2021 Colorado Code
Title 15 - Probate, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Article 12 - Probate of Wills and Administration
Part 2 - Venue for Probate and Administration; Priority to Administer; Demand for Notice
§ 15-12-201. Venue for First and Subsequent Estate Proceedings - Location of Property
- Venue for the first informal or formal testacy or appointment proceedings after a decedent's death is:
- In the county where the decedent had his domicile or his residence at the time of his death; or
- If the decedent was not domiciled in nor a resident of this state, in any county where property of the decedent was located at the time of his death.
- Venue for all subsequent proceedings within the exclusive jurisdiction of the court is in the place where the initial proceeding occurred, unless the initial proceeding has been transferred as provided in section 15-10-303 or subsection (3) of this section.
- If the first proceeding was informal, on application of an interested person and after notice to the proponent in the first proceeding, the court, upon finding that venue is elsewhere, may transfer the proceeding and the file to the other court.
- For the purpose of aiding determinations concerning location of assets which may be relevant in cases involving nondomiciliaries, a debt, other than one evidenced by investment or commercial paper or other instrument in favor of a nondomiciliary, is located where the debtor resides or, if the debtor is a person other than an individual, at the place where it has its principal office. Commercial paper, investment paper, and other instruments are located where the instrument is. An interest in property held in trust is located where the trustee may be sued.
History. Source: L. 73: R&RE, p. 1567, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 153-3-201. L. 77: (1)(a) amended, p. 833, § 15, effective July 1. L. 96: (1)(b) amended, p. 659, § 10, effective July 1. History. Source: L. 73: R&RE, p. 1567, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 153-3-201. L. 77: (1)(a) amended, p. 833, § 15, effective July 1. L. 96: (1)(b) amended, p. 659, § 10, effective July 1.
Law reviews. For article, “Curative Statutes of Colorado Respecting Titles to Real Estate”, see 26 Dicta 281 (1949). For article, “Administration of Testate Estates”, see 29 Rocky Mt. L. Rev. 557 (1957). For article, “One Year Review of Torts”, see 36 Dicta 64 (1959). For article, “Will Contests -- Some Procedural Aspects”, see 15 Colo. Law. 787 (1986). For article, “Decedents' Creditors and Nonprobate Assets”, see 15 Colo. Law. 2190 (1986).
Annotator's note. Since § 15-12-201 is similar to repealed § 152-1-3, CRS 53, CSA, C. 176, § 71, and laws antecedent thereto relevant cases construing those provisions have been included in the annotations to this section. Annotator's note. Since § 15-12-201 is similar to repealed § 152-1-3, CRS 53, CSA, C. 176, § 71, and laws antecedent thereto relevant cases construing those provisions have been included in the annotations to this section.
A will should be first admitted to probate in the jurisdiction of the testator's last domicile; but in admitting a will to probate the court must be presumed prima facie to base its adjudication respecting the last domicile upon sufficient evidence, and under such circumstances, the probate and record thereof can only be questioned by some appellate or direct proceeding. Corrigan v. Jones, 14 Colo. 311 , 23 P. 913 (1890); Estate of Vilm v. Vilm, 134 Colo. 43 , 299 P.2d 513 (1956).
Although provision of section is mandatory it may be waived. The provisions of this section, that administration of the estate of every decedent shall be had in the district court of his last known residence, is mandatory; but it may nevertheless be waived. Miller v. Weston, 25 Colo. App. 231, 138 P. 424 (1914).
A district court sitting in probate has exclusive jurisdiction to hear all claims presented, and a claimant has no option to file suit in another court after the issuance of letters, hence a district court is without jurisdiction of an action against the executor of deceased's estate in an action for wrongful death, for which a claim had been filed in the estate. Miller v. Weston, 25 Colo. App. 231, 138 P. 424 (1914); Koon v. Barmettler, 134 Colo. 221 , 301 P.2d 713 (1956); Weller v. Bank of Vernal, 137 Colo. 32 , 321 P.2d 216 (1958); Meyers v. Williams, 137 Colo. 32 5, 324 P.2d 788 (1958).
Where jurisdiction depends upon a question of fact, it must be taken advantage of in apt time and in the right manner. Miller v. Weston, 67 Colo. 534 , 189 P. 610 (1920).
If a case is pending at the time of the death of a decedent, then the jurisdiction lies in that court having acquired jurisdiction during the lifetime, and the filing of the claims in the probate court is only for the purpose of showing assets, in other words, complying with that portion of the statute concerning the unliquidated or unmatured claims. Film Enters., Inc. v. Wolfberg, 137 Colo. 84 , 321 P.2d 218 (1958).
Administrator subject to direction of court. The administrator of the estate of a deceased person is a creature of the court, wholly subject to its directions in estate matters, and the court retains jurisdiction until the estate is finally closed and the administrator discharged. People v. Cartwright, 99 Colo. 437 , 63 P.2d 454 (1936).
Situs courts have usually applied their own local law to determine the validity of a will insofar as it affects interests in local land even though the testator died domiciled in another state. Wimbush v. Wimbush, 41 Colo. App. 289, 587 P.2d 796 (1978).