Probate, Estate Administration, Trust Administration and Disputes
What is Probate?
Probate includes the process in which a personal representative is appointed to collect property, ensure debts and taxes are paid, and distribute the assets of a decedent's estate following that person's death. Distributions are made according to the will, if a valid will exists, or by state law if no will exists (through the law of intestate succession). The probate process typically lasts six months to one year. The probate process has been simplified in Colorado with the adoption of the Uniform Probate Code and may usually be done in an "informal" process.
Our clients seek our assistance to help them navigate trust and estate disputes, probate litigation, will contests, inheritance issues arising from common law marriages, issues related to lack of capacity to write a will, wills, trusts or gifts created under undue influence, fraud or mistake. We work with our clients to protect beneficiary rights, provide representation of Personal Representatives (formerly called "Executors") and representation of other fiduciaries.
What is Ancillary Probate Administration?
An ancillary (out of state) proceeding is one in which a personal representative appointed in another state seeks to have his or her Letters Testamentary recorded in Colorado so that the personal representative may conduct the estate's business in Colorado. A common example of when this process occurs in Colorado is when a person appointed as personal representative in another state needs to sell a vacation home in the mountains that now belongs to the decedent's estate.