What Assistance Do You Provide To Clients Going Through Probate?
I provide all levels of representation in probate court, including uncontested matters in which I ensure that deadlines are met, the proper person is appointed, and the estate’s being properly administered and closed. I also work on contested matters involving disputes over estates.
What Exactly Is Probate?
Probate is the legal process of changing title or ownership of an asset from a deceased person to that person’s heirs or descendants. It is also the forum in which creditors can make claims, and disputes over the estate can be resolved.
Is There More Than One Type Of Probate?
There is informal probate and formal probate. Informal probate is an unsupervised estate administration, meaning that the court is not involved in the day-to-day administration of the estate and there are no hearings unless the party requests it. A formal probate means that there is judicial supervision and hearings on each matter.
What Factors Set The Stage For Probate To Occur In Arizona?
In Arizona, probate will occur if a person dies with assets in excess of the small estate exemption, so long as those assets are not jointly owned and do not have beneficiary designations. In Colorado, probate will occur if a person dies with any real estate that is not jointly owned or assigned a beneficiary designation.
Is Probate Necessary?
Probate is not always necessary.
What Are My Options To Avoid Probate?
There are several ways to avoid probate, such as by having a properly funded trust, joint tenancy with right of survivorship, and beneficiary designations (which are available on real estate and most bank accounts in Colorado). Joint tenancy and beneficiary designations sometimes fail to avoid probate if the beneficiary or other joint tenant dies before the other. Therefore, a trust is the most effective way to avoid probate because it’s a more sophisticated plan that can take into account contingencies that a beneficiary form or designation cannot.
Can Someone Realistically Navigate The Probate Process Without An Attorney?
It’s possible to navigate the probate process without an attorney, but in most cases, it does not work. Unfortunately, the probate process is not intuitive. An individual can save a lot of time, headache, and money by hiring a lawyer.
What Is The Expected Outcome Once The Probate Process Is Complete?
The expected outcome of probate is for the decedent’s assets to be conveyed to their heirs or beneficiaries under the will (if there is a will). Money for attorney fees, court fees, and publication fees will be lost in the process of probate. The cost of disputes over an estate can be significant, as can the amount of time for probate to be completed.
How Long Does The Probate Process Generally Take?
At minimum, the probate process generally takes four to six months. This is because there are periods of time that must elapse for creditor claims. The probate process can take significantly longer if the person who is administering the estate works slowly, or if disputes arise. The longest case I have ever worked on took eight years to resolve.
For more information on Avoiding Probate In The State Of Colorado, a free consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (720) 805-3444 today.
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