Colorado Revised Statutes Title 15 Probate, Trusts, and Fiduciaries § 15-10-201 General definitions




Subject to additional definitions contained in this article and the subsequent articles that are applicable to specific articles, parts, or sections, and unless the context otherwise requires, in this code:

(1) “Agent” means an attorney in fact under a durable or nondurable power of attorney, an individual authorized to make decisions concerning another's health care, and an individual authorized to make decisions for another under the “Colorado Patient Autonomy Act”.

(2) “Application” means a written request to the registrar for an order of informal probate or appointment under part 3 of article 12 of this title.

(3) “Augmented estate” means the estate described in sections 15-11-203 , 15-11-204 , 15-11-205 , 15-11-206 , 15-11-207 , and 15-11-208 .

(4) “Authenticated” means certified, when used in reference to copies of official documents, and only certification by the official having custody is required.

(5) “Beneficiary”, as it relates to a trust beneficiary, includes a person who has any present or future interest, vested or contingent, and also includes the owner of an interest by assignment or other transfer;  as it relates to a charitable trust, includes any person entitled to enforce the trust;  as it relates to a “beneficiary of a beneficiary designation”, includes a beneficiary of an insurance or annuity policy, of an account with payment on death (POD) designation, of a security registered in beneficiary form (TOD), or of a pension, profit sharing, retirement, or similar benefit plan, or other nonprobate transfer at death;  and, as it relates to a “beneficiary designated in a governing instrument”, includes a grantee of a deed, a devisee, a trust beneficiary, a beneficiary of a beneficiary designation, a donee, appointee, or taker in default of a power of appointment, and a person in whose favor a power of attorney or a power held in any individual, fiduciary, or representative capacity is exercised.

(6) “Beneficiary designation” means a governing instrument naming a beneficiary of an insurance or annuity policy, of an account with POD designation, of a security registered in the beneficiary form (TOD), or of a pension, profit sharing, retirement, or similar benefit plan, or other nonprobate transfer at death.

(6.5) “Business trust” includes, but is not limited to, Massachusetts business trusts created for business or investment purposes;  Delaware statutory trusts;  Illinois land trusts;  mutual fund trusts;  common trust funds;  voting trusts;  liquidation trusts;  real estate investment trusts;  environmental remediation trusts;  trusts for the primary purpose of paying debts, dividends, interest, salaries, wages, compensation, annuities, profits, pensions, or employee benefits of any kind;  and other trusts with purposes that are the same or similar to any of the trusts enumerated in this subsection (6.5), regardless of whether such other trusts are created under statutory or common law, and regardless of whether the beneficial interests in such other trusts are evidenced by certificates.

(7) “Child” includes an individual entitled to take as a child under this code by intestate succession from the parent whose relationship is involved and excludes a person who is only a stepchild, a foster child, a grandchild, or any more remote descendant.

(8) “Claims”, in respect to the estates of decedents and protected persons, includes liabilities of the decedent or protected person whether arising in contract, in tort, or otherwise, and liabilities of the estate which arise at or after the death of the decedent or after the appointment of a conservator, including funeral expenses and expenses of administration.  The term does not include estate or inheritance taxes, or taxes due the state of Colorado, or demands or disputes regarding title of a decedent or protected person to specific assets alleged to be included in the estate.

(9) “Conservator” means a person who is appointed by a court to manage the estate of a protected person.

(10) “Court” means the court or division thereof having jurisdiction in matters relating to the affairs of decedents and protected persons.  This court is the district court, except in the city and county of Denver where it is the probate court.

(11) “Descendant” means all of the individual's lineal descendants of all generations, with the relationship of parent and child at each generation being determined by the definitions of child and parent contained in this code.

(12) “Devise”, when used as a noun, means a testamentary disposition of real or personal property and, when used as a verb, means to dispose of real or personal property by will.

