Probate, the legal process of validating a will and transferring an estate to beneficiaries, can be as complicated as it may be costly and contentious. This is because Colorado probate can take months to complete, requires executors to satisfy various requirements and may end up giving rise to heated disputes (if, for instance, beneficiaries contest the will).

While these are just some of the reasons that Colorado probate can be stressful, what people should know is that this probate process may be avoidable – or it may be resolved far more efficiently – if the right estate planning tools are put in place before a death.

In this blog series, we will point out what can be done now to help loved ones avoid Colorado probate in the future. When you are ready to move forward with any of these estate planning processes – or if you need experienced help and the best representation in Colorado probate, however, it’s time to contact the trusted Pueblo probate lawyers at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth. We are skilled at devising the right estate planning solutions for our clients so they can protect what matters most – their families and their future.

How to Avoid Colorado Probate: Here’s What You Can Do

1 – Create a revocable living trust.

Here are some of the steps you can take to avoid Colorado probate and save your loved ones time and stress. Contact us for experienced help with probate and estate planning.

Here are some of the steps you can take to avoid Colorado probate and save your loved ones time and stress. Contact us for experienced help with probate and estate planning.

With revocable living trusts, people can transfer certain assets into the trust, and the trust will hold these assets for a designated beneficiary (or multiple beneficiaries). Assets that can be transferred into living trusts (i.e., used to fund the trust) can include (but may not be limited to):

  • Real estate and homes
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Interests in a business (like an LLC or partnership)
  • Various personal property, like collections of art, jewelry, antiques, etc.

The reason that living trusts can help people avoid Colorado probate is that, once the trust has been funded with certain assets, these assets will no longer be considered to be the property of the trust maker; instead, they will be the property of the trust/beneficiary.

Therefore, these assets would not be included in the estate of the trust maker upon him passing, allowing these assets to be directly transferred to the designated beneficiary without having to pass through probate.

2 – Designate beneficiaries for certain accounts and/or insurance policies.

For bank accounts and retirement accounts, choose a beneficiary to inherit these accounts by taking advantage of the “payable on death” (POD) or the “transfer on death” (TOD) options. This will allow your chosen beneficiary, such as your surviving spouse or a child, to directly inherit the funds from these accounts without the need for Colorado probate.

Similarly, with insurance policies like life insurance, because you have likely already designated a beneficiary, the funds of this policy will not be considered to be part of your estate upon your passing, allowing them to bypass probate and transfer directly to the named beneficiary.

Be sure to check out the upcoming conclusion to this blog series for our continued discussion regarding how to avoid Colorado probate. In the meantime, share your thoughts and comments on this topic with us on social media – we look forward to hearing from you!

Trinidad and Pueblo Probate Attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth

Are you ready to dive into the estate planning process? Or do you need help getting through probate? If so, the Trinidad and Pueblo probate attorneys at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth are ready to provide you with the highest quality legal services.

To learn more about our superior legal services and how we can assist you, contact us by calling (719) 556- 8844 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.

Categories: Blog, Colorado Probate, Estate Planning