Probate & Conservatorship
A probate action is generally filed to administer the estate of an individual who has just passed away, or to appoint a guardian or conservator for an incapacitated person. In some instances, a probate action will need to be filed to transfer the title to property upon a person’s death or settle the claims that any creditors may have against the decedent. Unlike many States, Colorado has a simplified probate system that minimizes the need to incur attorney’s fees, so probate is not something to be avoided at all costs. You will need to discuss with an attorney whether a probate action needs to be filed and, if so, what type of action should be filed and what orders should be sought from the Court.
If an individual is no longer capable of caring for themselves financially or personally, the Court may have to appoint a conservator or guardian for them. In many instances, this can be done with minimal or no court involvement. You will need to contact an attorney to discuss your particular situation.
Wills, Trusts & Estates
The Law Firm of Mathis, Martin and Kidnay includes a Colorado conservatorship firm that can work with you to ensure that your wishes will be carried out.
A will disposes of an individual’s property upon their death. It is very important to have a will, as if you don’t, your property will be disposed of pursuant to Colorado law, which may not coincide with an individual’s wishes. It is important to remember that a will may not dispose of all the property you own — the way a property is titled may control the transfer of that property upon a person’s death. You will need to consult with an attorney to clarify these issues.
A parent should always have a will, so that a guardian can be appointed for a child if the parent dies, and arrangements can be made to administer property for the benefit of the surviving child.
Before discussing a will with an attorney regarding Colorado conservatorship, you need to have a rough idea of how you wish to dispose of your property; who you wish to nominate as your personal representative (the person who administers the will); and who will be the guardian/conservator or trustee for issues concerning the children.
It is also recommended that you appoint a power of attorney, through a separate document outside of your will, to make financial and medical decisions should you become disabled.
In certain instances, such as to avoid probate or minimize any estate tax, you may want to create a trust. You will need to discuss with an attorney whether creating a trust makes sense for you.