Probate is the process where Colorado ensures your wishes are followed after you die by having the court review your estate. Sometimes, it can be a lengthy process. In all cases, it costs money for fees. It is possible to avoid probate in some cases, though, according to the Denver Bar Association.
If you have a small estate that is under $50,000 and you do not own any real property, such as a home or land, then you can avoid probate. Your heirs can file an affidavit to avoid the process. The affidavit swears that the heir will distribute the assets properly or that he or she is entitled to the assets for him or herself.
Another option to avoid probate is to ensure the right ownership of all your assets. For example, accounts with a beneficiary or anything jointly owed will automatically transfer, so if your estate contains only such assets, then probate is not necessary.
If you meet one of the conditions above, even if you have a will, your heirs can avoid going through probate. However, you should make everyone aware that the law does require filing your will even if probate is not necessary within ten days after your death. Not doing this could cause complications.
You should also carefully review your estate if you plan on using accounts that will transfer upon your death to ensure they remain valid. It is important to update your estate often to avoid issues that would send your estate to probate. This information is for education and is not legal advice.