2021 Colorado Code
Title 15 - Probate, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Article 12 - Probate of Wills and Administration
Part 1 - General Provisions
§ 15-12-107. Scope of Proceedings - Proceedings Independent - Exception

Universal Citation: CO Code § 15-12-107 (2021)
  1. Unless supervised administration as described in part 5 of this article is involved:
    1. Each proceeding before the court or registrar is independent of any other proceeding involving the same estate;
    2. Petitions for formal orders of the court may combine various requests for relief in a single proceeding if the orders sought may be finally granted without delay. Except as required for proceedings which are particularly described by other sections of this article, no petition is defective because it fails to embrace all matters which might then be the subject of a final order;
    3. Proceedings for probate of wills or adjudications of no will may be combined with proceedings for appointment of personal representatives; and
    4. A proceeding for appointment of a personal representative is concluded by an order making or declining the appointment.

History. Source: L. 73: R&RE, p. 1566, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 153-3-107. History. Source: L. 73: R&RE, p. 1566, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 153-3-107.


This section, along with the definition of “proceeding” in § 15-10-201 , instructs that unsupervised administration of an estate may involve multiple proceedings, that a petition initiates an independent proceeding and defines its scope, and that a single proceeding may dispose of multiple claims. Scott v. Scott, 136 P.3d 892 (Colo. 2006).

The initial petition outlines a set of claims and begins a proceeding. Subsequent pleadings that relate to that set of claims are part of the same proceeding. Scott v. Scott, 136 P.3d 892 (Colo. 2006).

Section inapplicable to informal proceeding regarding a claim for services against the estate, as section specifically relates to petitions for formal orders of the court. In re Estate of Bell, 4 P.3d 504 (Colo. App. 2000).

Res judicata does not apply to bar challenge to the validity of a will when former informal dispute was over distribution of the estate and not a claim against the estate. Res judicata only operates as a bar to a second action on a claim that was litigated in a prior proceeding when there is a final judgment and identity of subject matter, claims for relief, and parties to the action. In re Estate of Bell, 4 P.3d 504 (Colo. App. 2000).

Probate court did not err by treating wife's claims separately because wife raised two distinct claims that were subject to different statutory requirements and alleged different facts. Although wife filed two claims on the same day addressing different elements of a singular probate proceeding, each claim was reviewed as an independent claim, and the probate court could rightfully rule on each claim separately. In re Estate of Gadash, 2017 COA 54 , 413 P.3d 272.

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