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How does an estate’s complexity affect probate?

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2023 | Probate |

Probate is the handling of a deceased person’s estate for distribution to their beneficiaries. According to the Denver Bar Association, every estate must go through probate, but the complexity of an estate significantly impacts the process.

Various factors might affect an estate’s complexity. These factors might be the size of the estate or a poorly made state plan. See below for a brief overview of handling probate for complex estates.

High-value estates take longer

One of the main factors contributing to an estate’s complexity is the nature and size of the assets. For example, an estate with real estate, business interests, and investment portfolios requires more time and attention to value and distribution than an estate with only a few bank accounts and assets. Additionally, the probate process can become even more complicated if the deceased owned property in many jurisdictions, such as in different states or countries.

Poor planning takes longer

The existence of a will or trust can also impact the probate process. If the deceased had a comprehensive estate plan, including a will or trust, the probate process might be more straightforward as the executor has clear instructions on distributing the assets. However, if there is no will or someone contests the will, the probate process can become much more complicated and may require court intervention.

The complexity of an estate can have a significant impact on the probate process. Executors and beneficiaries should be aware of the potential challenges and take steps to address them proactively to ensure a smoother and more efficient probate process.

Legal Note: The total fair market value of all property owned by the decedent and subject to disposition by will or intestate succession at the time of the decedent’s death, wherever that property is located, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed, for year of death (Y.O.D.): Y.O.D. 2023 is $80,000; Y.O.D. 2022 is $74,000; 2021 and 2020 is $70,000; 2019 is $68,000; and 2018 and 2017 is $66,000.

AFFIDAVIT PURSUANT TO § 15-12-1201, C.R.S. This affidavit is not valid for the transfer of real estate.  To transfer personal property that affects real estate see § 15-12-1201(3.5), C.R.S.