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Colorado Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Q: I'm divorced. Does my ex still get everything in my will and make medical decisions for me? Who is my next of kin now?

Will Colorado still consider my ex my next of kin even though we're divorced? Would it go to my teenage daughter? She's not old enough to make medical decisions for me if I'm incapacitated.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 29, 2019

You are asking really good questions. The bottom line is that divorce is one of those events that should trigger an update of your existing estate plan. Schedule an appointment with an estate planning attorney and, in the meantime, be thinking about who you will want to nominate as the guardian... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Colorado on
Q: my surviving brother did not include me in the probate process when our younger brother passed away.... this was in 99'

Over the years he refuses to allow me to see the autopsy results. Also this same brother masterminded a banking fraud with the brother that passed away, when our mother had passed away in 1992, he included my mothers landlady in this.... they forged and cashed a check from my mothers account at her... Read more »

Sabra M. Janko
Sabra M. Janko answered on Oct 26, 2019

It really depends on what the will provided for and whether he violated any fiduciary duties. An attorney would have to see the will to advise you.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Q: Executor is not carrying out Will according to deceased wishes. What is recourse ?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 10, 2019

Petition the court to replace the executor due to the executor's wrong doing. This is not a do-it-yourself project. You will need the assistance of a local probate attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Q: Hi - Father died, has a Will. Executor of Will is not carrying out the Will per deceased wishes.

Father died, has a legal and binding Will. Executor of Will (1st born son) is not carrying out the Will per deceased wishes. As a result, other siblings not receiving distributions according to the Will. What is our recourse ?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 10, 2019

You can hire an attorney to petition the probate court to have the executor replaced due to his wrongdoing. If there is not a probate already opened, then petition to have yourself or one of the "good" siblings appointed as the executor and probate the will.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Q: To be a valid self proving will in Colorado, are a notary and two witnesses required or only a notary?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 6, 2019

Two witnesses, a notary, and a self-proving affidavit.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Q: How difficult would it be to contest a will in Colorado where the deceased had wanted specific changes made?

He talked about wanting specific items to go to other people after having a falling out with the original recipient. He verbally told people and wrote it down but never got it back to the lawyer to rewrite the will

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 1, 2019

Have a probate attorney review those writings. If they were entirely or mostly in his handwriting they might qualify and halographic wills and would be enforceable.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Contracts and Probate for Colorado on
Q: how Much time does an executor have to settle the estate?

My grandparents died 5 years ago and had a house out of state that hasn’t sold. It is listed online as “off market” and we still have not received the inheritance from the executor. Do they have a time limit on when this needs to be paid out? It’s been 5 years and it still is not settled.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jun 17, 2019

There is no set time for an estate to be wound up and paid out; it depends on the size of the estate and other factors. The executor (or personal representative) of a last will has a fiduciary responsibility to protect the assets entrusted to them and to insure that everything is done legally so as... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Colorado on
Q: Does the money in my mother's trust belong to the beneficiaries as soon as she dies or does it remain in trust

until each beneficiary receives their yearly distribution until the money runs out? Is there something official that can help back me up on that?

John Hyland Barrett III
John Hyland Barrett III answered on Apr 22, 2019

This depends on the terms of the trust. The trust document controls. It may call for distribution or it may remain in the trust. You have to review the trust statement to see what it says.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Colorado on
Q: my friend's wife died and a young man that grew up with them hired an attorney and claimed to be adopted by his wife!

my friend's wife died and a young man that grew up with them hired an attorney and claimed to be adopted by his wife! It turned out later that he was NOT ADOPTED! Is the one claiming to be adopted committing fraud? And, is it provable in a court of law? (Colorado)?

Brian K. McHugh
Brian K. McHugh answered on Mar 24, 2019

It could be fraud, but it would depend on what, if anything, he did in the false capacity as the son of the deceased. It could also be Criminal Impersonation, again depending on the facts.

As to whether it is provable, it would depend on what evidence was uncovered during the investigation...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Colorado on
Q: if a wife leaves the home "joint tenancy" then husband passes is wifes new common law husband entitled to the property

my mom committed adultery and left the marital home owned in joint tenancy 6 years prior to my dads death, my mom passed away 6 years later, both names are still on house deed/mortgage, they have 3 adult children, (neither had a will) moms boy friend claiming common law husband is trying to take... Read more »

John Hyland Barrett III
John Hyland Barrett III answered on Feb 28, 2019

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... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
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.

My siblings and I want to share the land. It’s vacant land worth less than $20k. The land is in Colorado and she passed away in Arizona. There is no written will and the property is still and solely is in her name. What do we do and where do we begin?

Brynne Gant
Brynne Gant answered on Feb 16, 2019

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:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Colorado on
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.

My dad passed away June 2018. He had no will, only his name is on the house (which is paid off). My mom lives in the house as she was married to him for 39+ years. My dad had 3 kids prior to marrying my mom, then 4 kids with my mom. All 7 'kids' are over 21 years old. We all agree she will be... Read more »

Donald C Eby
Donald C Eby answered on Jan 14, 2019

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Colorado on
Q: Is joint tenancy the same as right of survivorship and do quitclaims within the group change the conveyance upon death?

My understanding of Colorado law is that only the last sole survivor of a joint tenancy can be the grantor of property to a beneficiary upon his/her passing. But if one or more original owners quitclaims their portion to others within the original group of joint tenants, does the right of... Read more »

Donald C Eby
Donald C Eby answered on Dec 16, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Q: Does a stepchild have a right to belongings or ashes.

This stepchild is now in their 40's. My brother passed away in Texas where I live because he was here going to MDAnderson Cancer Center. He lived in Colorado. My sister or myself was not able to go to Colorado and take care of his belongings. Stepchild was suppose to put everything in storage... Read more »

Ashley Dean Powell
Ashley Dean Powell answered on Dec 5, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for Colorado on
Q: Built a cabin w/ my mother, it was left to my husband and I. What do I do with items in cabin.

Some of the items in the cabin are our from our personal home and don't have receipt's as items are over 10 yrs old.

Ashley Dean Powell
Ashley Dean Powell answered on Oct 31, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
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... Read more »

Ashley Dean Powell
Ashley Dean Powell answered on Oct 1, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Q: Is money in a deceased parent's estate required by law to be split evenly among the living children (heirs)of the parent

My deceased mother's estate, which is represented by my younger sister, might be awarded a settlement by a car insurance company for pain and suffering she incurred from a car accident 7 months before her death. I don't trust that my younger sister will split the award evenly among us four... Read more »

Ashley Dean Powell
Ashley Dean Powell answered on Sep 13, 2018

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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Probate for Colorado on
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

My grandparents had legal custody and guardianship of me and my brother when we were kids up until I turned 18 they're passed away and my uncles are trying to evict me from the home I live in which is my grandparents do they have the right evict me from her home even though she said I could stay... Read more »

Ashley Dean Powell
Ashley Dean Powell answered on Sep 8, 2018

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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
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?

We never legally separated and we lived together for 9 years and he has been living with his partner for 11 years. I am his only legal wife. No underaged children. We have been married for 16 years.

John Hyland Barrett III
John Hyland Barrett III answered on Sep 6, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Colorado on
Q: Hello, my father passed intestate. My sister and I are only heirs. Colorado probate. Question about asset division.

Probate will need to be open for a couple of years. I would like to get a written agreement in place with my sister to ensure we have a clean division of assets. Is there a particular legal form we should use in Colorado for that purpose? For various reasons, it is important to have a clear... Read more »

Jim Ed
Jim Ed "Jed" Franklin answered on Aug 21, 2018

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.

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