Nicole: In Colorado, probate needs to be opened for at least six months. There are a lot of formalities at play in a probate. You have to file specific documents with the court in order to officially be appointed as personal representative. If we have other siblings or family members who also have priority to be personal representative, we need them to sign renunciation forms.

A lot goes into just getting a probate even opened and dealing with the court. Once you’re officially appointed, we have creditor deadlines. We need to file things in the newspaper and send direct notice to creditors. There are a lot of formalities at play and it’s hard to keep up with all of those things on top of your personal life, on top of mourning somebody. Hiring an attorney is pretty essential in making sure that the probate is handled properly and also lowering your risk of liability.

There is a lot of liability risk that comes with being a personal representative and having an attorney in your corner, making sure that every move you make is the right one and you’re lowering your liability risk, making sure the estate is handled properly. I also think that having an attorney help save the estate money because there have been two cases we’ve had where a client has already opened the probate, some things got messed up, and now we have to fix it. Things are handled a lot more efficiently, time effective and everything when you have an attorney by your side.