Probating a small estate in Colorado is a straightforward process. Technically, it’s not even probate, since there’s no filing or appearing in court. The official process is known as Collection of Personal Property By Affidavit Pursuant To § 15-12-1201, C.R.S. And although it’s not an easy thing to say; the state of Colorado has made it an easy thing to do. If you are tasked with probating a small estate for a friend, family member, or loved one, then read on.
What Is a Small Estate? Do You Need to Probate a Small Estate?
Probate is a legal process directing the transfer of assets of a decedent to his or her heirs or creditors. In Colorado, there is no requirement to go through probate when a deceased person doesn’t own real estate, and has assets valued at less than $74,000. This amount adjusts for inflation and doesn’t include property that transfers outside of will. For example, property held in joint tenancy, or assets with beneficiary designations such as payable-on-death bank accounts. Rather the heirs or any person acting on behalf of an heir can collect the personal property of the decedent by affidavit. The person collecting the assets swears she or he is entitled to them, and also agrees to distribute them to all the other heirs.
Documents Required to Collect Personal Property
The document required to collect personal property is JDF 999 Small Estate Affidavit, and JDF 998 Small Estate Affidavit Instructions. If the deceased has an automobile then DR 2712 DMV Small Estate Affidavit, is also required. The document titles above are links so you can download them if you need to.
How Much Does it Cost and What’s the Process?
There is no filing fee for using a small estate affidavit. There is however, a ten-day waiting period it can be used, and it must be notarized. Also, it’s a good idea to have several copies notarized, since you may need more than one. Present the affidavit and the death certificate to any person, bank or institution holding assets of the deceased. By law the individual in possession of the items must turn over the property to the person who signed the affidavit.