Denver, Colorado Probate Attorney | Miller & Steiert
Denver Probate Attorneys
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 probate lawyer, Walter Kelly, brings more than 15 years of experience in the entire range of probate issues, including probate litigation. Contact him to learn more about the following:
Informal and Formal Probate
In Colorado, probate may be informal, with little or no judicial oversight, or formal, with oversight in probate court. The level of court involvement in formal probate will depend on the case facts, and whether the formal probate is supervised or unsupervised. Ultimately, probate is intended 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
A 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.
As an experienced Denver probate attorney, Walter Kelly works closely with clients and helps them resolve probate issues, as wells as get the results they 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 of the person determined to lack the capacity to make those basic decisions for him or herself.
Whether someone is appointed a conservator or a guardian depends on whether he or she will be in charge of another's medical care or financial affairs.
- Guardianship is a proceeding whereby the court appoints a person to oversee an incapacitated individual's health and welfare.
- Conservatorship is a proceeding whereby the court appoints a person to oversee and manage an individual's property and financial affairs.
Conservators and guardians are fiduciaries and 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.
Miller & Steiert, P. C. 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 Firm
Walter Kelly helps individuals, families, personal representatives, beneficiaries, heirs and others to navigate through the probate and estate administration processes. In addition, Walt prepares federal and state estate tax returns for taxable estates.