If a loved one dies without leaving a will or estate plan behind, it is called intestacy or dying intestate. In most cases, the absence of a will means that the Colorado probate court will decide who receives the decedent’s estate (assets, property, etc.).
Probate here in Centennial, Colorado, has a bad reputation. Most people dread the probate process because they do not understand what it all means.
What is probate?
It is the process of proving that a will is valid. You may think it is unnecessary without a will, but you must still work with the probate court before gaining access to your loved one’s estate.
When you begin probate, you will hear or read many legal terms that you might not understand. It can cause much stress and anxiety when you do not know what these terms or phrases mean. Some examples and definitions of intestate probate terms include:
- Intestate succession. People who stand to inherit the deceased’s property.
- Applicant. You or another party applying to become the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.
- Personal representative. The person selected to manage and administer the estate.
- Creditors. The individuals or entities to whom the decedent owed money when they died.
- Interested persons. Those who state probate laws deem must receive a notification about court proceedings (heirs, beneficiaries, creditors, etc.).
- Right of survivorship. Jointly owned property that passes to the co-owner after the other co-owner dies.
The list above includes only a portion of the terminology associated with intestate probate, but it can introduce you to the process. Instead of dreading these court proceedings, consider learning more about Colorado probate administration. The knowledge you gain can help guide you through the process as painlessly as possible.