The probate process can be complicated, especially for those who have never been through it before. Understanding, however, the broad strokes of it can help provide some clarity, assuaging people’s concerns as they move forward to probate a deceased loved one’s estate.
To this end, below, we’ll provide a general overview of the probate process in Colorado.
3 Basic Steps to Colorado Probate
1 – The estate is opened.
This general overview of the probate process in Colorado can help you know what to expect from it, experienced Pueblo probate attorneys explain. Contact us for the best CO probate representation.
The value of the estate will generally determine whether informal or formal probate is necessary. When formal probate is necessary (because the estate includes non-jointly owned real estate or the value of the non-real estate assets is at least $64,000), some combination of the following court forms will typically have to be completed to initiate formal Colorado probate:
- JDF 920 – Petition for Formal Probate of Will and Formal Appointment of Personal Representative
- JDF 911 – Acceptance of Appointment
- JDF 912 – Renunciation and/or Nomination of Personal Representative
- JDF 721 – Irrevocable Power of Attorney
- JDF 711 – Notice of Hearing
- JDF 921 – Order Admitting Will to Formal Probate and Formal Appointment of Personal Representative
- JDF 915 – Letters Testamentary.
Additionally, the appropriate filing fees will have to be paid to the court. Once this has been done and the court appoints a personal representative to oversee the process, probate will have officially been opened for the estate.
2 – The estate is managed and administered.
This is the most involved aspect of the probate process, and it can end up taking months or possibly even years to complete, depending on the size/complexity of an estate. Generally, this phase of Colorado probate involves:
- Notifying beneficiaries and other “interested parties” that probate has been opened
- Inventorying the assets of the estate
- Identifying all legitimate debts for an estate and paying them back
- Responsibly managing any income to the estate
- Paying estate taxes (and any other tax obligations for an estate)
- Distributing the assets of the estate per the terms of the will.
This is one of the most crucial stages for having the help of an experienced probate attorney, as making mistakes can result in liability for personal representatives.
3 – The estate is closed.
Once an estate has been fully administered, probate can be closed in Colorado by completing the appropriate court forms, which generally include some combination of the following:
- JDF 960 Petition for Final Settlement
- JDF 942 Interim/Final Accounting
- JDF 719 Waiver of Notice
- JDF 964 Order for Final Settlement
- JDF 730 Decree of Final Discharge
- JDF 962 Notice of Hearing
- JDF 963 Notice of Non-Appearance Hearing on Petition for Final Settlement
- JDF 731 Receipt and Release
Additionally, the appropriate court fees will have to be paid.
Contact the Trinidad and Pueblo Probate Attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth
If you need help settling an estate or if you need representation in the probate process, the Trinidad and Pueblo probate attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth are ready to provide you with the highest quality legal services.
To learn more about our superior legal services and how we can assist you, contact us by calling (719) 556- 8844 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page. From our offices based in Pueblo, we represent clients in Trinidad, La Jara, Lamar, Walsenburg, Alamosa and throughout the state of Colorado.