When someone dies and probate is opened in Colorado, the first decision you need to make is if the probate process will be formal or informal.
During a formal probate process, the probate court pays closer attention to the case and takes a more hands-on approach. Usually, formal probate is used when there’s a suspicion or concern that someone will raise an issue about the deceased person’s will or how their estate will be distributed. Formal probate can also be used when the person who died left no will and it’s not clear who the heirs are.
During an informal probate process, the probate court still oversees things but it’s less involved than it is with a formal process. Informal probate can be used when no one is contesting the will or distribution, therefore, making litigation unlikely. If someone dies without a will, informal probate can still be used if it’s clear who the heirs are.
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Lauren Lester is an affordable family law, estate planning, and probate lawyer licensed in Colorado.