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Understanding Colorado probate law with probate attorneys

Colorado Probate Lawyer


Experienced Colorado Probate Lawyer: Offering support and guidance to individuals and families through the trust and estate settlement process. Dedicated legal support for probate cases throughout Colorado.

Experienced Probate Attorney

Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota Service Areas

Probate entails managing and distributing the assets and belongings of a deceased individual’s estate. Significant components of probate include locating the decedent’s Last Will, if one exists, properly maintaining and managing estate assets and ensuring the equitable distribution of assets to the rightful beneficiaries. The length of the probate process can significantly vary based on various factors, including the complexity of the estate assets, the existence of conflicts between beneficiaries, and the quality of the decedent’s estate plan.

At the Law Office of Josh Krieg, our team is dedicated to guiding individuals through every facet of the probate journey. Whether you’re a personal representative, beneficiary, or creditor, we support clients through every step of the probate process. Acknowledging the complex nature of probate proceedings, we offer assistance to meet your individual needs.

Different Estate Types in Probate

Following the death of an individual, the determination of their estate becomes important. The most common type of estate is an estate which includes assets subject to probate proceedings. Assets typically subject to probate include real estate, bank accounts, investments, and personal property solely owned by the deceased at the time of their passing.

Another type of an estate is the non-probate estate, which comprises assets that bypass the probate process and transfer assets directly to beneficiaries. Examples of non-probate assets include assets held in joint tenancy, payable-on-death accounts, retirement accounts with designated beneficiaries, and life insurance policies with named beneficiaries.

In many states, including Colorado, there exists a simplified procedure designed for managing small estates known as a small estate affidavit. This process facilitates the transfer of specific assets, such as personal property and vehicles, from the deceased individual to their rightful heirs or beneficiaries without the requirement of probate. The small estate affidavit typically involves the completion of a sworn statement by the person entitled to receive the assets, affirming their right to inherit, and providing necessary information about the deceased and the estate. Once the affidavit is filed with the appropriate court or agency, along with any supporting documentation required by state law, the assets can be transferred efficiently and without the time-consuming and costly procedures associated with traditional probate. This simplified process is particularly beneficial for estates with limited assets and uncomplicated distribution arrangements, offering a quicker and more cost-effective means of settling the deceased’s affairs.

How to Avoid Probate: Tips and Strategies

Avoiding probate can be a desirable goal for many individuals as it can simplify the transfer of assets to heirs and reduce administrative costs and delays. One effective way to avoid probate is by establishing a comprehensive estate plan that includes trusts. Trusts allow assets to be transferred to beneficiaries outside of probate, providing privacy and flexibility in asset distribution. For example, let’s say John creates a revocable living trust and transfers his house into the trust’s ownership. He names his children, Sarah and Michael, as the beneficiaries of the trust. When John passes away, the ownership of the house automatically transfers to Sarah and Michael, as stipulated in the trust document. Since the house is owned by the trust, it bypasses the probate process entirely, saving time and avoiding potential probate costs. Sarah and Michael can then take ownership of the house without the need for court involvement, ensuring a smooth transfer of assets according to John’s wishes.

  • Joint Tenancy: Joint ownership of property, such as joint tenancy with right of survivorship or tenancy by the entirety, is another strategy to help avoid probate. Joint tenancy enables assets to pass automatically to the surviving owner without the need for probate. For example, Lenna and Bria, siblings, own a house as joint tenants with right of survivorship. In this scenario, if Lenna passes away, her ownership share automatically transfers to Bria by operation of law, without the need for probate. This transfer occurs outside of probate because joint tenancy comes with the right of survivorship, ensuring that the surviving joint tenant inherits the deceased’s share of the property.
  • Beneficiary Deeds: Beneficiary deeds, specifically in Colorado, can be used to transfer real estate directly to designated beneficiaries upon the owner’s death, bypassing probate altogether. For example, John, a homeowner, executes a beneficiary deed, designating his daughter Sarah as the beneficiary of his residential property. Upon John’s passing, the property automatically transfers to Sarah outside of probate, as specified in the beneficiary deed. Sarah simply needs to file a copy of the death certificate and an affidavit of acceptance with the county recorder’s office to take ownership of the property. A beneficiary deed transfer occurs smoothly and efficiently, bypassing the probate process entirely and ensuring that Sarah receives the property according to John’s wishes without the need for court involvement. Beneficiary deeds may not be available in all states as a means of transferring property outside of probate. To determine the options available in your specific jurisdiction, it’s advisable to consult with a local attorney who can provide guidance.
  • Designated Beneficiaries: Naming designated beneficiaries on financial accounts, retirement plans, and life insurance policies is an effective method for bypassing probate. This ensures that assets are directly transferred to the designated beneficiaries upon the owner’s passing, avoiding the probate process. For example, Jordan names their sibling Taylor as the designated beneficiary on their retirement account. In the event of Jordan’s passing, the funds from the retirement account would be directly transferred to Taylor, bypassing probate entirely. By utilizing these strategies and incorporating them into a well-crafted estate plan, individuals can effectively minimize the need for probate and streamline the transfer of assets to their loved ones.

Colorado Probate Attorney Services

The Law Firm of Josh Krieg, LLC provides comprehensive assistance in all aspects of probate law. Whether you are dealing with the complexities of estate administration, serving as personal representative, or a beneficiary trying to collect an inheritance, we are here to help. We offer remote work options to accommodate clients who may be located out of state or prefer the convenience of virtual consultations. Through effective communication and tailored legal strategies, our experienced team is committed to guiding you through every step of the process with professionalism and compassion.

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Our experienced professionals are here to offer support. Let us help you through probate proceedings while you focus on honoring your loved one’s memory.

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