2018 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 15 - Probate, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Colorado Probate Code
Article 12 - Probate of Wills and Administration
Part 2 - Venue for Probate and Administration; Priority to Administer; Demand for Notice
§ 15-12-203. Priority among persons seeking appointment as personal representative

  • (1) Whether the proceedings are formal or informal, persons who are not disqualified have priority for appointment in the following order:

    • (a) The person with priority as determined by a probated will including a person nominated by a power conferred in a will;

    • (b) The surviving spouse of the decedent who is a devisee of the decedent;

    • (b.3) The surviving party to a civil union entered into in accordance with article 15 of title 14, C.R.S., who is a devisee of the decedent;

    • (b.5) A person given priority to be a personal representative in a designated beneficiary agreement made pursuant to article 22 of this title;

    • (c) Other devisees of the decedent;

    • (d) The surviving spouse of the decedent;

    • (d.5) The surviving party to a civil union entered into in accordance with article 15 of title 14, C.R.S.;

    • (e) Other heirs of the decedent;

    • (f) Forty-five days after the death of the decedent, any creditor.

  • (2) An objection to an appointment can be made only in formal proceedings. In case of objection the priorities stated in subsection (1) of this section apply, except that:

    • (a) If the estate appears to be more than adequate to meet exemptions and costs of administration but inadequate to discharge anticipated unsecured claims, the court, on petition of creditors, may appoint any qualified person;

    • (b) In case of objection to appointment of a person, other than one whose priority is determined by will, by an heir or devisee appearing to have a substantial interest in the estate, the court may appoint a person who is acceptable to heirs and devisees whose interests in the estate appear to be worth in total more than half of the probable distributable value or, in default of this accord, any suitable person.

  • (3) A person entitled to letters under paragraphs (b) to (e) of subsection (1) of this section and a person between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one who would be entitled to letters but for his age may nominate a qualified person to act as personal representative. Any person eighteen years of age or older may renounce his right to nominate or to an appointment by appropriate writing filed with the court. When two or more persons share a priority, those of them who do not renounce must concur in nominating another to act for them or in applying for appointment.

  • (4) Conservators of the estates of protected persons or, if there is no conservator, any guardian except a guardian ad litem of a minor or incapacitated person may exercise the same right to nominate, to object to another's appointment, or to participate in determining the preference of a majority in interest of the heirs and devisees that the protected person or ward would have if qualified for appointment.

  • (5) Appointment of a person with priority, a person who is nominated pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, or a person whose entitlement to appointment results from renunciation by another person with priority may be made in an informal proceeding. Before formal appointment of one without priority, the court must determine that those having priority, although given notice of the proceedings, have failed to request appointment or to nominate another for appointment and that administration is necessary.

  • (6) No person is qualified to serve as a personal representative who is:

    • (a) Under the age of twenty-one;

    • (b) A person whom the court finds unsuitable in formal proceedings.

  • (7) A personal representative appointed by a court of the decedent's domicile has priority over all other persons except where the decedent's will nominates different persons to be personal representative in this state and in the state of domicile. The domiciliary personal representative may nominate another, who shall have the same priority as the domiciliary personal representative.

  • (8) This section governs priority for appointment of a successor personal representative but does not apply to the selection of a special administrator.

  • (9) If there be more than one fiduciary of an estate, and one of such fiduciaries shall die, resign, or be removed, the court may in its discretion appoint a successor fiduciary to act in place and instead of the former fiduciary, together with the remaining fiduciary or fiduciaries, or the court may permit the remaining fiduciary or fiduciaries to serve without any new or additional fiduciary; except that, if there be a will providing for the fiduciaries, the provisions of the will shall control when applicable.

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