Colorado Probate Administration Attorneys Help You Settle Estates Fairly and Quickly
Longmont, Boulder County law firm represents clients in all phases of probate administration
One of the challenges of losing a loved one is settling the decedent’s estate. This process often includes a procedure known as probate, during which the terms of the deceased person’s will are carried out. An experienced probate attorney can help you administer your loved one’s estate and will, guiding you through the process and helping you through any issues along the way. At the Longmont office of Flanders, Elsberg, Herber & Dunn, LLC, we have been helping clients across Northern Colorado since 1871. Whether your loved one died with or without a will or you just need assistance transferring assets, our attorneys provide the advice and representation to help you in your time of need.
How does probate work in Colorado?
Probate is the court process following a person’s death in which the property of the decedent (person who has died) is transferred or otherwise disposed. It is the legal process by which a will is examined and its provisions are carried out. Probate may also be required to deal with the debts of the decedent, many of which may be dischargeable. Probate courts, in directing a personal representative or administrator to handle the estate, have broad powers, ensuring that burial expenses and administration costs are fair and reasonable.
Along with trusts and other estate planning instruments that direct how a person’s assets are to be distributed, a well-written will can make it easier for a family to finalize an estate and move forward. Wills are powerful tools, but they don’t work automatically. The decedent’s will is required by law to be filed (lodged) with the district court in the county in which the decedent was domiciled within 10 days of the decedent’s passing, even if no probate administration is expected.
In Colorado, there are basically three types of probate:
- Small estate. When an estate is valued under $65,000 and contains no real estate, the heirs can usually present an Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property, commonly referred to as a Small Estate Affidavit, to the person or entity holding property of the decedent to collect the decedent’s assets.
- Uncontested. Most estates go through an informal administration process with limited court involvement. This is the case when the will is not contested, meaning no one argues about its validity or its contents.
- Contested. In cases where someone challenges the validity or contents of a will, or in cases where a will is unclear or invalid, a more formal probate process is usually followed.
The probate process is conducted by the estate’s personal representative (executor). This person is either named in the will or appointed by the court.
Do I have to go through probate?
An estate typically needs to go through the probate process if:
- There is real estate or other titled assets that need to be transferred and which were not held in joint tenancy or with a named beneficiary.
- There was no valid will.
- Someone is going to challenge the way assets are transferred by the will.
Other factors can also lead to probate or the challenging of a will. Our attorneys guide you through the entire process of settling an estate, even if legal challenges arise. We also help with issues involving real estate and other property and are experienced in handling tax matters that arise during the settling of an estate.
Contact an established Colorado law firm for help settling a loved one’s estate
When a loved one passes, you should seek the assistance of an experienced attorney to make sure that your loved one’s wishes are carried out fairly and fully. At the Longmont law firm of Flanders, Elsberg, Herber & Dunn, LLC, we have been assisting clients with probate administration for over 140 years in the Northern Colorado area, including Boulder, Larimer, and Weld counties. For a consultation with an experienced probate attorney, contact us online or call us at 303-776-5380.