IF YOU HAVE A WILL AND ASSETS ARE NOT OVER 50M, IS A PROBATE NECESSARY

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IF YOU HAVE A WILL AND ASSETS ARE NOT OVER 50M, IS A PROBATE NECESSARY

MY HUSBAND PASSED AWAY AND OWES MONEY ON A VEHICLE (MORE THAN VALUE OF CAR). WILL I BE LEGALLY RESPON SINCE THE TRUCK IS IN HIS NAME. CAN THE BANK TAKE ANOTHER VEHICLE PAID FOR AND IN HIS NAME.

Asked on May 7, 2009 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the assets in the estate are over $27K, some type of probate is necessary, either informal or supervised.  The vast majority of estates in Colorado are administered informally. Informal administration means the estate is not court-supervised. An attorney can have a limited role in these proceedings and a client should discuss with their attorney the amount of help they will need.  A supervised administration is needed when there is a dispute among the parties who have an interest in the estate. In this situation, the court has to settle the dispute and attorneys are likely to be involved the entire time.  Regarding the truck, since it is part of the estate, it is a debt that the estate owes and will need to be paid off prior to the distribution of any other estate assets.  The other vehicle, as long as it is paid for, is part of the estate.  If your husband did not leave it to anyone in particular in his will, it would go to the residual beneficiary, i.e., the one who gets what doesn't go to the others.  Be aware, however, that you may need to sell that vehicle if there is limited cash in the estate and you need to pay off the other vehicle.


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