(13) “Devisee” means a person designated in a will to receive a devise.  For the purposes of article 12 of this title, in the case of a devise to an existing trust or trustee, or to a trustee in trust described by will, the trust or trustee is the devisee and the beneficiaries are not devisees.

(14) “Disability” means cause for a protective order as described in section 15-14-401 .

(15) “Distributee” means any person who has received property of a decedent from his or her personal representative other than as a creditor or purchaser.  A testamentary trustee is a distributee only to the extent of distributed assets or increment thereto remaining in his or her hands.  A beneficiary of a testamentary trust to whom the trustee has distributed property received from a personal representative is a distributee of the personal representative.  For the purposes of this provision, “testamentary trustee” includes a trustee to whom assets are transferred by will, to the extent of the devised assets.

(16) “Divorce” includes a dissolution of marriage, and “annulment” includes a declaration of invalidity, as such terms are used in the “Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act”, article 10 of title 14, C.R.S.

(16.5) “Domiciliary foreign personal representative” means a personal representative appointed by another jurisdiction in which the decedent was domiciled at the time of the decedent's death.

(16.7) “Donee”, as used in the context of powers of appointment, has the same meaning as “powerholder” as set forth in section 15-2.5-102(13) .

(17) “Estate” means the property of the decedent, trust, or other person whose affairs are subject to this code as originally constituted and as it exists from time to time during administration.

(18) “Exempt property” means that property of a decedent's estate which is described in section 15-11-403 .

(19) “Fiduciary” includes a personal representative, guardian, conservator, and trustee.

(20) “Foreign personal representative” means a personal representative appointed by another jurisdiction.

(21) “Formal proceedings” means proceedings conducted before a judge with notice to interested persons.

(22) “Governing instrument” means a deed, will, trust, insurance or annuity policy, multiple-party account, security registered in beneficiary form (TOD), pension, profit sharing, retirement or similar benefit plan, instrument creating or exercising a power of appointment or power of attorney, or a donative, appointive, or nominative instrument of any other type.

(23) “Guardian” means a person who has qualified as a guardian of a minor or incapacitated person pursuant to testamentary or court appointment, but excludes one who is merely a guardian ad litem.

(24) “Heirs”, except as controlled by section 15-11-711 , means persons, including the surviving spouse, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to the property of a decedent.

(25) “Incapacitated person” means an individual described in section 15-14-102(5) .

(26) “Informal proceedings” means those conducted without notice to interested persons by an officer of the court acting as a registrar for probate of a will, appointment of a personal representative, or determination of a guardian under sections 15-14-202 and 15-14-301 .

(27) “Interested person” includes heirs, devisees, children, spouses, creditors, beneficiaries, and any others having a property right in or claim against a trust estate or the estate of a decedent, ward, or protected person, which may be affected by the proceeding.  It also includes persons having priority for an appointment as a personal representative and other fiduciaries representing the interested person.  The meaning as it relates to particular persons may vary from time to time and shall be determined according to the particular purposes of, and matter involved in, any proceeding.

(28) “Issue” of a person means descendant as defined in subsection (11) of this section.

(29) “Joint tenants with right of survivorship” and “community property with the right of survivorship” for the purposes of this code only includes co-owners of property held under circumstances that entitle one or more to the whole of the property on the death of the other or others, but excludes forms of co-ownership registration in which the underlying ownership of each party is in proportion to that party's contribution.

(30) “Lease” includes an oil, gas, or other mineral lease.

(31) “Letters” includes letters testamentary, letters of guardianship, letters of administration, and letters of conservatorship.

(32) “Minor” means a person who is under eighteen years of age.

(33) “Mortgage” means any conveyance, agreement, or arrangement in which the property is used as security.

(34) “Nonresident decedent” means a decedent who was domiciled in another jurisdiction at the time of his or her death.

(35) “Organization” means a corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, joint venture, limited liability company, association, government or governmental subdivision or agency, or any other legal or commercial entity.

