Colorado Probate Questions & Answers

Q: if a wife leaves the home "joint tenancy" then husband passes is wifes new common law husband entitled to the property

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Feb 28, 2019
John Hyland Barrett III's answer
Since the house was owned in joint tenancy, your mother became the sole owner upon your father's death. Upon her death, it passes to her children if she did not have a will, and was not married. However, if she was married at the time of her death, it passes to her husband. Her "boyfriend" would have to establish that they had a common law marriage in order for him to be entitled to the house. That requires evidence that each of them considered themselves to be married. That can be contested in...

Q: My mom passed in 2010. She has real estate that we have been paying taxes on. No written will. Died in AZ, land in CO.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Feb 16, 2019
Brynne Gant's answer
To transfer real property (even vacant land) to heirs, you'll need to open probate in Colorado (or what's called "Ancillary Probate" if probate was already opened in AZ). The Colorado Courts website has some good information and instructions on how to do this: https://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/SubCategory.cfm?Category=Trusts, or you can reach out to a probate attorney to help you file the appropriate paperwork and notify all the correct people.

Q: Does my mom have to sell my dad's estate after probate? He had 3 kids prior to marrying my mom & they then had 4 kids.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Jan 14, 2019
Donald C Eby's answer
It is not likely that a probate under these facts will result in a forced sale. But, if the estate is contentious, i.e. someone wants money, your Mother should hire an attorney to assist and defend her.

Q: Is joint tenancy the same as right of survivorship and do quitclaims within the group change the conveyance upon death?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Dec 16, 2018
Donald C Eby's answer
The chain of title will need to be examined to definitively answer your question.

There is a likelihood based our the facts stated that the Right of Survivorship remains valid.

Q: Does a stepchild have a right to belongings or ashes.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Dec 5, 2018
Ashley Dean Powell's answer
Assuming that no personal representative has yet been appointed by a court and no estate has been opened, you or your sister could petition a court in Colorado to appoint you as the personal representative of your brother's estate. The process thereafter may vary depending on whether your brother died with or without a will, but being named the personal representative would provide you some power to begin settling his estate.

The first step should probably be hiring a probate attorney...

Q: Built a cabin w/ my mother, it was left to my husband and I. What do I do with items in cabin.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Oct 31, 2018
Ashley Dean Powell's answer
If by "left" to you and your husband you mean that the house was given to you (or transferred automatically based on how it was titled) upon her passing, then you may want to consult with the personal representative of your mother's estate. Even if the house passed to you outside of probate, it is possible that her personal items will need to pass by probate or by a small estate affidavit. If there is already a court appointed personal representative for your mother's estate, you should ask the...

Q: Conflict of Interests in handling an Estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Oct 1, 2018
Ashley Dean Powell's answer
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...

Q: Is money in a deceased parent's estate required by law to be split evenly among the living children (heirs)of the parent

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Sep 13, 2018
Ashley Dean Powell's answer
Your question above may not have all the facts necessary to accurately answer your question.

Assuming that your mom did not have a will, trust, or other instrument to dispose of her assets (she died "intestate"). Assuming that the settlement was not directed by your mom to a very specific account before her death (an account that might have a POD or TOD beneficiary named and thus might possibly avoid Colorado's intestacy laws).

The distribution of your mom's intestate estate...

Q: if my grandparents had legal custody of me when I was kid do I have say over the living will if they have passed

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Sep 8, 2018
Ashley Dean Powell's answer
The short answer: you probably have an uphill battle.

One very fundamental value of estate planning is the opportunity to express your wishes in writing (through a will or trust instrument, for example) so that there will not be disputes after your death (or, at least, there may be less probability of disputes). Generally speaking, an unambiguous will that is accepted by the Court as valid and authentic will likely trump subsequent verbal preferences that you claim were expressed by...

Q: My estranged legal husband just died, he did leave a will but I don't know if he left me anything. Do I need a lawyer?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Sep 6, 2018
John Hyland Barrett III's answer
No matter what his will says, you are entitled to at least 1/2 of the estate as a surviving spouse. You should get a lawyer to make sure you get your fair share.

