A last will and testament is a document created by an individual that sets forth, with legal effect, how a person wishes to have his property distributed after his death. To give legal effect to a last will and testament for a Colorado resident, the will must be filed with a Colorado probate court. After a will has been filed with a probate court, it becomes a public record, accessible by any member of the public. Finding a copy of a filed Colorado will requires contacting the appropriate probate court.
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Determine where the will has been filed. Every county in Colorado has a probate court. In Colorado, the proper venue for filing a Colorado will is either the county where the decedent was a resident or any Colorado county where the decedent owned land. If the decedent lived in one Colorado county, but owned land in another county, you may need to search the probate records in both counties. The Colorado Court System has published a list of the probate registrars in all Colorado counties (see Resources).
Determine if the probate court permits online access or mail requests for records. Some Colorado counties permit online searches of probate records. Most counties permit a person to submit an order form to obtain copies of public records. If the county in which you are searching does not permit either method of ordering records, you will likely need to travel to the probate court and order the record in person.
File with the probate court and pay any copying fees. County probate courts are permitted to charge a per-page fee for making copies of public records. While the fee varies by county, the fee may be several dollars per page for a certified copy and less than a dollar per page for a non-certified copy.
References & Resources
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