(36) “Parent” includes any person entitled to take, or who would be entitled to take if the child died without a will, as a parent under this code by intestate succession from the child whose relationship is in question and excludes any person who is only a stepparent, foster parent, or grandparent.

(37) “Payor” means a trustee, insurer, business entity, employer, government, governmental agency or subdivision, or any other person authorized or obligated by law or a governing instrument to make payments.

(38) “Person” means an individual or an organization.

(39) “Personal representative” includes executor, administrator, successor personal representative, special administrator, and persons who perform substantially the same function under the law governing their status.  “General personal representative” excludes special administrator.

(40) “Petition” means a written request to the court for an order after notice.

(41) “Proceeding” includes action at law and suit in equity.

(42) “Property” means both real and personal property or any interest therein and anything that may be the subject of ownership.

(43) “Protected person” has the same meaning as set forth in section 15-14-102(11) .

(44) “Protective proceeding” has the same meaning as used in section 15-14-401 .

(44.5) “Record” means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

(45) “Registrar” refers to the official of the court designated to perform the functions of registrar as provided in section 15-10-307 .

(46) “Security” includes any note;  stock;  treasury stock;  bond;  debenture;  evidence of indebtedness;  certificate of interest or participation in an oil, gas, or mining title or lease or in payments out of production under such a title or lease;  collateral trust certificate;  transferable share;  voting trust certificate;  or, in general, any interest or instrument commonly known as security;  any certificate of interest or participation;  any temporary or interim certificate, receipt, or certificate of deposit for, or any warrant or right to subscribe to or purchase, any of the items enumerated in this subsection (46).

(47) “Settlement”, in reference to a decedent's estate, means the full process of administration, distribution, and closing.

(47.5) “Sign” means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record other than a will:

(a) To execute or adopt a tangible symbol;  or

(b) To attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol, sound, or process.

(48) “Special administrator” means a personal representative as described by sections 15-12-614 to 15-12-618 .

(49) “State” means any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

(50) “Successor personal representative” means a personal representative, other than a special administrator, who is appointed to succeed a previously appointed personal representative.

(51) “Successors” means persons other than creditors, who are entitled to property of a decedent under his or her will or this code.

(52) “Supervised administration” means the proceedings described in part 5 of article 12 of this title.

(53) “Survive” means that an individual has neither predeceased an event, including the death of another individual, nor is deemed to have predeceased an event under section 15-11-104 , 15-11-702 , or 15-11-712 .  The term includes its derivatives, such as “survives”, “survived”, “survivor”, and “surviving”.

(54) “Testacy proceeding” means a proceeding to establish a will or determine intestacy.

(55) “Testator” includes an individual of either sex.

(56)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (56):

(I) “Trust” includes an express trust, private or charitable, with additions thereto, wherever and however created and any amendments to such trusts.

(II) “Trust” also includes a trust created or determined by judgment or decree under which the trust is to be administered in the manner of an express trust.

(b)(I) “Trust” excludes constructive trusts unless a court, in determining such a trust, provides that the trust is to be administered as an express trust.

(II) “Trust” also excludes resulting trusts;  conservatorships;  personal representatives;  accounts as defined in section 15-15-201(1) ;  custodial arrangements pursuant to the “Colorado Uniform Transfers to Minors Act”, article 50 of title 11, C.R.S.;  security arrangements;  business trusts, as defined in subsection (6.5) of this section;  and any arrangement under which a person is nominee or escrowee for another.

(57) “Trustee” includes an original, additional, or successor trustee, whether or not appointed or confirmed by court.

(58) “Ward” means an individual described in section 15-14-102(15) .

(59) “Will” includes any codicil and any testamentary instrument that merely appoints an executor, revokes or revises another will, nominates a guardian, or expressly excludes or limits the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing by intestate succession.  “Will” does not include a designated beneficiary agreement that is executed pursuant to article 22 of this title.





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