without a court determination?
Colorado has a law that addresses heirs at a law who are related to a decedent two different ways. The heir would receive the share due the heir given the closest relationship. In this case a double cousin has the same relationship two different ways. It seems clear to me that Colorado would allow a double cousin one entitlement as a first cousin, not two.
CRS §15-11-113. "Individuals related to decedent through two blood lines.
An individual who is related to the decedent through two blood lines of relationship is entitled to only a single share based upon the relationship which would entitle the individual to the larger share.
Mr. Landy is admitted to practice in the State of Colorado. All responses are of a general nature, and are according to Colorado law.
The heirs who will be beneficiaries will be determined by Colorado's intestacy statute. Prepare a family tree starting with the deceased’s grandparents, even if they are deceased, and consult an attorney. Include each person’s relationship to the deceased. The more complete the list is, the easier it will be for you to get correct advice. Records of deeds, divorce decrees, property tax records, leases, bank and investment accounts will also be helpful. The more you can find, the better and the easier it will be.
Intestacy in Colorado is governed by Sec. 15-10-101, et seq., of the Probate Code.
You can find all Colorado statutes at https://codes.findlaw.com/co/
I don't know the answer to your question about "double dipping." Once you get the information together, you will need to see an attorney
I have practiced law for over 40 years and currently reside in Colorado. I am licensed to practice in Texas and Colorado. For the most part, I practice in the area of estate planning, which includes drafting wills and powers of attorney, guardianships, probate, real estate, and related issues. My response to your question does not create an attorney-client relationship with me or any attorney. My response is based on the information provided.
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