Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight
delay between your follow ups and my replies.
I am very sorry for your loss.
When someone passes away, then their estate has to be distributed. The problem is that without probate
- with assets such as titled property or bank accounts - this is hard to do. This is because you cannot switch over the assets without an order from the probate court, and simply a Certificate of Death will not do. A Certificate of Death simply states that someone has passed on, but does not give you the right to really do anything in the deceased's name.
So one files probate. Once probate is filed, the Executor of the estate gets something called a Letter of Testament/Administration
(hereinafter "Letter"). This Letter will allow the Executor to switch over the assets from the deceased individual to whoever will own the property. It is like a "Power of Attorney," but from the Court. Without that Letter, there is no way to transfer titled property and switch the assets into your name.
Ergo, to be appointed Executor, one needs to file for probate. If you need information specifically how to contact the Court in your county, please tell me what county this is in.
Note often that probate may be "streamlined" into a faster way, mostly via mail, in a process called small estate administration
. This is an option if the estate is worth less than $61,000. For more, please see here
. Small estate administration is generally quicker than probate although it has the same results and one still is appointed Executor (often times called Administrator, but same thing).
An attorney is recommended but not required. May I recommend the CO Bar Directory Search - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.
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