Los Angeles, CA asked in Probate for Colorado

Q: Conflict of Interests in handling an Estate.

My Grandmother passed, and in her Will, she only assigned a "Power of Attorney ", my Uncle, one of three living children. Real Estate is estimated over $400k plus other Assets. The Will directs equal distribution between her children. First, is "Power of Attorney" appropriate to automatically manage the estate? Secondly, there is no proof he ever actually opened Probate (is there a way to check?). Third, My Uncle appears to now be trying to sell her house through his Realtor/Flipper Son (who stands to make a large commission at least) for well below what realtors in the area feel is market price, and his Sisters' assessment. He will not show anyone any Appraisals that were done. IF the probate is active, and Informal, what is the method for an Interested Party to legally contest a sale? Thanks.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ashley Dean Powell
Ashley Dean Powell
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: I can't answer all of your questions. The power of attorney from your grandmother to your uncle would no longer be effective after she dies. After death, your uncle would need to be named (appointed by a court) the personal representative of your grandmother's estate in order to act on behalf of her estate (at least with respect to any real estate). You should talk to a probate attorney who practices in the county in which your grandmother lived/house is to determine the current status of her probate process. A personal representative acting on behalf of the estate would owe a duty to act reasonably in following your grandmother's wishes and in receiving a fair value for the house. Again, a local probate attorney could give you a good idea of how/when to best challenge decisions made by your uncle.

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