Probate is a process in which the court distributes your assets to the beneficiaries listed in your estate plans.
It is often long, expensive and difficult for your loved ones. Thankfully, there are things you can do to avoid probate.
In Colorado, you can register vehicles and create deeds for real estate under transfer-on-death. This means that the vehicle or real estate property will remain in your possession while you are still alive. When you die, the property transfers directly to the person you name on the deed or registration without going through probate proceedings.
A living trust is similar to a will. However, a will does not bypass probate, whereas, a living trust does. In your trust, you can name beneficiaries for any and all of your assets. Then, you name a successor trustee to take over the trust when you die. That person will transfer all assets directly to the beneficiaries.
For bank accounts, including savings, checking, and deposit certificates, you can use a payable-on-death designation for the person or persons you want to have the money after you pass. They have no rights to the accounts while you are still alive but will receive the balances upon your death without going through probate.
Any property owned in joint tenancy in Colorado will go directly to the surviving owner according to the right of survivorship.
With proper estate planning, you can save your loved ones a significant amount of time, money, and grief by allowing them to avoid the probate process.