Denver, Colorado Probate Attorney
Denver Probate Attorney
Historically, probate referred to the act or process of proving the validity of a will. Today, probate refers generally to all matters over which the probate court has jurisdiction. This includes the validity of a will, estate administration, guardianships, conservatorships and trusts.
At Miller & Steiert, P.C. in Littleton, Colorado, our Denver probate lawyer brings more than 20 years of experience assisting with probate issues, including probate litigation. Contact Miller & Steiert, P.C. to learn more about the following:
Informal and Formal Probate
The purpose of probate is to ensure that:
- A decedent's property is gathered and identified,
- Lawful creditors are paid, and
- Assets are distributed according to a decedent's wishes, or according to Colorado law, if the decedent died without a will.
In Colorado, probate may be informal or formal. Many estates go through an informal probate process, which has limited involvement with the courts or court appearances. Our Denver probate attorney can help prepare and file the necessary paperwork with no involvement from a judge or court appearance. However, there are many reasons why it is either necessary or preferable to proceed with a formal probate, with the assistance of a judge. Such reasons can include:
- a will challenge,
- a disputed creditor claim,
- issues regarding administration of an estate,
- determining whether a purported will is a will,
- or other reasons.
The level of court involvement in formal probate depends on many factors. Our experienced Colorado probate attorney will explain the process and help you understand each step.
Contact Miller & Steiert, P.C., and our Denver probate attorney can help you understand the complexities associated with probate.
Not all decedents' estates are probated. When required, the process encompasses all matters involving a decedent's estate, including appointing a personal representative, inventorying, accounting for and distributing the estate assets and closing the estate. Depending on the circumstances, probate may also include proving up (validating) the decedent's will, resolving the claims of creditors and others against a decedent's estate, determining rightful heirs, resolving will contests and other issues, including litigation, that may arise.
An experienced Denver probate attorney from Miller & Steiert, P.C. will work closely with you, help you resolve probate issues, and get the results you want.
Incapacitated persons, whether from age, illness or other infirmity, are unable to make certain basic life decisions. The law allows the courts to appoint a guardian or conservator, or both, for the person determined to lack the capacity to effectively make those basic life and financial decisions for him or herself.
A Guardianship is a proceeding whereby the court appoints a guardian to oversee an incapacitated individual's health and welfare.
A Conservatorship is a proceeding whereby the court appoints a conservator to oversee and manage an individual's property and financial affairs.
Conservators and guardians must, at all times, act in the best interests of the individuals and properties they are appointed to protect. They are subject to court supervision, which includes filing plans for the care of the protected persons and their assets, and reporting to the court on the status and affairs of the protected persons.
Contact Miller & Steiert, P.C. Our Colorado probate attorney can help you through these processes and give you Colorado probate advice.
At Miller & Steiert, P. C., our Denver probate lawyer has extensive probate litigation experience. Probate litigation covers a broad range of issues including:
- Will contests
- Determination of heirs (including common law marriage issues)
- Will or trust interpretation or construction
- Document reformation
- Claims for breach of fiduciary duty by a trustee, personal representative or agent under a power of attorney
- Mismanagement of assets by a fiduciary
- Whether a gift of property was intended, completed or properly made
- The allocation or apportionment of estate and generation skipping taxes among the beneficiaries, devisees and the estate
- Determination of whether an individual requires a guardian or conservator
- Resolution of creditor claims.
Contact Our Miller & Steiert, P.C.
Our Colorado probate attorney will help individuals, families, personal representatives, beneficiaries, heirs and others to navigate through the probate and estate administration processes. In addition to Colorado probate advice, our Denver probate lawyer prepares federal and state estate tax returns for taxable estates.