Probate: Definition and Timeline

What is Probate?

Probate is what happens after someone dies and their loved ones need to finalize their business affairs.  Many people are afraid of probate.  Fortuantely, in Colorado the process is quite streamlined.  A person requests that the Court appoint him or her as the Personal Representative (aka Executor) of the estate.  Once appointed, they are tasked with following the rules of the court and fiduciary duty to collect the assets and debts of the estate and then distribute them to the beneficiaries or heirs once all the administration has been completed.  It can feel overwhelming, but we are here to help.  We have helped hundreds of families through this tough time, and we hope we can help you too. 

Probate Timeline:

Below is a basic timeline of what happens in a probate matter. Your case may have some, all, or more than, the listed steps. Your case is unique, so please contact us for a free 15-minute consultation so we can help you.  Here is how we help our clients through the probate process:

  1. Initial meeting and preparation of documents. We will draft the documents and you will sign the required documents to file with the court. After everything is prepared and signed we will electronically file it with the


  1. Appointment as Personal Representative. The Court will appoint you as personal representative and you will receive the certified Letters Testamentary. These will allow you to do all necessary actions to gather money, sell property, or close any accounts necessary. You will also receive a more formal letter from me with instructions on how to


  1. Opening Estate Bank Account. Once you have the letters you should go to your bank and open an estate checking account.


  1. Taxes: You will need to find a CPA to help with the income taxes for your loved ones.


  1. Debts and Reducing Liability. We will help gather the debts and notify all creditors appropriately to reduce liabilities as much as we can.


  1. Gathering Assets: It can be hard to find the assets, but that is one of the main jobs of the personal representative. We will help you handle the companies and gather the assets.


       7.  Handling Property. We help the personal representative know what to do about real estate, possessions, etc.

  1. Preparation of Interim Inventory and Accounting: You will prepare an interim accounting (money in the estate) and inventory (items in the estate). I will provide these to you for your


  1. Finalizing the Estate. Once you have all the items distributed, accounts closed and transferred to the estate or paid to the pay on death beneficiaries, real estate sold, and you are ready to finalize the estate. We help ensure you do this well and completely.


  1. Closing the estate. Once all bills are paid, and all money and property distributed, we will close your case with the court and you will be released as the personal

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