How Probate Can Benefit You
Advice from Our Denver Estate Planning Attorney
The majority of our clients put probate avoidance near the top of their estate planning objectives. There are situations, however, when the benefits of probate outweigh the negatives. In particular, when family disputes are anticipated a probate judge can referee and resolve differences expeditiously saving your family the stress of fighting over your estate.
Letting the Courts Work for You
Some of the advantages of going through the probate process include:
- The court resolves disputes among beneficiaries
- Creditor claims are dealt with efficiently, and are barred after one year
- The process ensures that the estate assets are distributed properly
- Beneficiaries may request an accounting of all funds received and disbursed by the estate
- Probate protects the personal representative from liability as long as he or she follows the court's instructions
- A purchaser of estate assets can be confident that they have a "a valid and clear title" free from liens or encumbrances
- The court determines the validity of any contested will or trust and interprets any disputed language in the document
Duties of Personal Representatives
As personal representative, you are responsible for managing the estate until it is distributed. What you can and can't do will be specified in the will or by Colorado's Probate Code. Keep in mind that the personal representative may be liable to the beneficiaries for failure to properly manage and/or invest estate funds, for acts of negligence, or for breach of fiduciary duty.
Is Probate for Me?
If you have children that do not get along or who are likely to contest your will or trust , probate may be advantageous and even necessary. At the same time, you should strive to develop an estate plan that will simplify the probate process and minimize disputes among heirs and beneficiaries.
Our caring Denver estate planning lawyer at the James A. Littlepage Law Offices can help you determine whether probate would be beneficial for your estate, and help you plan accordingly. Attorney Littlepage has more than 40 years of experience and has represented countless families throughout Colorado.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of probate, we encourage you to contact our firm at your earliest convenience.