People in Colorado may have heard of the term "probate" and may not have a very favorable impression of it. Some people choose to take measures to avoid probate through estate planning, in order to save their loved ones' time and preserve their estate. However, with the right help probate does not have to be a lengthy, complex undertaking.
If a person did not have a will or trust at the time of their death, they will have died "intestate" and their estate will go through the probate process and be distributed to the deceased's survivors per Colorado law. If a person has a will at the time of their death, they will have died "testate" and their will will be probated.
But, if the value of the deceased's assets is less than $64,000 and the deceased did not own any real estate at the time of their death, then the deceased's estate will not have to go through the entire probate process. A statutorily authorized affidavit may be all that is needed to distribute the estate to the deceased's heirs.
If the value of the deceased's assets is greater than $64,000 or if the deceased owned any real estate at the time of their death, the deceased's estate will need to be probated. This is when having legal help can be of great importance. After all, most people have never had to administer a loved one's estate, and if the appropriate court procedures are not followed, it could end up costing time and depleting the deceased's estate.
At our firm, we understand that the death of a loved one is a difficult time. Grief combined with the estate administration and probate process can quickly overwhelm a person. An attorney can take care of the legal details of the probate process, so that their client does not have to. This can be of great relief to those who are figuring out how to move on after the loss of a loved one. The probate and estate administration section of our website may be of use to those who have lost a loved one and are wondering what to do next.