Understanding the Probate Process in Colorado
The legal process of validating a will in accordance with Colorado law is known as probate. Although it may seem straightforward, probate proceedings in Colorado often involve complexities and potential complications.
During probate, the following tasks need to be accomplished: identifying all of the deceased individual’s assets, settling taxes and debts, appraising property, and resolving any legal issues that may arise.
Common Challenges in Probate Litigation
While probate is generally straightforward when there is a clear will and uncomplicated estates, certain issues can complicate the process. In such cases, it is essential to hire an attorney experienced in handling probate cases.
Our attorneys specialize in various probate litigation issues, including:
- Cases without a will
- Contested wills
- Suspected unauthorized alterations to wills
- Allegations of hidden assets
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Disputes concerning life insurance
If you suspect that your loved one’s final wishes are being disregarded or if you are being denied your entitled inheritance, it is crucial to consult with attorneys who specialize in Colorado probate law.
Understanding the Types of Probate in Colorado
There are three types of probate in Colorado, which can make estate planning in Colorado Springs more complex. To ensure that your assets, including real estate holdings, are distributed according to your wishes, you need proper legal representation.
Our team at Garrity Traina is well-versed in the three distinct types of probate in Colorado:
1. Probate for Small Estates
This simplified form of probate is used for estates valued at $50,000 or less. To qualify as a small estate, there should be no real estate assets involved. In this type of probate, heirs can receive their share of the estate with an affidavit.
2. Informal Probate
Informal probate is applicable when the deceased individual had an uncontested will or if there is no will but clear intestacy. In such cases, court involvement in the probate process is limited, alleviating some burden on the loved ones.
3. Formal Probate
Formal probate is utilized when there are issues with the will. For example, if one heir challenges the will, a formal probate proceeding is necessary to resolve the dispute and reach a fair settlement.
When a loved one passes away, dealing with legal matters may be the last thing on your mind. However, understanding your responsibilities and rights during the probate process is crucial for making informed decisions.
Contesting a Will or Trust
Contesting a will or trust is not simply a matter of personal preference but rather requires legal grounds. Proving these grounds can be challenging, which is why it is essential to have a good understanding of the probate process.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney at Garrity Traina, you may be able to contest a will under the following circumstances:
- The will was not signed in accordance with state laws
- The testator lacked the capacity to understand the legal implications of the will
- The will was obtained through fraudulent means
- The will was signed under undue influence
Proving the reasons for contesting a will or trust can be difficult. However, with the assistance of an experienced lawyer, you can build a strong case.
Colorado Ancillary Probate
If a Colorado real estate owner passes away, transferring the property to beneficiaries or buyers requires a probate administration. If the personal representative appointed for the probate estate administration resides in another state, their authority to transfer Colorado real estate must be recognized by the Colorado courts.
Colorado ancillary probate involves obtaining recognition for the out-of-state representative’s authority to transfer real estate in Colorado.
There are several requirements that representatives must fulfill, including submitting various documents to the Colorado probate court. These documents may include the court order appointing the representative, representative bond requirement documentation, court-issued Letters of Administration or Letters Testamentary, and other documents from the out-of-state court proving the representative’s authorization to act on behalf of the deceased.
To ensure that the court recognizes the representative’s authority to act on Colorado real estate, it is advisable to seek the assistance of an attorney well-versed in the ancillary probate process.
Contact Garrity Traina Probate Attorneys
At Garrity Traina, we are committed to assisting you with all your probate needs. Our experienced estate attorneys in Colorado Springs are ready to provide the representation you require for a favorable outcome. It is crucial to contact us as soon as possible after a loved one’s passing and the initiation of the probate process.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys and get started on resolving your probate matters.
Probate Frequently Asked Questions
Talk to Us About Your Estate Planning Needs
At Garrity Traina, we specialize in estate planning in Colorado and the Colorado Springs area. Whatever your needs may be, we are here to help—providing expert advice and assistance.
Contact us today to begin your estate planning journey or to seek assistance with wills, trusts, or probate matters.