Trying to avoid probate is a common misconception in Colorado. In other states, avoiding it will save tens of thousands of dollars. For example, in New York and California, the fee is a percentage of the estate’s value. For an average estate in those areas of around $1 million, the minimum fee can be up to $50,000 of the estate.

That is one reason why trusts are more common in California than in Colorado.

In Colorado, the fee is not a percentage of the estate. If anyone charges a fee, it has to be a reasonable hourly based on the services rendered. The estate can be handled without an attorney, though one is recommended to navigate all the forms and required filings. Here is a breakdown of the required costs:

  • Filing Application – $199.00
  • Certified Letters – $20
  • Notice to Creditors – $120 (average by word)
  • Postage (varies)

Those are the extent of costs for a small informal estate proceeding, which is less than $500. There are additional costs if you are recording documents or serving individuals pursuant to notice requirements.

Typically, it costs from our firm $550-$750 in fees to get a personal representative appointed. This represents a total average of around $1,000 to probate a Will or appoint a representative. From there, the representative can handle the administration of the estate without involving the attorney until the estate needs to close. This process takes 4-6 months, because the creditor period for any claims runs for four (4) months from the first publication notice in the newspaper. If there are other claims to resolve, the process may take closer to a year.

If you are the nominated personal representative in the Will, the application can sometimes be processed the same day with the court clerk. In other larger states, this process takes weeks or months just to get someone appointed, even if there is a Will with a nomination.

Therefore, while aversion to probate is warranted in other states because of high commission fees and long delays, probate in Colorado is straightforward. With higher costs to draft and execute trusts, probate may be a cheaper alternative. 

If you are thinking about executing an estate plan or may need to review an old one, please call the Grand Junction Estate Attorneys at 970-242-7847.




















































































If you choose to be compensated, I recommend obtaining court approval first to avoid any problems later. For more information or a consultation regarding compensation or estate administration, please contact the grand junction estate attorneys, Reams & Reams at 970-242-7847 or email us at























































































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