What is Probate, and How Do You Know If You Need It

 In Blog

If you are the owner of a large estate, then you may be faced with several legal issues. One such issue is probate. Probate is the process by which an estate is settled after an individual dies. But does this process necessarily have to be a burden?

This article will discuss probate and how you can tell if it’s needed.

 What is Probate?

Probate is a process that allows you to transfer titles of properties after the death of someone who was the titleholder. There are different kinds of probates, and each state’s law governs them.

The costs involved in probate depend on the size of real assets you have since there is a filing fee for each asset (property). Probate can be avoided by the use of wills and other kinds of trusts.

It may also be necessary to carry out these processes if your estate exceeds a specific value that varies from state to state.

When is Probate Needed?

Probate is not just required for a will. It is also needed if you do not have a valid will and your estate exceeds the value of the probate exemption in your state.

Here is when to know when you need this process:

1. An Heir Opposes the Validity of a Will

One reason a probate court may be needed is if a person named as an heir in a will contests its validity. This can happen if the heir believes that the document was not properly signed or witnessed or that the signee is mentally incapacitated. So it is important that a lawyer must review a person who has a will to alleviate the chances of it being contested for its validity.

2. A Person Died Without a Will

A surviving family member of a deceased person may have to file for probate if there is no will. This can be especially important if the deceased person has minor children since they may need legal representation to keep their inheritance protected from others who might wish to take advantage of them.

In this case, the court will appoint an administrator to be in charge of the estate of the deceased person, and the state law will decide on the disposition of the estate.

3. Property Subject to Probate

Probate can be necessary for any property that is owned by the deceased person, including:

  • Real estate – This is a home or other piece of land and can be inherited by those named in the will or those who inherit under state law.
  • Personal property – This includes items such as furniture, jewelry and clothing, which are typically given to designated beneficiaries in a will.
  • Bank accounts – These could include savings accounts or certificates of deposit (CDs) that were not left to a specific beneficiary.

When is a Probate Not Needed?

Some types of property do not require probate to transfer ownership. These include:

  • Joint tenancy
  • Living trust
  • Retirement accounts
  • Transferrable accounts
  • Co-owned savings
  • Beneficiary deeds
  • Savings bonds
  • Pay-on-death accounts
  • Money market accounts


Knowing what probate involves can help you avoid the stress of dealing with a loved one’s estate and allows you to seek out professional representation effectively. Probate is often complex, time-consuming, and expensive; taking the necessary steps to ensure an easy experience can save legal fees and help preserve the legacy of your loved one.

Hire the best estate lawyer in Colorado to help you navigate probate and ensure a smooth transition for your loved one’s estate. Schedule a consultation with Estate Planning Lawyers Colorado.

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