Married couples in Colorado are granted a wide variety of rights and responsibilities. Designated beneficiary agreements allow unmarried couples to obtain many of these rights and responsibilities by registering the agreement with the State.
Eligibility for Designated Beneficiary Agreements
Any two people can enter into a designated beneficiary agreement together as long as they are both over 18, are competent to enter into a legal contract, are not married to anyone, and do not have a designated beneficiary agreement with anyone else. They can be of the same sex or of the opposite sex.
Rights and Responsibilities
A designated beneficiary agreement lists out many rights and responsibilities that a married couple would normally have. They include the right to be designated a beneficiary in a retirement plan or a life insurance plan, the right to visit the other person in the hospital, the right to act as a decision-maker if the other person is incapacitated, the right to inherit real or personal property through intestate succession, and the right to sue for wrongful death for the other person, among many others. When filling out the designated beneficiary agreement, both parties can choose to grant or withhold each of these rights and responsibilities, The agreement only grants the rights and responsibilities that the parties both specifically choose to put into the agreement.
How to Obtain a Designated Beneficiary Agreement
Print a designated beneficiary agreement from the website http://www.designatedbeneficiaries.org. Fill it out, carefully choosing which rights and responsibilities you and the other person want to have, Have the form notarized. Then file it with the Clerk and Recorder's office in the county where at least one party resides. The agreement becomes effective once it is received by the Clerk and Recorder's office.
Revoking a Designated Beneficiary Agreement
A designated beneficiary agreement is deemed revoked when either party marries or dies. It can be also revoked if either party files a Revocation of Designated Beneficiary Agreement form with the Clerk and Recorder's Office in the county where the agreement was originally filed.
Additional resources provided by the author
My grateful thanks to Jordan Miller, my associate, who assisted me in preparing this legal guide.