2021 Colorado Code
Title 15 - Probate, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Article 12 - Probate of Wills and Administration
Part 3 - Informal Probate and Appointment Proceedings
§ 15-12-303. Informal Probate - Proof and Findings Required

Universal Citation: CO Code § 15-12-303 (2021)
  1. In an informal proceeding for original probate of a will, the registrar shall determine that:
    1. The application is complete;
    2. The applicant has made oath or affirmation that the statements contained in the application are true to the best of his knowledge and belief;
    3. The applicant appears from the application to be an interested person as defined in section 15-10-201 (27);
    4. On the basis of the statements in the application, venue is proper;
    5. An original, duly executed, and apparently unrevoked will is in the registrar's possession;
    6. Any notice required by section 15-12-204 has been given and that the application is not within section 15-12-304;
    7. It appears from the application that the time limit for original probate has not expired; and
    8. One hundred twenty hours have elapsed since decedent's death.
  2. The application shall be denied if it indicates that a personal representative has been appointed in another county of this state or, except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, if it appears that this or another will of the decedent has been the subject of a previous probate order.
  3. A will which appears to have the required signatures and which contains an attestation clause showing that requirements of execution under section 15-11-502, 15-11-503, or 15-11-506 have been met shall be probated without further proof. In other cases, the registrar may assume execution if the will appears to have been properly executed, or he may accept a sworn statement or affidavit of any person having knowledge of the circumstances of execution, whether or not the person was a witness to the will.
  4. Informal probate of a will which has been previously probated elsewhere may be granted at any time upon written application by any interested person, together with deposit of an authenticated copy of the will and of the statement probating it from the office or court where it was first probated.
  5. A will from a place which does not provide for probate of a will after death and which is not eligible for probate under subsection (1) of this section may be probated in this state upon receipt by the registrar of a duly authenticated copy of the will and a duly authenticated certificate of its legal custodian that the copy filed is a true copy and that the will has become operative under the law of the other place.

History. Source: L. 73: R&RE, p. 1571, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 153-3-303. L. 94: (1)(c) amended, p. 1037, § 9, effective July 1, 1995. History. Source: L. 73: R&RE, p. 1571, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 153-3-303. L. 94: (1)(c) amended, p. 1037, § 9, effective July 1, 1995.

Cross references:

For establishment of lost or destroyed will, see § 15-12-402 (3) .


Law reviews. For article, “A Potpourri of Probate Practice Aids”, see 11 Colo. Law. 1850 (1982).

Practice and procedure under this section. It will be observed that the court is not required in express terms to hear the testimony of any witnesses except those who attested the will. No provision is made for a contest. Upon the hearing of “such proof”, that is the testimony of the attesting witnesses that the will was properly signed and attested, and that they believe the testator was of sound mind and memory at the time it was signed and acknowledged, the court is compelled to admit the will to probate and record, provided that no proof of fraud, compulsion, or improper conduct be exhibited, which in the opinion of the court shall be deemed sufficient to invalidate or destroy it. It is true that the proviso in this section contains an implied permission, presumably to interested parties, to offer testimony tending to invalidate the will on account of fraud, compulsion, or other improper conduct, and there is of course implied authority to receive it, but no practice or procedure is specified, and no provision made for a hearing or trial in which the persons offering such evidence shall have a standing as parties. It will be seen too, that no authority is given for the exhibition or reception of any proof impeaching the validity of the will for want of testamentary capacity by the testator. In either case, a would-be contestant therefore, although present in obedience to the citation of the court, would have no standing in the court as a party to a suit, with the rights and privileges thereto attaching, if it be held that the practice and procedure in this respect are only such as are in terms permitted or directed by the statute. The authority therefor is derived from the practice which prevailed before the enactment of the statute, so far as it has not been changed thereby nor become inconsistent therewith. The mode of procedure and practice on the hearing of probate wills is not expressly provided by statute. Clough v. Clough, 10 Colo. App. 433, 51 P. 513 (1897) (decided under repealed laws antecedent to CSA, C. 176, § 56).

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Colorado may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.