Probate Real Estate Sale Process

Typically, “Probate” is the process through which a decedent’s estate is assembled, administered and distributed.  One of the earliest steps in this process entails verifying that any supposed will is indeed the effective, legal Last Will and Testament, and the court approves of the named Personal Representative or appoints an Administrator, both known in the Probate Process in Colorado as the Personal Representative.

In selling real estate through Probate, the court has a series of steps that are tightly regulated and must be closely managed.  The court requires specialized documentation and certifications, in a specific order. 

This is coordinated through the Personal Representative of the estate (the Seller) named in the will or appointed by the court, and may involve the attorney representing the estate (if there is one), the Real Estate Agent representing the Seller (the Personal Representative), one or more Buyers who submit offers, the Buyer’s Agent, the Buyer’s Lender, an Appraiser, and the Seller’s Title Company. All parties must adhere to strict deadlines, and the Probate Process throughout the marketing, offers, negotiations and sale of the property.

When you are selling or buying real property going through the Probate Process, it is vital that your Real Estate Agent be experienced in the Probate Process, able to explain the steps in the Process, the required documentation, the vernacular and the time frame.  It is imperative that you and your Real Estate Agent communicate clearly throughout the Process.

To assist you in understanding the Probate Process in Colorado the following table outlines some of the steps, and this is a link to a glossary of terms in a typical Probate Sale transaction:


General Probate Timeline – Colorado




Prepare and File Petition for Probate

2-5 Days

The following are issued: Letters of Administration, Orders for Probate, Letters Testementary

2-5 Days (If not contested)

Court hearing on the Petition from Probate

2-3 Months (if contested)

Notice to Creditors (depending on publication)

4-12 Months

Inventory of Probate Assets

3 Months

Notice to Department of Health Services (Medicaid)

4 Months

Pay State and Federal Taxes (if necessary)

6-12 Months

Allow or Reject Creditor Claims

4-12 Months

Possible Preliminary Distributions

TBD based on assets and creditor claims

Order Approving Fina Distribution and Accounting

N/A in most cases

Final distribution of Assets to Heirs

8-17 Months

Final Distribution of Funds

9-18 Months

**We are not attorneys and this should not be construed as legal advice, and we recommend you seek advice from your own legal counsel. The information above and following are general, and the terms of a decedent’s will may change these terms and time frames.