Probate and Trust or Estate Administration
After a person’s death, probate is the process of winding up the decedent’s affairs, handling any outstanding creditor obligations, and transferring ownership of property. The executor of the estate, known as the personal representative in Colorado, can be held personally liable for mistakes or mismanagement while administering the estate. Seeking a qualified attorney to advise on the law and assist in compliance with the law allows most probates to be concluded relatively quickly and inexpensively.
Probates can be informal if there is no contention about the will or estate. A formal probate will be required if a beneficiary raises an objection before or during the informal probate process, there are insufficient assets in the estate to pay creditors, there are problems with the personal representative’s administration / behavior, or the validity of the will is brought into question. A formal probate generally requires a longer period to conclude, is more expensive and the personal representative’s actions are brought under the supervision of a judge.