When is Probate Necessary?

Attorney Jessica Showers explains when Probate is necessary in Colorado.

When probate is necessary really depends on what state the person who died lived in.  In Colorado, probate is necessary when that person owned real estate only in their name, or they had assets that were valued over altogether 66 thousand dollars and those assets don’t have a beneficiary designation.  So, things like retirement accounts, IRAs, life insurance policies, lots of those things have beneficiary designations. We say on there “if I’m not around, I want that asset to go to my husband, or I want it to go equally to my kids.” And so that beneficiary designation trumps anything else.  But if the asset doesn’t have a designated beneficiary, if it’s unnamed and it’s over sixty-six thousand dollars, then it has to go through probate so that the court can sign off on the orders, changing the title out of the name out of the person who died and into the name of the beneficiaries.

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Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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