Estate Administration | Boulder Estate Attorney
When someone dies, his or her assets need to be gathered, outstanding debts need to be paid, and whatever remains needs to be distributed according to the decedent’s dispositive document (will or trust) or in accordance with the laws of intestacy (if there was no will). This process is called estate administration. When someone dies with a will, the probate court for the county in which the person was domiciled (lived most of the time) will appoint a personal representative and oversee the administration of the will. When someone dies without a will, the probate court will appoint an administrator rather than a personal representative. The process is similar in either case, except that when there is no will the administrator distributes the assets of the estate in accordance with the laws of intestacy whereas when there is a will, the personal representative distributes the assets of the estate in accordance with the terms of the will
Many times there is no will to pass through probate, or the will does not cover the most valuable assets in the estate. The major assets, such as houses and insurance policies, may pass by operation of law. For instance, a house can be transferred upon a decedent’s death by way of a beneficiary deed or through a warranty deed that conveyed a property to two or more people in joint tenancy. Upon the occurrence of the decedent’s death, the property passes automatically by operation of law, although depending on the circumstances evidence may need to be recorded or provided to a third party in order to effectuate the transfer. Other times, trusts may become irrevocable upon a decedent’s death and vest in the trustee the duty to administer the trust according to the decedent’s written wishes specified in the trust instrument.
Regardless how the property is to pass, it is important to know whether you, as a personal representative or administrator, are fulfilling your fiduciary duties. Personal liability can befall personal representatives who fail to carry out their responsibilities. Having a knowledgeable, capable attorney on your side to guide you through the process can be invaluable and can make an otherwise daunting and stressful task considerably more manageable.
If you are looking for a Probate Attorney in Boulder, Colorado with a results oriented approach tailored to your matter’s specific needs, contact Newell Law. We have the experience and knowledge to achieve the best results possible for your case.