The death of a loved one is always hard. Hiring a Denver probate lawyer may not be the first thing that will come to mind. However, you may have to think about it eventually. Winding up an estate usually requires the services of a lawyer, but in some situations, you will not need one. Here are some of these situations.
The estate is not for probate
Many people are learning the wisdom of estate planning. They put up living trusts or survivorship community property. Retirement accounts and life insurance policies with named beneficiaries do not have to go through probate. They may even transfer property directly to you or other heirs, in which case, there is no need for probate.
The estate is small
If the estate qualifies as a “small estate” under state law, you will not have to go through probate. A small estate in Denver is any property valued at less than $50,000 with no real property involved, such as a house. You only need to present a sworn statement to collect assets.
The estate is straightforward
Colorado adopted the Uniform Probate Code in 1990, which makes probate simple for estates that do not include businesses or commercial real estate. If it simply involves bank accounts, residential houses, or stocks, the probate process will not need special handling.
The estate can pay for debts
If the estate has enough money to pay any outstanding debts such as funeral expenses or final income taxes, then you will not need a probate lawyer to help you figure out which debts to pay. However, if that is not the case, a lawyer will help you figure out which creditors you need to pay first.
If everybody gets along in the family, then you may not need a lawyer even if the estate goes to probate court. However, if someone makes trouble, you should hire a lawyer immediately. You want to avoid a long-drawn out court battle. It can rip families apart and drain resources.