When a person dies, probate is the legal process used to dispense of his or her assets.
Most people in Colorado can tell you what a will is. But when it comes to things like probate and how probate works, it can be a mystery.
James Brown has been dead for 11 years, but not a dime of his estate has gone to any of his beneficiaries yet. The estate has multiple lawsuits tying it up in probate. The situation has gotten so bad, one attorney referred to it as a "mini-series," saying that you needed a map to maneuver through it.
If you’re establishing an estate plan, you are probably familiar with the term “probate.” Probate is the process by which your estate is examined and dispersed after your death. It can be extremely expensive for your family and extremely public – all probate court proceedings are a matter of public record. All estates must go through probate court, but Colorado law allows some ways to establish your estate so that the process is as streamlined as possible.
It's been a year and a half since Prince's passing, but the probate of his estate--the legal process for determining how to reallocate his property--continues. Some of Prince's heirs are now requesting that a new administrator take over the process, accusing their current administrator of mismanagement that has cost them millions of dollars. According to the heirs, the administrator told them that it could take as long as 14 years to finalize Prince's estate.
Probate is the process of proving your will, administering your estates, and disseminating the assets you own to your beneficiaries. It sounds simple and possibly advisable -- but in reality probate is a slog. It can be difficult to get through the probate process without months, or even years, passing. This is why it is often best for a grantor to do everything he or she can to avoid the probate process. Or, to put it another way, to package their assets in a way that most of their estate doesn't go through the probate process.
One important question executors might have in administering an estate is whether creditors can have claims satisfied by bringing lawsuits against the estate. After all, many people in this position may be confused about whether they could be personally held liable as the administrator of the estate, or whether a creditor may have a legitimate claim against the estate at all.
Tom Clancy introduced the character of Jack Ryan more than thirty years ago. His novel launched not only his literary legacy, but also a cinematic franchise that started with The Hunt for Red October. Not long after, Clancy found himself in a battle with the publisher over using his very own creation in future novels and any subsequent movies.
Whether you have lost a loved one or a close family friend has named you as administrator of his or her estate, you may be required to enter into the probate process. During probate in Colorado, the estate left behind by the deceased is valued, and the property is distributed to the heirs named in the will. Understanding how probate works is critical, as it may simplify the process for you and for the beneficiaries of the estate.