After a person dies, probate is the legal process a decedent’s estate goes through. One of the first issues that will be addressed is whether the decedent left a valid will or other testamentary instrument. Other issues addressed through the probate processinclude:
Probate proceedings are governed by state law. The Colorado Probate Code provides the following definitions applicable to probate, trust and estate cases in Colorado:
The personal representative has many duties, rights, and responsibilities, including the ability to open and maintain an estate bank account; to sell, transfer, or encumber real property; to sell and/or transfer assets; to consolidate bank accounts; and to deal with creditors. The personal representative owes a fiduciary duty to the estate, devisees, heirs, and other interested parties, including creditors, which includes the specific duties:
The personal representative is also responsible for creating an estate inventory of all of the decedent’s real and personal property. The personal representative must marshal and manage the estate assets until the court approves the closing of the estate, keepaccurate records of the estate’s transactions, and make distributions to creditors, devisees, and/or heirs.
The personal representative is entitled to reasonable compensation for her/his services, and whether or not she/he elects to take a fee, the personal representative should keep track of the time she/he spends working on the administration of the estate.
Probate litigation, also known as trust and estate litigation, is the legal process one undertakes to contest the validity of a will or trust, to obtain an inheritance, to contest or seek reformation of a trust, to obtain redress for fiduciary wrongdoing, or to recover estate or trust property. The commencement of trust and estate litigation disrupts, or at least delays, completion of the probate process.
The short answer is money and emotion. Probate and trust disputes often involve large amounts of money or significant assets, and at the same time involve extreme emotionsthat are a natural consequence following the death or disability of a loved one. Common reasons for trust and estate disputes include:
If you are a beneficiary or a fiduciary of an estate or trust, and any disagreement arises relating to the administration of the estate, the management of the trust, or your right to receive and inheritance or distribution, then you likely will benefit from hiring a probate litigation attorney. The Denver probate litigation attorneys at Reynolds Gillette LLC are familiar with the Colorado Rules for Probate Procedure, the Colorado Probate Code, and the Colorado Uniform Trust Code. Our probate litigation attorneys have handled a wide variety of trust and estate disputes, and have the courtroom experience to win these disputes at trial for our clients. A probate litigation attorney can protect your interests, your inheritance, and your legacy.
Reynolds Gillette LLC