Probate is the process whereby a court ensures that a decedent’s estate comes to a proper conclusion. This can include determining the validity of a testamentary document, empowering and evaluating a personal representative, and applying the state’s laws concerning intestacy. Any of these areas of concern could lead to potential litigation. For example, Colorado Revised Statute § 15-12-703 states that personal representatives have a general duty to administer to an estate with good faith and competence. Heirs who believe that a representative has failed in this duty can sue that representative for the value lost in the estate.
The other most common issue that arises during probate concerns the authenticity of a will. State law strictly defines what constitutes a valid will, and any interested party may contest its validity. Typical arguments to this end include:
- Whether a will was the product of fraud or duress
- The will before the court is not the most recent example
- The will fails to meet the legal requirements for proper formatting
A Denver attorney could help someone through probate litigation if they are experiencing any kind of legal dispute during this process.