Personal representatives administer wills and estates in Colorado. This role comes with several responsibilities. Understanding what those are and how to fulfill them is crucial to efficient estate administration. It’s also essential to avoid any allegations that fiduciary duties may have been breached.
1. Opening Up the Probate Case
Whether an estate needs to pass through formal or informal probate in Colorado, the personal representative should file the will with the court in the county where the decedent resided. This will initiate the official legal process of verifying and administering the will.
2. Notifying the Interested Parties
Interested parties include the named beneficiaries and any creditors to the estate. The notification sent to these interested parties should include details about where the probate case will take place and who the personal representative for the case is.
When it’s not possible to track down certain interested parties to send a probate notification, there are options for issuing notifications via publication.
3. Inventorying & Appraising the Estate’s Assets
Depending on the size and holdings of an estate, this could be a tall order. It may require time to locate and properly catalog each asset of the estate. Then, personal representatives may need to work with experts and appraisers to put value to each item.
Depending on the specifics of the probate case, there may also be a need to sell off some assets to cover the costs of administering the estate, repaying creditors, or covering estate taxes.
4. Handling the Estate’s Debts
This includes the debts to creditors and any estate taxes. With creditors, personal representatives will need to assess each claim to determine if it is valid. Those that are must be paid once all creditor claims have been received. For estate taxes, personal representatives will likely want to work with experts, like lawyers, who can help them navigate the complexities of the law and figure out the best ways to limit the potential estate tax liabilities.
5. Distributing the Inheritance
Following the completion of the duties above, personal representatives will, then, be in charge of doling out the remaining assets to the heirs, according to the terms of the will.
While the Colorado Bar Association has some more helpful information about the duties of personal representatives here, the best way to navigate these responsibilities can be with the help of an experienced Denver probate and estate lawyer.
Get Exceptional Representation in Colorado Probate & Estate Administration
Whether you are a personal representative, a beneficiary, or another party to a probate case, you can turn to a Denver probate and estate lawyer at Evans Case, LLP for superior representation and client-focused counsel. With more than a century of combined experience, our team is highly skilled at guiding clients through every phase of probate, no matter how complex or contentious a case may be.
Call (303) 757-8300 or contact us online for a free 30-minute consultation and important answers about Denver probate.
As a full-service Denver estate planning and probate law firm, Evans Case is home to 5-star attorneys who have deep knowledge of the law and the most effective strategies for helping our clients achieve their objectives. Let us tell you more about how we can help you with Colorado probate during a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.