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Probate & Non-probate Assets



The world of financial assets can be confusing. However, knowing how your assets will pass to the rest of your family after your death is incredibly important. This article will explain the difference between probate and non-probate assets.


Probate distribution of assets


Probate assets depend on a court examination of an assumed will to identify whether it is valid. Furthermore, the court will appoint a representative to ensure that outstanding bills and taxes are paid for in addition to identifying and contacting heirs specific to your requests. Probate assets depend on approval from its own process to ensure proper and lawful distribution. These are not jointly owned property and include but are not limited to:

· boats, antiques, motor vehicles

· Bank accounts

· Stocks and investments

· Privately and individually owned land, property, real estate


If a will is not present, probate assets must still be applied to the process before distribution. In this case, property will be distributed in accordance with Colorado’s intestacy statutes specific to the state, the specifics of such represent the default option of asset distribution for residents without definitive requests for bequeathed inheritance. Probate assets are In-name only items.

Non-probate distribution of assets


Non-probate assets do not rely on the probate process to approve asset distribution. The rule of asset distribution is always in accordance with the designation of the beneficiary. Your will would not affect the distribution of assets and due to this, it is paramount to guarantee that the person who will derive advantage from your request reflects your wishes. Some

jointly owned asset examples include:



· Profit-sharing plans or retirement plans like IRAs, 401(k)s

· Bank accounts or property including a beneficiary listed as payable on death

· Right of survivorship property owned as joint tenants (real estate jointly owned)

· Revocable or irrevocable assets put into a properly funded trust


Failure to identify and understand the differences between the two classes of asset distribution in an estate plan will cause stress and discomfort for your family and loved ones. Furthermore, having a lack of understanding on the matter could lead to the contesting of your will and the dispute of your trust, resulting in unnecessary time and money spent on fixing an easily avoided mistake.


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.