Losing a parent is never easy, even if your parent was lucky enough to live a long and happy life. What can make the struggle even more difficult is if you have been designated to probate your parent’s estate. After all, most people in Lakewood do not have much experience with estate administration. Having a general understanding of the types of estates that may be probated in Colorado may help.

Small estates

Small estates are those with less than $50,000 in personal assets and no real property. In this type of estate, the heirs can collect their assets through an affidavit — a probate action is not necessary in this situation.

Uncontested, or informal, estates

An informal or uncontested estate is one in which the deceased left a valid will or in the absence of a will, intestacy is clear. There must also be a qualified personal representative that is ready and able to fulfill their duties. In this type of probate, the court plays a limited role except to make sure that the will or laws of intestate succession are followed and that a venue is available for heirs to hold the personal representative accountable if necessary.

Contested, or formal, estates and invalid, vague or challenged wills

Formal probate is necessary if an heir is challenging a will or if the will itself is vague or invalid. Formal probate may also be necessary if there are significant challenges in the administration of the will. Some of these challenges may include identifying the proper heirs to the estate or property title problems. When this happens, the court may order the personal representative of the estate to obtain approval for all transactions taken in the estate administration process.

Ultimately, it can help to seek the assistance of a compassionate lawyer who can help you obtain the fair, lasting resolution you desire. When you obtain quality legal services from a trusted attorney, you can rest at ease that your attorney will take care of the legal affairs that come with probating an estate while you can focus on the emotional aspect of a parent’s death. For more information on this topic, you can visit the following probate website.