Most clients have negative misconceptions regarding the probate process and focus on probate avoidance as a main estate plan objective. However, the probate process in Colorado is streamlined and relatively efficient. In many circumstances the negatives outweigh the positives particularly in cases where disagreement among the beneficiaries is anticipated. The probate process allows the personal representative named in the will to be appointed and transfer the probate assets to the intended recipients. It ensures that creditors are paid in a timely fashion and disallows creditor claims after proper notice has been given.
Benefits of probate include:
- Court resolves disputes among beneficiaries.
- Orderly process and procedure ensuring estate assets are distributed properly.
- Creditor claims are dealt with in an efficient manner and are barred after one year.
- Beneficiaries may request an accounting of all funds received and disbursed by the estate which may provide transparency and alleviate tension among beneficiaries.
- Court may act as referee to determine the validity of a contested will and interprets any contested language within the document.
- Probate insulates the personal representative from liability as long as he or she follows the courts instructions.
- A purchaser of estate assets can be assured “valid and clear title” is conveyed and assets are free from liens and encumbrances.