How Colorado’s Bill Allowing the Composting Human Remains Affects Estate Plans

Funeral arrangements are something that are extremely personal and poignant. While a family will often have to go through the emotionally tolling process of planning a funeral, the individual can minimize the burden by putting their wishes in their estate plan. This cannot entirely alleviate the work the family must do after the death, but this can ensure the family knows what the deceased would want done. With the emergence of new funeral options—especially when it comes to dispersing the remains—elaborating on end-of-life arrangements is absolutely necessary.

The Colorado State Legislature recently passed a bill that would permit the composting of human remains instead of processes like burial and cremation. The governor has also indicated he will sign the bill into law. Many Coloradans have expressed interest in composting their remains—both because it is an alternative to traditional burial methods and because of their love of the environment and sustainability. While many individuals may not want to use this method of dispersal, this empowers people to have another choice for their funeral arrangements.

Individuals can plan other aspects of the funeral—and include it in their estate plan—to reduce the burden on loved ones during what is already a difficult time. This can often be incorporated into the estate plan through an End-of-Life document, which informs the Executor of the estate how to carry out the deceased’s final arrangements. End-of-Life plans can also include what the person wants to be done with their remains—as discussed above—as well as any details they want in the memorial service. End-of-Life plans can also have other benefits: individuals will often set money aside in a trust to take care of funeral expenses. Doing this ensures loved ones are not overwhelmed paying for the funeral themselves.

For individuals interested in changing their burial method to compost, this would be an easy revision to their estate plan. If the individual already has an End-of-Life plan in place, they only need to edit the document. Just like any other revision to an estate plan, interested Coloradans would contact their estate planning attorney and discuss the proposed changes. However, if they have not incorporated an End-of-Life plan into their estate plan, the dispersal method can be added by their attorney. Even though the compost bill is extremely new, experienced estate planning attorneys will have the experience to make this change—amongst others—and ensure the estate plan provision complies with Colorado law.

Because End-of-Life plans and new Colorado laws can be confusing and overwhelming, individuals thinking of incorporating these arrangements into their estate plan should contact a knowledgeable attorney.

Contact a Colorado Estate Planning Attorney

If you or a loved one is interested in revising their estate plan—or creating an estate plan in the first place—contact the experienced attorneys at the Braverman Law Group. Our Boulder estate planning attorneys are dedicated, resourceful, and compassionate—this means we will be able to advise you, even on novel legal matters like the composting bill. We understand how critical it is to have an estate plan that fits your specific needs and wants. Because of this, we are ready to answer your questions and create an estate plan that is right for you. To learn more and schedule a free consultation, call us today at 303-800-1588.

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