The word probate can be used as a noun or a verb:
- Noun: the court action of proving a will is valid or invalid. “Mr. Smith’s will is in probate until further notice.”
- Verb: the action of establishing the legitimacy of a will. “The court will probate Mr. Smith’s will on July 26.”
Some level of probate is usually necessary for every deceased person’s estate. Although the probate process can get lengthy, expensive and downright nasty in contentious cases, it is actually a helpful legal process designed to protect the deceased person’s estate and ensure that the person’s wishes are fully carried out. It is also intended to protect the heirs of the estate.
Probate in Denver
In Colorado, we are lucky to have a fairly inexpensive and direct probate process. There are three types of probates in Colorado:
- Small estate probate: if your estate has assets under $64,000 and no real estate property, the estate may not require probate action.
- Informal probate: if the decedent left a a valid will and no heirs are contesting the will, formal in-court probate may not be necessary. The informal probate process can be typically be completed by filing documents with the Court—in person Court hearings are usually not necessary.
- Formal probate: a formal court proceeding and litigation will usually be necessary if the will is contested, there is a dispute about who will serve as personal representative of the estate or if there are questions regarding the validity of the will. This formal process seeks Court intervention for final determination of controversies.
If you are faced with a probate situation, the Denver probate lawyers at The Brown Law Firm LLC can help you understand your options and help the process move as quickly and smoothly as possible. To learn more, please contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online.