Some wills are specifically designed to avoid probate; others are less detailed. Some estates are intestate, meaning there is no will outlining the decedent’s wishes.
For the general public, probate may not be a familiar topic. It is nebulous and open to speculation, and there are many untruths about probate that people may fear.
The state gets everything if someone dies without a will
In most cases, assets only go to a state when an executor cannot find living relatives. If all close relatives are already deceased, it is the administrator’s duty to locate more distant relations. If they cannot, the assets go to the state, but this situation is very rare. If there is no will, though, it is up to the state to distribute your assets among relatives.
Some states have an estate tax; in this way, some assets may go to the government. However, FindLaw indicates that Colorado no longer has an estate tax as of 2005.
Probate will take years to complete
During the six-month “creditors’ period,” institutions can make monetary claims on a decedent’s estate. Estate administrators use assets to pay any legitimate claims. If they act in a timely manner, proceedings can finalize within a year.
The oldest child is automatically the estate executor
Title 15 of the Colorado Revised Statutes states that an executor can be anyone who is 21 or older and judged of sound mind by a court. Unlike many states, Colorado does not prohibit someone previously convicted of a felony or a person out of state from acting as the estate administrator.