Q: Hello, my father passed intestate. My sister and I are only heirs. Colorado probate. Question about asset division.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Aug 21, 2018
Jim Ed "Jed" Franklin's answer
There is not a particular form that I am aware of to outline an agreement of a division of assets. What you need is a brief agreement with your sister about the property division. It would say how it was distributed, that you are both OK with that, and a release of claims against both of you.

Q: What happens if a person does before they sign they're WILL?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate, Estate Planning and Elder Law for Colorado on
Answered on Jun 13, 2018
John Hyland Barrett III's answer
If he dies without signing the will, his estate will be distributed according to the law of intestate succession. Generally: to his spouse; if no spouse, then to his children.

Q: Hi, we are at the tale end of probate, all creditors have been paid my husband is the executor and the beneficia

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Answered on May 22, 2018
John Hyland Barrett III's answer
He can write a check to himself now if he is sure all creditors have been paid. You may want to retain an attorney to make sure everything is done correctly.

Q: How does the Seller clear title so they can sell me their vacant land in Colorado?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Apr 16, 2018
Timothy Canty's answer
B's son will have to open an ancillary probate in Colorado. Then he can record A's death certificate, a certified copy of the Colorado Letters and a Personal Representative deed to you. A's interest evaporates upon death and B's estate has the right to convey the estate property.

Q: My son's father passed away unexpectedly and didn't have a will. What is he entitled to? He's still a minor.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Mar 20, 2018
John Hyland Barrett III's answer
Your son probably is not entitled to anything, unless the estate is very large. In that case, he may be entitled to a percentage. Also, the estate may be charged with lump sum child support obligation if appropriate. You should retain an attorney for these matters.

Q: My mother just died on the 15th the mortuary guy said I only have 10 days to file for probate.Is this true?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Feb 19, 2018
Tristan Kenyon Schultz's answer
Since there is a lot here, you are advised to schedule an appointment with the attorney you mentioned. The attorney should be familiar with your mother's estate and can advise you.

As far probate, it is possible based on the size (or lack of size) of the estate that probate is not required. Additionally, you do NOT need to file for probate within 10 days of death. In fact, there may be reasons to wait at least 1 year from death before filing. I think the mortuary representative may...

Q: If my father creates a life estate deed, would that allow his heirs to avoid probate when he passes away?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Feb 7, 2018
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
Possibly. But if there are other assets that would require probate, it may still be necessary.

Trying to do any of this on a 'piece by piece' basis is a dangerous game and usually ends badly. I would strongly urge you to consult with a local estate planning attorney to review the WHOLE picture and recommend what documents will do what you want at minimal cost. SOMETIMES probate is the least expensive and most desirable process. SOMETIMES it is not. There is no 'one right' way to do...

Q: Is there any property that doesn't have to go through probate when a person dies?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Jan 23, 2018
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
Yes, anything that has a designated 'beneficiary' or 'payable on death' designation, anything that is listed a 'joint with full rights of survivorship', anything titled in the name of a trust rather than the individual who has died, etc. There are MANY things that don't go through probate.

The SPECIFICS are something that is beyond the scope of this sort of forum, and you should consult with your own local attorney to see what your situation is, and whether or not modifications are...

Q: No will, thousands owed in back taxes, do I have to go to probate if I don't want anything/there is nothing

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Dec 14, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
I assume this is your sister who has passed? You are under NO obligation to begin probate, particularly if you don't want the house which is the 'only' asset.

If you are comfortable 'walking away' you can certainly do that. If someone suggests you have some 'obligation' I'd wonder under what law/rule that obligation exists, and I bet they can't cite anything.

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an...

Q: Declaration of trust for dead relative. Just found out the house was sold as a probate sale.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Answered on Dec 12, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
This depends on how the property was titled, whether or not there was a 'pourover will' if the house was not already in the trust, and how a will (if the house was a probate asset), intestacy laws (if there was no will and the house was a probate asset) and/or the trust was worded.

In short, without seeing documents it is impossible to say for sure. You need to gather ALL the documentation including the probate paperwork and the trust as well as info from the sale, and visit with a...

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