When is Probate Necessary?


There’s a good chance you have known people who passed away, but then you didn’t see any probate court case opened. That’s because probate is only necessary in a limited number of circumstances. Unless you own a certain amount of assets or real estate by yourself when you die, probate isn’t required in Colorado.

Let’s say, for example, that you and your spouse own everything jointly and one of you passes away. The survivor between the two of you now owns everything alone, automatically, without the need for a probate process.

Or let’s say your primary asset is a retirement account, and you told the brokerage that holds it who should receive its funds on a designated beneficiary form. For better or worse, those instructions will get followed, regardless of whether a probate happens.

If the idea of your loved ones having to go through a probate bothers you, one of the most popular ways to ensure that it won’t be necessary is by moving your property out of your name and into a revocable living trust.

Probate isn’t necessarily so terrible that you should always try to avoid it. And sometimes, people cause more problems than they solve trying to do so.
To learn more about whether your loved ones will have to go through a probate process if you pass away and whether it’s worth avoiding, please give us a call.