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Is Probate Required if there is a Will?

In Colorado, there are two answers to the question “Is probate required if there is a will?”

  • No: if the estate has certain types of assets that amount to less than $64,000 and there is no real property included in the estate. This is designated a Colorado small estate probate.
  • Yes:  if the estate contains real property and/or contains probate assets more than $64,000 probate is required.

There are two types of probate in Colorado.

  • Informal: if there are no contests to a valid, will, the informal probate process can be utilized.
  • Formal: if the will is contested, if there may be a dispute regarding who should serve as personal representative, if the will is invalid or if the will is questionable, a Colorado formal probate process may be required.

While the Colorado probate process is fairly inexpensive and direct, there can be obstacles that draw out the process, adding considerable costs that eat away at the overall estate value. Situations like infighting among beneficiaries, locating a long list of beneficiaries spread across the country/world, complicated tax returns, unusual or rare assets that are difficult to value, etc., can make the probate process challenging. Likewise, if the executor of the will is unable to quickly resolve problems, unorganized, dishonest or overwhelmed with the process, probate can drag on for months or years.

Probate is designed to protect your estate and ensure that your loved ones receive what you want them to have. Even though it carries a negative stigma, probate is a good thing. You can help minimize the challenges of probate by working with the Denver probate lawyers at The Brown Law Firm, LLC to create a document that is thorough, complete and expresses your true intent so that your wishes are carried out. The more work you do now on your will, the less chance your loved ones will have to go through the formal probate process or expensive litigation.

If you are already faced with a challenging probate process and need help, our team can help you understand your options and light a fire to get things moving quickly. To learn more, please contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online.