What is a holographic will?

A handwritten will, written by the testator (the deceased, or the person leaving things to others via the will), is known as a “holographic” will. Some states require a holographic will to be entirely in the handwriting of the testator, but Colorado requires only that the “material portions” of the will be handwritten and that […]

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What is “Influence,” and When it is Undue?

With second marriages on the rise and continued expansion of mandatory reporting of elder abuse, we are seeing more cases involving elders where undue influence is being alleged. Most undue influence cases are seen in probate courts in guardianships, conservatorships, and with disputed wills and trusts. Undue influence situations are also seen in contract law […]

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A Realistic Look at Using Co-Fiduciaries

Co-fiduciaries may seem like a good idea to those looking to appoint friends or family as agents, either as personal representatives or as agents under powers of attorney. However, some caution must be used when deciding whether, and in what instance(s), co-fiduciaries may be a good idea. Co-fiduciaries may be a reasonable choice in certain […]

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The Use of the Small Estate Affidavit

Colorado has a process whereby a decedent with a probate estate with less than $64,000 of value can be collected and distributed without having to commence an estate administration with the courts. The use of the Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property (“Affidavit”) can reduce administrative costs and further simplify the administrative procedure of probate, […]

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Dying Intestate or Without a Will: A Lesson from Prince

As many know, legendary music icon Prince died recently leaving no will. In legal terms, Prince died intestate. When someone dies intestate, a probate court takes over administration of the decedent’s estate and distribution of assets. Because Prince left no surviving spouse, no children, and no parents, Prince’s sister petitioned the probate court in Minnesota […]

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