Probate – Administration and Litigation

Probate AdministrationWhat is probate administration? Probate administration is the legal process by which a person’s assets are used to pay his/her creditors and then distributed to heirs or beneficiaries based on 1) an estate plan; 2) intestate succession. When a person dies without a will, the State determines his/her heirs through the statutory scheme of “intestate succession.” In 2016, one of the more famous people who died without a will was Prince, who was unmarried and left no surviving children at his death. The SLBTW, LLC, newsletter addressed the issues associated with a complex estate which was intestate left by Prince in its piece Dying Intestate.

When someone dies intestate, a probate court oversees administration of the decedent’s estate and distribution of assets pursuant to statutes. If the Decedent dies with a will, the probate court oversees the distribution of the estate to insure that the decedent’s wishes are followed.

We can help you determine whether, or to what extent, you may need legal advice or help in completing the probate process. Colorado adopted the Uniform Probate Code (“UPC”) and the probate procedure is generally far simpler in Colorado than in non-UPC states.

What is probate litigation?

A will, trust, or other will substitute may provide clear direction for the Decedent’s intent for his/her assets. Or it may not. Probate litigation is the process by which contesting heirs or beneficiaries present their respective cases to the Court for a determination of the “proper” outcome for the distribution of Decedent’s property and/or assets. SLBTW has many years of experience litigating complex and difficult probate matters.