On October 25, 2015

Don’t believe these myths about Colorado probate, a Denver probate attorney explains. Get the facts so you know how to preserve your interests in probate.

Don’t believe these myths about Colorado probate, a Denver probate attorney explains. Get the facts so you know how to preserve your interests in probate.

Probate in Colorado can be an involved process that, even for more modest estates, can take six months or longer to resolve.

While many people are aware that probate can be complicated and costly, however, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about this process – and some of these falsities can mislead people into making costly mistakes that could end up increasing the challenges of a future probate case.

To prevent these probate myths from misguiding you or someone you love, below are the facts behind some of the more prominent misconceptions about Colorado probate.

The Facts about Colorado Probate

Myth 1: My loved ones won’t need to go through probate because I have a valid will.

Fact: Wrong! Simply having a will in place does not necessarily mean that probate can be avoided. That is because any asset that does not already have a specific “transfer-upon-death” or “payable-on-death” designation will have to pass through probate as part of the process of validating the will/settling the estate.

So, if you really want to help loved ones avoid probate in the future, more than a will is likely going to be necessary (depending, of course, on the nature of your estate).

Myth 2: There’s not really anything I can do to reduce my loved one’s future probate obligations.

Fact: Wrong again! There may be a number of different options for helping your loved ones avoid (or minimize the duration and costs of) a future probate case, depending on your estate.

For instance, you can set up trusts to transfer certain assets to beneficiaries outside of the probate/court process. For bank accounts, retirement accounts and insurance policies, designating POD beneficiaries can also take these assets out of probate.

By working with an attorney, you may be able to minimize the need for probate in the future, likely reducing your loved one’s financial and emotional stresses in the process.

Myth 3: Probate is much more expensive for larger, wealthier estates.

Fact: This is not necessarily true. In fact, although larger estates can be more expensive and complicated to probate, more commonly the factors that tend to increase the expenses of probate include (but are not exclusive to):

  • Whether there is a valid will for the estate
  • Whether any will contests are raised
  • The nature and extent of an estate’s debts/liabilities.

Myth 4: I don’t need to hire a lawyer or other professionals for Colorado probate.

Fact: This is also not necessarily true, especially if you are focused on resolving probate as efficiently, cost-effectively and favorably as possible. The bottom line is that probate can be complex and having an experienced professional helping you navigate this process can be pivotal to avoiding expensive mistakes that could create further complications.

Additionally, given that the costs of retaining professionals to assist with the probate process are typically paid by an estate, there is not much that personal representatives have to lose by hiring a lawyer to help them in probate.

Contact a Denver Probate Attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

For experienced help with and effective representation in Colorado probate, contact a Denver probate attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. Our lawyers provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning, probate and other legal needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.

To schedule a meeting with one of our lawyers and find out more about how we can assist you, call us at (303) 741-2400 or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Englewood.

Categories: Probate, Probate Litigation