Do I need a lawyer to carry out a will?

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Do I need a lawyer to carry out a will?

My mother just passed away and her will states her assets to be divided among her 3 children. The only asset she has left is a cash amount of 17,000. She has no home, car, stocks, bonds, annuities, or insurance policies.

Asked on April 16, 2018 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you do not need a lawyer to admister a Will. In fact, a Will need not be entered into probate under certain circumstances. Many states have simplified probate procedures for small estates. In CO, an inheritor can prepare a short document signed under oath, called an affidavit. It states that they are entitled to a certain asset. When the person/entity holding the property gets the affidavit and a copy of the death certificate, it releases the asset. 
 
The out-of-court affidavit procedure is available in Colorado if the fair market value of property that is subject to disposition by will or state intestate succession law, less liens and encumbrances, is $64,000 or less. (This amount is adjusted for inflation and excludes joint tenancy property, property in a living trust, payable-on-death bank accounts, and other kinds of property that don't pass under a will.) There is a ten-day waiting period. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-12-1201.
 


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