Skip to content

What is Probate and How Does Probate Work in Colorado?

    Probate is a legal process conducted in a probate court. Where a probate court oversees the distribution of a departed’s assets and property to their beneficiaries and heirs. The probate court also oversees intestate estate. Probate ensures the distribution of the deceased’s assets and property. According to their wishes or state laws. And depending on the validity and existence of a Last Will & Testament. The Colorado probate process also allows creditors and beneficiaries to make claims against the estate.

    Probate in Colorado

    Before starting the Colorado probate process, identify each deceased’s asset as either probate or non-probate. Probate assets require going through Colorado probate process for rightful heir distribution. These are the assets that lack a straightforward ownership transfer mechanism.

    Common examples include real estate, mineral interests, business interests, personal property, and bank accounts. A real estate interest solely owned by the decedent at their death commonly exemplifies a probate asset. The ownership transfer of the real estate to the beneficiaries cannot happen without a Colorado probate process. And receiving the necessary paperwork from the probate court to complete the real estate transfer.

    What Are Assets That Do Not Require Probate?

    Non-probate assets are assets that are not subject to the Colorado probate process. Upon the decedent’s death, these pass directly to the beneficiary. Examples often include assets held in trust, life insurance policies, and retirement accounts that have listed designated beneficiaries.

    Assets held in joint tenancy come with the right of survivorship. The benefit is that the asset passes directly to the designated beneficiary or joint tenant survivor at the decedent’s death.

    The transfer does not involve delays, legal challenges, or expenses compared to a probate asset, it saves the beneficiaries time and money in collecting assets. A licensed Colorado judicial attorney can help determine the correct asset classification.

    What Type of Estate Doesn’t Require Probate in Colorado?

    After identifying the departed’s assets as probate or non-probate, it’s important to determine the value and complexity of the estate. If the personal property is less than $80,000 (as of 2023), it’s possible to qualify for a small estate probate.

    A small estate affidavit enables the distribution of assets, which allows the collection of an asset by the beneficiaries. A probate eliminates much of the cost of the Colorado probate process allowing beneficiaries to collect the assets at a much lower time and money cost than engaging in the Colorado probate process.

    meeting with probate attorneys
    Read More