On December 10, 2014

Probate can be as confusing and stressful as it may be expensive and time consuming. While having an experienced attorney guide you through the probate process can be invaluable, knowing what to expect before you even get started can help assuage your anxieties about the process.

In this blog series, we will answer some frequently asked questions about probate in Colorado. If you have more questions or want some specific info and professional advice pertaining to your situation, contact the Denver probate attorneys at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. We are ready to respond to all of your questions and provide you with superior representation throughout the probate process.

Answers about Probate in Colorado

Q – Will my estate have to go through probate in Colorado?

Probate in Colorado can be as confusing and stressful as it may be expensive and time consuming. Here are some FAQs to clarify what you can expect in probate in Colorado.

Probate in Colorado can be as confusing and stressful as it may be expensive and time consuming. Here are some FAQs to clarify what you can expect in probate in Colorado.

A – Maybe but not necessarily. In fact, whether an estate has to pass through probate in Colorado will usually depend on:

  • How assets were owned upon a person’s passing
  • Whether there was a will in place
  • Whether a person designated beneficiaries for certain assets (like, for instance for insurance policies, retirement accounts, etc.)
  • Whether any of the beneficiaries are contesting the validity of the will.

Here, it’s also important to note that:

  • The above factors may not be the only reasons that estates have to be probated in Colorado.
  • The vast majority of decedent estates in Colorado end up going through probate.

Q – Are there different types of probate in Colorado?

A – Yes, and the specific type of probate through with an estate will pass will generally depend on the value of the estate and whether the beneficiaries of the estate have raised any contests or disputes regarding the estate. Here is a simplified overview of the types of probate in Colorado:

  • Informal probate in Colorado – This is process is typically reserved for cases in which there is a clear, valid will in place, no contests to the will have been raised, and there is a qualified personal representative ready to oversee the informal probate process.

    In these cases, the court will only have a limited role in probate in Colorado (with the role usually being limited to ensuring that the provisions of the will and the law are appropriately carried out).

  • Probate in Colorado for small estates – When estates are valued at less than $50,000 and don’t include any real (physical) property (like real estate, for instance), then this type of proceeding will typically be used to transfer the assets of an estate to the beneficiaries.

    With this type of probate, a formal probate case does not usually have to be opened with the court, as an heir can swear to the court that (s)he is entitled to some asset of the estate and that (s)he will distribute the remaining assets to the appropriate beneficiaries (if or when applicable).

  • Formal probate in Colorado – This is the type of probate in Colorado that usually gets a bad rep, as it tends to take longer and be more complicated to resolve. Formal probate in Colorado is generally required when estates may be substantial, when there are unclear provisions in the will and/or when contests or challenges to the will have been raised by even one beneficiary.

    This type of probate in Colorado tends to take the longest to resolve, and having an experienced attorney helping you navigate formal probate can be indispensable to efficiently getting through the process.

For some more answers to commonly asked questions about probate in Colorado, be sure to check out the upcoming second and third parts of this blog series that will be published soon!

Denver Probate Attorneys at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

Are you getting ready to probate an estate in Colorado? If so, you can turn to the Denver probate lawyers at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. We provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ 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 learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with us by calling (303) 741-2400 or by emailing 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