A Self-Proving Will Makes Probate a Whole Lot Easier

A Self-Proving Will Makes Probate a Whole Lot Easier

Quite often people die without leaving a will, which creates stress and added expense for an estate. Having a self-proving will in your estate plan could save your estate time and money during the probate process.

Three Ways to Probate

There are three ways to probate an estate in Colorado, by affidavit, formally, and informally.  The easiest way to probate an estate is by affidavit. This occurs when the court issues an affidavit to the personal representative, also known as an executor.  The executor then uses that affidavit to settle the accounts of the deceased. He or she can make distributions, and close accounts with the IRS and Social Security. Unfortunately, the use of an affidavit is only available in limited circumstances. If the estate has a value of less than $65,000 and the deceased doesn’t own real property.

When one of the above conditions is met, the estate must be probated formally or informally.
If the deceased did not have a will; and he or she owned real estate, or had an estate valued at more than $65,ooo, the probate must occur formally. Formal probate proceedings are before a judge. The court appoints a personal representatative and the court will have hearings to administer the estate. A formally probated estate is more costly and timely to settle.

The Solution

The one document that makes the probate process easier is a self-authenticating will, also known as a self-proving will. A will is self-authenticating when signed by the testator, notarized, and witnessed by two individuals who are not beneficiaries under the will. Self-Proving Willls streamline the probate processA will meeting these requirements, must be admitted into probate, and the estate can be administered informally.  During informal probate, the process is streamlined and hearings before a judge are not required.

This saves the estate time; there is no need to be scheduled on the court’s docket, witnesses don’t need to go to court and the estate can be administered and closed in less time. Additionally, it saves the estate money since there is no need to go take off from work, and also saves on legal fees. Moreover, documents can be filed electronically, in a majority of jurisdictions in Colorado.

In conclusion, get a self-proving will, your estate will be able to be probated informally which is an easier and more streamlined process than not having a will at all and dying intestate.

If you need help reviewing your estate plan, or if you need to get started, contact the Law Office of Paul Miller LLC for a consultation. Email: paul@pmillerlawoffice.com Phone: (303) 900-2529

This article is for educational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice about your case or situation. There may be exceptions to the information outlined above. Please consult an attorney if you have specific questions about your estate plan. 

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