What to do if my father died and his Will was declared to be invalid?

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What to do if my father died and his Will was declared to be invalid?

My father committed suicide. He left some letters with information on what to do with the house and such which were deemed invalid because there was no witnesses. I need to know how to go about dealing with his estate – who gets everything and how does the probate process work?

Asked on November 17, 2011 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation.  If your Father died with out a Will  - or what was ruled to be a valid Will - then he is said to have died "intestate".  Every state - including Colorado - has what is known as an intestacy statute which will govern how the estate is distributed.  It pretty much spells out who will inherit.  The first step for you is to go and to the Probate court in the county in which he resided at the time of his death and to file to become the Personal Representative of his estate. Once appointed you are permitted to gather assets and obligated to notify creditors of his death and then pay off the debt with the assets.  It can become overwhelming so ay be you should speak with an estate attorney to help.  Good luck.


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