Probate in Arvada and Wheat Ridge is the court process by which a person’s estate and assets are confirmed and dispersed. In Colorado, your estate can go through a formal or informal probate depending and the size and complexities of the estate. For relatively simple estates where everyone agrees on the asset division.
How Does Informal Probate Work in Wheat Ridge and Golden?
First step is for the executor (chosen by the deceased) to file an application with the probate court to become the personal representative. When the court approves this application, then the personal representative has the authority to make decisions for the estate. The court will send the representative ‘Letters Testamentary’ which verifies who the personal representative is. After receiving this document, the executor, or personal representative, will need to do the following:
- Send notice to any creditors, beneficiaries, or heirs of the estate;
- Put a notice in the local paper to alert any other potential creditors;
- Provide proof that the notices were mailed and the notice was published;
- Inventory all the estate property and get an appraisal of the assets;
- After the estate is closed, distribute the assets and property.
To close the informal probate, the representative must file a final accounting and a closing statement with the probate court. These documents verify that all debts and taxes have bee paid, the property has been distributed and the accounting is closed. For informal probate, the court allows the personal representative to make the decisions, so the probate case is usually closed much more quickly than a formal probate case. We always recommend that someone dealing with any type of probate contact an experienced probate attorney to make sure you understand the process. The last thing you would want is to think that you are going to be able to quickly and efficiently close an estate, only to have something come up that rocks the boat.