Probate in Colorado
Probate is the process by which the assets of a deceased individual are properly distributed to the beneficiaries or heirs through a personal representative (if decedent had a Will), or by the court appointed administrator (if decedent died without a Will). The object of probate is to ensure that the deceased persons debts, taxes and other valid claims are paid out of his/her estate (probate assets) before making the distributions to the beneficiaries as set forth in the decedent’s Will or if there is no Will (interstate) in accordance with state law. This is a process that is open to the public.
Probate will normally take approximately one year if there are no disputes over the estate. The Court will issue letters of testamentary to the personal representative or administrator as the case may be. These letters allow that person to marshal up the assets of the decedent. The appointed person is then required to file notice in the newspaper so that creditors may make claims against the estate. The appointed person will then determine if the claims are valid or not. If valid they will be paid from the proceeds of the estate or if not valid then they become contested and the Court will ultimately decide on their validity. After the claims have been satisfied the balance of the probate estate will be distributed out in accordance with the Will. If there is no Will they will be distributed out in accordance with state laws on dying intestate. After the assets are distributed out the appointed person must file an accounting showing all of the money that was in the estate and where it all went. Then a verified statement will be filed with the Court closing the estate.
Our firm would be delighted to assist you with any probate issues you may have. Having over twenty years of experience allows us to navigate through the probate process effectively and efficiently.
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