Probate is the process where the court finalizes your estate after your death. It helps to ensure everything occurs in a legal manner according to either your estate plan or the law.
Not every part of your estate will go through probate, and some estates bypass the process completely. The Denver Bar Association explains what happens with your estate and probate depends on the size of your estate and the circumstances surrounding it. There are three types of probate your estate may go through.
The formal probate process occurs when there is an issue with your estate. Someone may contest it or there could be issues with your legal documents. In this situation, there is a need for the court to intervene and make a ruling. The oversight from the court helps ensure nobody can misuse or abuse your estate.
Informal probate is the general form. If everything is legally sound and there are no issues, then your estate will go through this type of probate. The court is not as involved in the process. It will make rulings as needed. Your administrator will take control and manage the estate to get everything done so the court can legally close it.
Small estate probate
If your estate is worth under $50,000 and you do not own real estate, your estate is a small estate under the law. It will not have to go through probate at all. Your heirs can collect the inheritance through an affidavit instead.
Probate may seem like a complex process, but most of the time, it is fairly easy. You may not even have to go through it. Either way, if you ensure your estate is in order, it will help ensure smooth probate.