The administration of a probate or trust can be a complicated and expensive matter. This usually involves court filings, inventories, accounting, filing estate taxes, notifying creditors, knowing which creditors can be avoided, dealing with family members, and following the relevant Colorado statutes.
Rossi Law, LLC is a Colorado Springs law firm that specializes in handling probate, trust, and estate cases. Our founder, Tony C. Rossi, is a highly experienced Colorado probate lawyer who has received training from the prestigious National Institute of Trial Advocacy. With respect to probate administration, we always strive to maximize the value of every estate we handle and have developed various effective methods for both locating assets and reducing creditor claims.
The term “probate” refers to one of the legal processes that take place after someone dies. The probate process handles the following situations: (1) if the decedent had a Last Will and Testament instead of a Trust; (2) the decedent’s assets are above the small estate amount which is $70,000 in the year 2020; and (3) the decedent had assets that did not have a beneficiary designation or real estate does not have a beneficiary deed. Colorado probate administration laws are designed to ensure that the assets once belonging to a deceased individual are given to the right people after the administration of the estate concludes.
What Kinds of Assets are Subject to Probate?
Only assets that do not have a designation such as “payable on death” or “transfer upon death” are generally subject to probate – that is, with the exception of small estate probates and Trusts discussed above. In addition, assets that are often jointly owned, such as real estate and bank accounts, typically fall outside the probate process and pass to beneficiaries by operation of law.
The probate administration process in Colorado generally consists of the following steps:
1. The probate court will appoint a personal representative and empower him or her to administer the estate.
2. The personal representative will notify all that they can request documents and information from the personal representative.
3. The personal representative must notify creditors by publication if the decedent has been deceased less than one year. Usually, creditors have 4 months to submit a claim to the estate.
4. The personal representative collects information on the decedent’s assets, debts, taxes, and other circumstances. This can take many months.
5. An inventory of the decedent’s assets must be prepared within 3 months of the appointment of the personal representative and interested persons can request a copy of the inventory. The inventory should include descriptions of bank accounts, real property, vehicles, insurance policies, stocks, and the like.
6. After the personal representative has found all assets, taken care of all creditors and taxes, and handled any disputes among beneficiaries, a final accounting is prepared and the estate can be closed.
Hiring a Colorado probate lawyer can make it possible for you to navigate the probate administration process with confidence. Doing so can help you minimize family conflict, developing a better understanding of your legal rights, and remain confident that an experienced probate lawyer is advocating for you at all times.
Maximizing the value of an estate is one of our goals in the probate administration process. Our firm has developed various methods in finding assets and reducing creditor claims to make sure that our clients benefit the most from their inheritance. As a result of our litigation practice, we are accustomed to fighting creditors and dealing with individuals who seek to put a financial strain on estates or trusts.
Probate administration can be relatively straightforward or incredibly complex – depending on the size of the estate and various other factors.
Contact Rossi Law, LLC today to speak with Colorado probate lawyer, Tony Rossi, about the probate administration services that our law firms in Denver and Colorado Springs provide. We handle both contested and non-contested probate cases, and are experienced in all aspects of estate planning.