What is Probate? – The Basics

Probate is a legal process that occurs after a person passes away, in which their assets are distributed to their heirs or beneficiaries. In Colorado, the probate process is regulated by the Colorado Probate Code.

When a person passes away in Colorado, their estate may need to go through probate if they owned assets that were not titled in a way that allowed for automatic transfer upon death. For example, if a person owned a house solely in their name and did not have a beneficiary designation or joint ownership with rights of survivorship, the house would likely need to go through probate.

The probate process begins with the filing of a petition for probate in the appropriate Colorado court. The court will appoint a personal representative, also known as an executor, to manage the estate. The personal representative will be responsible for gathering the assets of the estate, paying off any outstanding debts, and distributing the remaining assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.

During the probate process, creditors will have the opportunity to make claims against the estate for any debts owed by the deceased person. The personal representative will be responsible for determining the validity of these claims and paying them off using the assets of the estate.

The probate process in Colorado typically takes between six months to a year to complete, but can take longer if there are complex assets or disputes among heirs or beneficiaries. The costs of probate in Colorado can vary depending on the size of the estate and the complexity of the process.

It is worth noting that not all assets need to go through probate in Colorado. Assets that are titled with a beneficiary designation, such as life insurance policies or retirement accounts, will typically transfer to the designated beneficiary without the need for probate.

Overall, the probate process in Colorado can be complex and time-consuming, but it is an important step in ensuring that a deceased person’s assets are distributed according to their wishes and that any outstanding debts are paid off. It may be helpful to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to understand the probate process and develop a comprehensive estate plan to avoid or minimize the need for probate.

If you have questions regarding probate contact Chapman Law, PLLC to discuss your situation.

This blog is intended to provide general information and, therefore, should not be treated as legal advice. You should contact a qualified attorney for questions about legal issues.