Contrary to popular belief probate doesn't have to be a daunting experience. Instead, it can be a good way to clear up any problems or concerns regarding the estate of your loved one. Thinking of it like that can make it easier.
It also helps that in Colorado, probate is not as onerous, time consuming or expensive as it is in some other states. The residency of your loved one will affect where their estate goes through probate. For instance, if your parent was a snow bird who spent a good amount of time in Arizona or California this may become an issue.
Probate doesn't have to be frightening
An estate may not have to go through probate, depending on its size. This generally only applies to estates smaller than $50,000.
Estates valued above this threshold need to go through probate, but that doesn't mean everything must be probated. Property owned in joint tenancy, life insurance policies with a clear beneficiary designation and items that have a clear route of transfer, may not need to be part of probate.
Avoid future claims
Putting the estate through probate has one important benefit. It can ensure there won't be claims against the estate in the future.
If probate is not handled properly, someone who believes they were entitled to a part of the estate could show up months or even years after a person has passed away and try to make a claim on that estate. You don't want to have to worry about that, so going through probate can give you peace of mind.
Help through the process
Find out how probate may be able to protect estate assets as much as possible, while also ensuring all of the "loose ends" are tied up and fully resolved.
Don't try to work your way through probate alone. An experienced estate planning attorney can explain the legal implications of settling your loved one's estate and help you to avoid costly mistakes.