Probate is the legal process through which a person’s estate is handled and eventually distributed following his or her death. A personal representative (also commonly known as an executor) is named in the person’s will to initiate, execute, and supervise this process.
Serving as the personal representative of a person’s estate can involve a great deal of work and responsibility. Probate can be complicated, time-consuming, and stressful, especially for a person who has recently lost a loved one. A personal representative must also comply with all applicable rules and requirements to avoid liability.
A personal representative’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Identifying and providing an inventory of the assets of the estate
- Managing the assets during the course of the process
- Arranging for the payment of the debts (including funeral and burial expenses) of the estate
- Communicating with interested parties (also known as beneficiaries or heirs) and creditors
- Distributing the assets of the estate according to the terms of the will
- Closing the estate
In Colorado, an estate may go thorough informal or formal probate. Informal probate can be chosen when no disputes exist regarding the validity of the will or the conduct of the personal representative. Although this option involves less time and expense, there are still a number of requirements and deadlines that must be met. Formal probate is appropriate when problems arise among personal representatives, interested parties, and creditors of the estate.
If you are a personal representative, call the Law Office of David Ahrens LLC to guide you through all of the steps and challenges of either informal or formal probate. I can also be of service to an interested party (beneficiary or heir) or creditor who has concerns about a probate proceeding.