Is an Attorney Needed to Settle an Estate?
The death of a loved one can be an emotional rollercoaster: sadness and heartbreak can mix with confusion to leave you feeling overwhelmed – especially if you are named the executor of the deceased person’s estate. In the midst of your grief, the duties of executor need to move forward in a timely manner to settle the estate.
While there are many responsibilities for this appointment, it is not required to hire an attorney. It is entirely possible to handle these duties on your own. However, if the estate you are settling is quite large and complicated, it may be wise to consult a Colorado estate lawyer to help you:
- Locate the will and file it with the probate courts (trusts do not go through probate)
- Check to see if a living trust has also been created and work with the trustee to wrap up the estate
- Take inventory of the estate and determine the value so items can be properly distributed according to the will
- Determine if the probate process is necessary (if the estate is worth less than $70,000 in Colorado and there is no real property, it is considered a small estate and probate will not be necessary)
- Notify all beneficiaries of the person’s death and keep them informed about the estate settlement process
- Notify agencies of the person’s death (Social Security, post office, credit cards, banks, etc.)
- Manage the estate until the assets are distributed (pay bills, monitor investments, file/pay taxes, collect payments, manage/protect property, etc.)
- Handle any contests to the will or claims made my creditors
- Manage more complicated situations like the sale of businesses or commercial real estate
The final duty will be to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries. Once the estate is completely settled, your job will be complete.
Will you have the time, energy and grasp of the legal process to dutifully perform all of these very important tasks on your own? If the answer is no – or you simply don’t feel comfortable with the responsibility – an estate administration lawyer in Denver can help. The team at The Brown Law Firm, LLC have helped thousands of people settle estates in Colorado – quickly and seamlessly. If there are contests to the will, our team can also help with probate litigation. Contact The Brown Law Firm, LLC to arrange an appointment: (303) 339-3750 or visit our website.