Probate Probate is the court process to appoint a personal representative and administer an estate through a Colorado District Court. Estates where there is a will are called “testate” and estates where there is no will are called “intestate.” In either case, the assets must be collected in the estate, the creditors notified and paid, and the decedent’s properties distributed.

We have many years of experience in representing and guiding clients through the probate process. Depending on the circumstances in a case, our client may be the applicant who initiates the probate, the personal representative, a beneficiary or heir to the estate, a spouse of the decedent, or other interested parties.

Colorado generally has two type of probate procedures, informal or formal. The informal process, which can be used for many estates, allows the process to be administered by a probate registrar, generally will not require appearances in court, and can be less expensive. This informal process is often used where there are no disputes in the estate. The formal process, which more directly involves a judge, is used more where there are an issues to resolve, such as the choice of the proper will, a contest over validity of a will, the identity of the heirs, or other matters.

We have represented clients in both uncontested and contested estates. We have conducted or defended will contests, where the validity of the will is questioned due to the capacity of the decedent, undue influence, or for other reasons. We have litigated these cases in court and participated in mediations in many cases to reach settlements among the parties.