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Top things to know about unsecured debts for Colorado probate

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Estate Planning |

If you are navigating probate in Colorado, understanding unsecured debts is important. These debts can affect the distribution of an estate.

Unsecured debts are obligations that do not have collateral backing them. Common examples include credit card debt, medical bills and personal loans. Meanwhile, secured debts, such as mortgages or car loans, have specific assets tied to them.

Lower priority of payment

In Colorado probate, the payment of unsecured debts typically occurs after secured debts and administrative expenses. Creditors must file claims with the probate court to receive payment from the estate. The court oversees the distribution process.

Secured debts take priority since specific assets back them. For example, creditors may be able to reclaim these assets if the debt goes unpaid. Prioritizing secured debts also promotes fairness among creditors.

Resolving secured debts promptly can prevent further financial strain on the estate. It paves the way for payment of unsecured debts and the smoother distribution of remaining assets to beneficiaries.

Debts and estate distribution

In Colorado, the average credit card balance is $6,274. If the estate lacks sufficient funds to cover this type of debt and all other debts, creditors may receive partial payment. This potentially reduces the inheritance for beneficiaries. However, in some instances, beneficiaries may inherit assets that have protection from creditors. These assets may include retirement accounts or life insurance proceeds.

Disputing claims

In some cases, disputes may arise regarding the validity or amount of a creditor’s claim. Creditors must provide evidence to support their claims. Beneficiaries or the executor have the right to contest claims they believe to be invalid or inaccurate.

By reviewing these concepts, individuals can navigate probate proceedings more effectively and ensure fair debt settlement.