ALTHOUGH MOST PEOPLE ASSUME THEY CAN AVOID PROBATE BY WRITING A WILL, THIS IS SIMPLY NOT THE CASE.
In the state of Colorado, all intestate estates (dying without a will) and wills must be probated. The extent of court involvement will depend on the complexity of the estate and cooperation of heirs. The fastest an estate can statutorily close in Colorado is 6 months and 6 days. But most probates take a year or more to close.
If a person dies without a will, each state has laws that indicate who will inherit the estate. Typically, assets will be divided between the surviving spouse and children. If no family can be located, the estate will go to the state. Only blood relatives, spouses and domestic partners are eligible to inherit under intestate laws. Absent a will or trust, friends and unmarried partners generally cannot inherit assets.