IN RE the ESTATE OF Mark M. KING, deceased. Julie M. King, Appellant,
Carylyn K. Bell, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Mark M. King; Michael McCandish King; and Colton McCandish King, Appellees.
Arapahoe County District Court No. 16PR30695, Honorable H.
Clay Hurst, Magistrate
Keller, P.C., G. Stephen Long, Denver, Colorado, for
and Steinberg, P.C., Jeffrey A. Springer, Craig L. Pankratz,
Denver Colorado, for Appellee Carylyn K. Bell
Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, Carrie E. Johnson, Denver,
Colorado, for Appellees Michael McCandish King and Colton
This appeal presents a probate question of first impression
in Colorado: Does the omitted spouse statute, section
15-11-301(1)(c), C.R.S. 2018, preclude a surviving spouse
from claiming an intestate share of
the decedents estate where the decedent did not mention the
surviving spouse of ten months in his will but did leave her
$ 4,000,000 in life insurance proceeds and $ 52,000 in joint
bank accounts? Applying section 15-11-301, we conclude that
the answer is yes. Therefore, we affirm.
Julie M. King (surviving spouse) filed a "Petition for
an Omitted Spouse Share," contending that she was
unintentionally disinherited from the estate of Mark M. King
(decedent) and, therefore, entitled to "$ 163,000.00
(indexed for inflation) ... plus 50% of the balance of the
estate." The personal representative, decedents sister
Carylyn K. Bell, and decedents children, Michael McCandish
King and Colton McCandish King (collectively, the estate),
opposed the petition, arguing that surviving spouses
omission was intentional because decedent provided for her
outside of the will — namely, through $ 4,462,806 she
received in life insurance proceeds and joint bank
The magistrate held an evidentiary hearing. Following the
hearing, the magistrate entered a written order regarding the
Petition for an Omitted Spouse Share. The magistrate found
Decedent established his estate plan in 2000. In doing so, he
created a pourover will and the Mark M. King Revocable Trust.
Decedent also executed three codicils to the will and amended
the trust three times.
In May 2015, decedent and his first wife divorced. Decedent
and surviving spouse began dating, and by July 2015 decedent
regarded surviving spouse as his "partner." On July
27, 2015, decedent obtained a $ 5,000,000 life insurance
policy and designated surviving spouse, then known as Julie
Pelletier, to receive $ 4,000,000 of the policy and another
friend, Jana Olsen, to receive the other $ 1,000,000.
Decedent and surviving spouse married six weeks later, on
September 16, 2015. Decedent did not amend his will or trust
But, eight months later, on May 19, 2016, decedent did amend
the $ 4,000,000 life insurance policy to reflect his new
spouse. Specifically, he wrote to the Northwestern Mutual
Insurance Company about amending the life insurance policy:
I just looked at insurance summary and it was not clear that
my Wife Julie Michelle King is the beneficiary of the $ 4mm
of the $ 5mmm policy. First it shows her maiden name of
Pelletier but second does not specify her allocation of 80%
of the policy. Can you please correct her name change and
send a policy that provides that she is beneficiary, Thanks
Decedent passed away two months later.
In addition to the $ 4,000,000 life insurance policy,
surviving spouse received about $ 52,000 contained in joint
bank accounts and $ 410,806 from decedents retirement
plans. In total, surviving spouse received $
4,462,806. Conversely, according to decedents will,
eighty-five percent of decedents estate poured into the Mark
M. King Revocable Trust for his children and fifteen percent
went to other family members and charity.
Based on these findings, the magistrate concluded that
surviving spouse was not an omitted spouse. This ...