On July 20, 2015

Many estates have to pass through Colorado probate after a person dies. While probate can proceed informally for uncontested estates, formal probate, which is known for being complicated, lengthy and expensive, can be necessary when:

  • A will is invalid, is ambiguous or is being contested.
  • There are issues (apparent or actual) regarding the administration of a will.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at the fundamental stages of the formal probate process in Colorado.

Three Phases of Formal Probate in Colorado

1 – Opening the probate case with the court

Here’s an overview of the phases of the Colorado probate process, an experienced Denver probate attorney explains. Contact us for experienced help getting through CO probate.

Here’s an overview of the phases of the Colorado probate process, an experienced Denver probate attorney explains. Contact us for experienced help getting through CO probate.

To officially open up a probate case with the courts, the proper forms will need to be filled out and filed. When a will has been left behind, these court forms can include some combination of the following:

  • JDF 920 – Petition for Formal Probate of Will and Formal Appointment of Personal Representative
  • JDF 911 – Acceptance of Appointment
  • JDF 912 – Renunciation and/or Nomination of Personal Representative
  • JDF 721 – Irrevocable Power of Attorney
  • JDF 711 – Notice of Hearing
  • JDF 921 – Order Admitting Will to Formal Probate and Formal Appointment of Personal Representative
  • JDF 915 – Letters Testamentary.

Upon filing these forms, a $164 filing fee will also have to be paid.

In opening the probate case, the court will appoint a personal representative to oversee the process moving forward. Once a personal representative has been appointed, that individual will have to notify “all interested parties” (including all beneficiaries) that the probate case has been opened.

2 – Managing the estate during probate

This is typically the most complex phase of Colorado probate, as it can take months or longer to complete. Generally, the steps that need to be taken to manage an estate during probate include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • Notifying creditors of the death
  • Inventorying and appraising all assets of the estate
  • Paying all legitimate outstanding debts for the estate
  • Paying all of the estate taxes
  • Maintaining accurate, up-to-date records of the estate’s transactions (including any income to the estate, such as from life insurance, etc.)
  • Overseeing the liquidation of the estate’s assets (when necessary to repay creditors or satisfy the estate taxes)
  • Distributing the remaining assets of the estate to the appropriate beneficiaries (as detailed in the will).

3 – Closing the probate case

When the estate’s debts have been satisfied and all of the assets have been distributed, it will be time to move forward with closing the probate case. Generally, this will involve submitting specific forms and reports to the court to verify that all of the necessary management activities (discussed above) have been completed.

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

For experienced help getting through Colorado probate, you can turn to a Denver probate attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC.

To find out more about how we can help you get through probate, let’s meet for an initial consultation. To schedule this meeting, 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