The probate process involves specific steps for collecting the assets of a deceased individual and then distributing them to inheritors and creditors. The Colorado probate process follows the UPC or Uniform Probate Code and depending on particular circumstances, you might need to follow one of the following probate procedures approved by the UPC:
The Informal Probate
This is commonly used when the inheritors don’t have any issues with creditors and are friendly or amicable with each other. Conversely, if someone’s looking to contest the proceedings, you can’t utilize informal probate since it doesn’t go through any hearings and only involve paperwork. First, you’ll need to file your application as the administrator or executor of the estate to start the process. If the court approves it, you could then act on behalf of deceased’s estate and proceed to the next steps:
Send all heirs, creditors, and beneficiaries formal written notices and place a notice in your local paper to notify other creditors you might know about.
Provide evidence that you have sent out and/or published formal notices.
Do an inventory and appraise the estate’s assets.
Ensure that the estate is safe throughout the probate process.
Distribute the assets and informally “close the estate” by sending a final accounting to the court.
File the closing statement that states you’ve distributed the assets, paid all taxes and debts, and filed the final accounting.
The Unsupervised Formal Probate
This is similar to the informal probate but involves court proceedings. It’s typically used when court supervision or intervention is needed, such as when someone’s contesting the assets’ distribution, if there’s no will, or if minors stand to inherit a sizable amount of assets, explainsa prominent probate attorney in Colorado. You would need to get court approval before selling anything from the estate, distributing assets, or paying any fees. You’d then need to file the final accounting to show the court how you handled everything.
The Supervised Formal Probate
This is only utilized if the court deems it necessary to intervene in the probate. For instance, when a beneficiary isn’t capable of looking after her or his interests and requires the protection of the court.
It’s crucial to note that you need to follow all the rules regarding the probate process and that you’d need to choose which one is best for your situation. That said, it’s best that you consult an experienced lawyer to help you out.