The Probate of an Estate is the process of having the Court certify the appointment of a Personal Representative (Executor) to handle the administration of a decedent's assets. The court will appoint the person named in the Will. If there is no Will, Colorado law states who has priority for appointment.
If all of decedent's assets are non-probate assets, Probate is not necessary.
An Estate is composed of two types of assets:
- Probate Assets: assets held in the name of the decedent alone, without any beneficiary designation.
These assets can only be transferred to another by a Personal Representative (Executor), and therefore must go through the Probate process mentioned above.
- Non-Probate Assets: assets held in the name of the decedent:
- in joint tenancy with right of survivorship.
- stating a named beneficiary upon death.
- held in the name of a revocable trust.
These assets do not require a Personal Representative (Executor) in order to be transferred, and therefore are not subject to the Probate process. These assets are distributed according to the ownership documents listed above.
The Probate Process is simple and inexpensive in Colorado, and therefore, avoiding Probate is not a priority in this State.
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