Probate in Colorado Springs
Losing a loved one is never easy and, in many cases, matters are made even more challenging when a will isn’t in place or if an improperly prepared will is contested. Probate in Colorado can be difficult to navigate alone, which is why you need to work with an experienced attorney to help guide you and your family through the complex process during an already difficult time. A reliable attorney can also help ease your mind by assisting with the finalization and administration of an estate, which ensures your rights are protected through each step.
Regardless of your needs, The Gasper Law Group is here to help.
Colorado Probate Law
The legal process that involves proving the validity of a will under Colorado Law is what is referred to as probate. While this may seem like it should be a simple process, probate going through local courts in the state of Colorado often comes with certain complexities and many potential complications.
The probate process will entail identifying all of a deceased individual’s assets, settling all taxes and debts, appraising property, and resolving any pertinent legal issues.
Common Issues in Probate Litigation
The probate process isn’t always a challenge if estates are simple and a will is in place that clearly defines beneficiaries and other aspects of the estate. However, in the event that certain issues do arise during the probate process, it’s important to hire an attorney with experience handling probate cases.
Our attorneys handle a variety of probate litigation issues, including:
- A lack of a will
- Contested wills
- Wills that have allegedly undergone unauthorized alterations
- Allegedly hidden assets
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Disputes around life insurance
It’s important to consult with attorneys who practice Colorado probate law if you believe that a loved one’s final wishes are being neglected or you are being denied inheritance to which you are entitled.
Types of Probate in Colorado
There are three different kinds of probate which can make estate planning in Colorado Springs more complicated. If you want to pass on your assets, including your real estate holdings, in the manner you designate, you need to have the right representation by your side.
Whether your own estate plan makes use of the residuary estate clause, the lawyers at The Gasper Law Group will help you understand the three distinct types of probate in the state of Colorado and how they might impact you and your family:
- Probate for small estates – This simplified form of probate is used for estates that are $50,000 or less in value. In order to qualify as a small estate, the inheritance may not contain any real estate assets. Additionally, the heirs can receive their share of the estate with an affidavit in this type of probate.
- Informal probate – Informal probate is used when the deceased individual died with an uncontested will or if there is no will, as long as the intestacy is clear. Court involvement in an informal probate proceeding is limited, lightening the load on the loved ones left behind.
- Formal probate – The third and final type of probate is formal probate, used when there is an issue with the will. If one heir challenges the will, for instance, a formal probate proceeding will be used to resolve the disagreement and come to an equitable settlement.
When the death of a loved one occurs, the last thing you want to think about are legal issues, yet dealing with wills and probate is still an integral part of the process. And whether or not the passing was sudden, it is important to understand your responsibilities and know your rights in order to make the right decisions when going into the probate process.
Contesting a Will or Trust
If an individual wishes to contest either a trust or a will, he or she cannot simply do so because of unfavorable terms. However, you are able to contest a will or trust on certain legal grounds, but it is often challenging to prove these reasons. The difficulties of contesting a will or trust make it necessary to have some knowledge of the probate process.
For instance, with the help of an attorney at The Gasper Law Group, you may be able to contest a will under the following circumstances:
- The creator of the will didn’t sign it in accordance with state laws
- Testators lacked testamentary capacity when signing a will, which means they didn’t understand the legal effect of the will
- The will is procured by fraud
- The will is signed under undue influence
In any case, it can be very hard to prove the reasons for contesting trusts and wills, but you’ll be able to build your case with the assistance of an experienced lawyer at The Gasper Law Group.
Colorado Ancillary Probate
If an owner of Colorado real estate dies, a probate administration will be required to transfer the property to either the beneficiaries or the buyer of the estate. If the personal representative appointed for the administration of the probate estate is in another state, the Colorado courts will need to recognize the representative’s authority to transfer Colorado real estate.
Colorado ancillary probate processing entails recognition of the out-of-state representative’s ability to transfer real estate in Colorado.
There are many requirements in place, including a variety of documents that representatives will need to submit to the Colorado probate court if they want to be able to administer Colorado real estate. Some documentation needed from the original proceeding can include:
- The court order that appointed the representative
- Representative bond requirement documentation
- Court-issued Letters of Administration or Letters Testamentary
- Other documents from the out-of-state court that prove the representative is authorized to act on behalf of the decedent
To ensure that the courts recognize the representative’s authority to act on Colorado real estate, an attorney can assist with filing and other aspects of the ancillary probate process in Colorado.
Contact The Gasper Law Group Probate Attorneys
Regardless of your probate needs, The Gasper Law Group is here to help you at any step. Our experienced estate attorneys in Colorado Springs can give you the representation you need to secure a favorable outcome. It’s important to contact us as soon as possible after a loved one has passed and the will has entered the probate process.
Give us a call today and schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to get you started.
Talk to Us About Your Estate Planning Needs
At The Gasper Law Group, we are experts at estate planning in the state of Colorado and the Colorado Springs area. We understand the needs of our clients, friends, and neighbors—whatever they may be!
Contact us today to get started on your estate planning or to help with a will, trust, or probate issue.