Probate Lawyer In Fort Collins, CO
The probate lawyer in Fort Collins, CO from W.B. Moore Law is well-versed in all things estate plan related, and that includes probate. Probate is a legal proceeding that entails numerous steps. The intention of probate is to build an accounting of a deceased person’s assets. Depending on the assets, outside factors, and size of the estate, probate may be quick to complete or a prolonged and tedious process.
Probate ensures that a decedent’s debts are paid to creditors and other parties. After the initial steps of probate are taken, an executor or personal representative is appointed and assets are distributed to named beneficiaries or rightful heirs.
When probating a will in the state of Colorado, it must be determined whether the estate qualifies as a formal estate or informal estate. Because this can be a difficult assessment, many people turn to a lawyer for assistance. If you are confused about what kind of estate you are dealing with and how to prepare yourself for a probate proceeding, we advise speaking with a member of our team today. Your Fort Collins, CO probate lawyer can help you fill out probate documents such as:
- Acceptance of Appointment
- Irrevocable Power of Attorney
- Application for Informal Probate of Will
- Application for Informal Appoint of Personal Representative
- Letters Testamentary
- Renunciation or Nomination of Personal Representative
- Notice of Hearing
- Petition for Formal Probate of Will
- Petition for Formal Appointment of Personal Representative
- And much more+
Handling probate on your own can prove confusing and overwhelming. You may wonder whether you can navigate it yourself, or if a lawyer is recommended. Albeit the choice is a personal one, you are likely to reach a point where you need legal clarification, questions answered, or other concerns addressed. A lawyer is going to be an influential person to help you, since they have a deep knowledge of law and how the court system works.
Pros and Cons of Probate
Probate is the method of transferring property of a person who has passed away to the new rightful owners. Someone who dies without an estate plan may risk having their assets go through the process of probate. As your probate lawyer in Fort Collins, CO can explain in more detail, if you have a revocable living trust and put assets into them, they won’t go through probate. But if you have a will, then your assets will be put through probate.
Probate is a public process that can have a significant impact on how an estate is handled. It can be the difference between a prolonged legal process and smoother transition for those you care about the most. The court steps in to oversee the handling of the estate so that it gets properly allocated after someone’s death. All assets will go through probate, whether they were included or not in your will, and having a will in itself won’t avoid probate. Typically, from start to finish, probate can take up to a year to complete.
If you have found yourself needing to participate in the probate process of someone you lost, you can anticipate needing a lawyer’s assistance, as it can get confusing and overwhelming quickly. Your Fort Collins probate lawyer can arrange for the estate to be opened to probate, where a representative will oversee the estate, debts and fees get paid from the estate, and then remaining assets will be distributed to rightful heirs. The court will handle the estate based on state intestacy laws.
With all this being said, why do people want to prevent probate if that’s possible? As your lawyer may discuss with you, probate can be an expensive process and takes time, meaning that beneficiaries won’t receive their inheritance for months to come, when those funds could have been used to financially sustain themselves during a period of grief. This is especially true for loved ones who were dependent on the deceased and are left without the support they had before.
In some cases, a person may want their estate to be part of the public record, which would happen under probate. This means anyone can access the details about someone’s estate. Probate is intended to protect individuals and creditors. Without having legally-binding estate plan documents, the court may be given the role to manage the allocation of assets so that outstanding debts are paid and then other assets are distributed to those who are to receive them by law.
Not everyone appeals to the idea of the court having a say in how their estate is handled after their death. Knowing this may be enough motivation to get someone to finally write an estate plan, since they want to protect the legacy they have been building over a lifetime. It’s only understandable that someone would want an easy transfer of their assets to those they care about the most. If you need help writing your first draft, or editing an outdated plan, our Fort Collins lawyer probate team can help ensure that your after life wishes are planned for accordingly.
If an estate is small, is probate still necessary?
Even if an estate doesn’t have many assets, probate may still be necessary. In some states, there is something called a “simplified procedure”, which is used for estates that have a lower financial value. However, the definition of what is considered small will vary by the court and jurisdiction. If there is real estate or debts against the estate, no matter what size it is, probate may be required. Since the exact answer can vary, this is a question to ask your probate lawyer in Fort Collins, CO families trust from W.B. Moore Law based on your circumstances. Keep in mind that an estate, regardless of how vast or minimal it is, is worth protecting. Everyone’s legacy deserves to be organized in such a way that their last wishes are followed.
What factors could potentially invalidate a will?
There are many factors that could cause a will to become invalidated. Someone may attempt to falsify a will by misrepresenting their authority or signing with another’s name. These factors would constitute fraud, and the will would be deemed invalid by the court. Another reason would be someone who doesn’t have the mental capacity to write a will, then the court may consider it void. As your Fort Collins probate lawyer can explain, if a will was written while the person was under undue influence or duress, this can be grounds for invalidation as well.
Who can officially declare a will as invalid?
The court will review the will and decide whether it should be followed, or not. If the court deems it is not valid, then they will choose how the person’s assets are to be distributed, and the will no longer has bearing on who is to receive which assets. The only entity that can officially declare a will as invalid is the court under probate. If you are concerned about a will and its validity, then we suggest contacting our law firm for further guidance. This is a delicate matter that must be taken seriously, so we hope that if there are issues with a will and whether it is legally-binding or not, that you contact us.
When do I need a lawyer to help with probate?
There is no legal requirement that you have a lawyer for probate, however, those who don’t have legal support often find the entire process to be confusing and overwhelming. The death of a cherished person can bring out the worst in people, and some families may become at odds with each other despite the grief they are all experiencing. Our team has been the support system that families need when their relative’s legacy is forced to go through probate. It can be an emotionally turbulent time, and most people don’t have in-depth knowledge into probate or estate law. Without a Fort Collins lawyer probate team, families are vulnerable to carrying more weight they need to, especially at such a sensitive time.
Contact W.B. Moore Law Today
The team at W.B. Moore Law is seasoned in handling probate and can offer insight that you may not have known otherwise. We can be a reliable source of information, representation, and protection. We know how to use the law for the betterment of our clients. So if you are in need of help regarding an estate issue, we strongly suggest contacting a probate lawyer in Fort Collins, Colorado at W.B. Moore Law today for a consultation.
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