“After you lose a loved one, estate planning attorneys say there are several steps you should take.”
WXYZ Detroit’s recent article, “Tips you need to know to take a loved one's estate through probate,” explains that within 42 days of the death, you need to contact the Probate Court in your county to determine whether you should do a formal or an informal administration of the estate. Here are some other tips about the steps to take after the passing of a loved one:
- See if there are any assets titled solely in the name of the deceased.
- Assets jointly owned usually pass to the surviving joint party outside of probate;
- If there is real estate titled in the name of the decedent
- Assets titled in just the name of the deceased require probate.
- Determine if there are assets in the sole name of the deceased or not held as a joint tenant for real estate.
- Assets with a beneficiary designation, like an IRA, insurance policy, or a payable on death (POD) bank account pass to the named party. If a party isn’t named, they are part of the probate estate.
- Assets not designated with a named beneficiary or held jointly will be part of a probate estate.
At this point, you’re just trying to see if a Colorado probate is necessary … you don’t have to locate all of the assets to open an estate. Other assets can be added later.
- Calculate the value of the assets that require a probate estate to determine if you require a small estate process or a full probate procedure.
- Find the will to see if specific parties are named to inherit and administer the estate.
- Get the contact information of all parties named in the will and family members who will inherit by law.
- Obtain an original death certificate and order several copies.
- If there’s no will, come to an agreement as to who should open and handle the estate as Personal Representative and sign the proper court forms – keep in mind, each state will have its own requirements on who will have first priority to be appointed.
- Contact an experienced Colorado probate attorney to advise you and help make a final determination on whether or not the estate will have to go through a Colorado probate.
Once a Colorado probate attorney helps you determine the best course of action, consider retaining them to assist with the administration of the estate. Every probate is unique and will require special attention.
If you would like to discuss a probate or estate administration matter with one of the skilled attorneys at The Hughes Law Firm, call (303) 409-3547 today.
Reference: WXYZ Detroit (November 18, 2016) “Tips you need to know to take a loved one's estate through probate”