The death of a loved one is never easy. In Colorado, if a person left a will or died without any kind of estate plan, their estate will be probated. The following is a brief overview of the three types of probate in Colorado.
Probate of small estates
A small estate, whether a person has a will or not, is an estate with personal property worth $50,000 or less and does not contain any real property. In this situation a person’s heirs can submit an affidavit to collect the deceased’s assets In the affidavit, the heirs swear that they are entitled to the deceased’s assets and will distribute these assets to any other entitled heirs. Opening a probate action in court is not necessary for small estates.
Probate of uncontested estates
Uncontested estates, in which a valid will exists or, in the absence of a will, intestacy is clear, and in which there is a qualified personal representative, go through an informal probate process. In this case, the court will play a limited role in the administration of the deceased’s estate. Generally, the court will ensure the deceased’s will is followed or, in the absence of a will, intestacy laws are followed. The court also serves as a venue for heirs to hold the personal representative accountable if necessary.
Probate of contested estate
If the deceased’s estate is contested of if an heir wants to challenge a will, they will have to go through a formal probate process. This may be necessary if the will is unclear, invalid or if there are significant challenges to the administration of the will. In such situations, the personal representative to the decedent’s estate must seek court approval for all transactions related to the administration of the estate.
Learn more about probate in Colorado
The probate process can be intimidating to those who have never experienced it before. Fortunately, help is available in such situations. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who have further questions about probate in Colorado are invited to explore our firm’s website for further information.