On July 31, 2016

Answers about How to Start Colorado Probate

Answers about How to Start Colorado Probate

Probate, the process of validating a will, can be as complicated as it may lengthy and costly. For those who have taken on the role of personal representative or executor (of a decedent’s will), understanding just how to kick off the probate process in Colorado can be central to:

  • Efficiently administering the will
  • Protecting the interests of the beneficiaries
  • Not wasting time – or the resources of the estate.

Shedding more light on the Colorado probate process, the following provides some important and helpful answers about how to kick off probate when a decedent has left behind a will (for more information about how to start probate cases in Colorado when no will has been left behind, check out this article).

Although the answers provided herein are general in nature, don’t hesitate to contact a Denver estate attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC when you are ready for answers and info specific to your circumstances.

Kicking Off a Colorado Probate Case: Important Answers & Info

Q – What forms or paperwork do I need to provide to the court to open up a probate case in Colorado?1

A – It depends on whether informal or formal probate proceedings will be necessary for your case. In general, informal probate (which will require less court involvement and, therefore, proceed much faster than formal probate) can occur when a decedent:

  • Didn’t own any real estate in his/her name alone – This won’t include jointly owned property and/or property already titled with beneficiary deeds.
  • Had no more than $64,000 in non-real estate assets upon passing – This won’t include any assets that have beneficiary designations (like payable-on-death, POD, or transferable on death, TOD, designations).

For informal probate in Colorado, some combination of the following forms is typically needed to open a case:

  • JDF 910 – Application for Informal Probate of Will & 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 913 – Order for Informal Probate of Will & Appointment of Personal Representative
  • JDF 915 – Letters Testamentary

In contrast, formal probate will be necessary when:

  • A decedent had more substantial holdings upon his or her death (real estate owned solely without a beneficiary designation and/or non-real estate assets totaling more than $64,000); OR
  • A will contest has been made (i.e., a beneficiary challenges the validity of the will).

For formal probate in Colorado, some combination of the following forms is typically needed to open a case:

  • JDF 920 – Petition for Formal Probate of Will & 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 & Appointment of Personal Representative
  • JDF 915 – Letters Testamentary

Q – Where do I open up the probate case?

A – A probate case should be opened in either:

  • The county in which the decedent lived (if (s)he resided in Colorado)
  • The county in which the decedent owned property (if (s)he didn’t reside in Colorado).

Q – How much does it cost to open up a probate case in Colorado?

A – Colorado courts charge a $164.00 filing fee to submit probate paperwork and open up a case. Please note that:

  • Fee waivers may be available for those with limited income and/or resources.
  • Filing fees can change.
  • There may be additional costs for other actions (like certifying orders, retrieving copies of court documents, etc.).

Need More Answers about Colorado Probate? Contact a Denver Probate Attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

For experienced help with any aspect of Colorado probate, contact a trusted Denver probate attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. Our attorneys provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ probate needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families resolve their probate cases (and related issues) as favorably and efficiently as possible.

To discuss your needs and options during an initial consultation, call our firm 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.

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1: All forms needed to initiate an informal or formal probate case in Colorado are available at the Colorado Judicial Branch’s website.

Categories: Estate Administration, Probate, Probate Litigation, Trustees, Executors & Fiduciaries