One myth seems to prevail more than any other when it comes to probate: Your estate does not have to go through it if you have a will. This is often not the case in Colorado.

Probate laws may seem tedious and frustrating, but they exist to protect your estate and heirs from illegal distribution. At the Law Firm of Bruce A. Danford, LLC, our staff wants to instill a basic working understanding of the probate process. Getting a handle on the terms under which an estate must pass through court can help you feel better about it.

The small estate 

Some estates do not have to go through the probate process. A small estate is in which the deceased had a will but did not own any personal property. The total assets of the estate must add up to no more than $64,000. When an estate meets these criteria, and there is no challenge, the heirs may sign an affidavit and receive the distribution.

Going through informal probate 

The most typical route a will takes is through informal probate court. When there is more than $64,000 in value contained in the estate, the will is valid with no contest, and the personal representative clearly appointed, informal probate is the appropriate action. The court does not directly supervise the administration of the will.

When there are problems 

Formal probate occurs only when a deceased did not leave a valid will, or someone is challenging it. During this, the personal representative performs actions at the behest of the court.

It may seem like a lengthy and arduous process, but probate usually runs smoothly. Follow us here for more insight into the estate process.