TRUST AND ESTATE LAW
By ELIZABETH D. LEITH AND FRANCES R. JOHNSON
This article discusses the revised and reenacted Colorado Rules of Probate Procedure, which became effective September 1, 2018.
The Colorado Supreme Court promulgated revised and reenacted Colorado Rules of Probate Procedure (CRPP) and accompanying Judicial Department Forms (JDF) effective September 1, 2018. These rules and forms are applicable to all matters determined under the Colorado Probate Code. The rules and accompanying forms have been reviewed and updated to adapt to changes in the Colorado Probate Code and practice.
Creation of the Colorado Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Probate Procedure
The Colorado Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Probate Procedure (the Committee) was formed by Chief Justice Nancy Rice in 2015 to move the probate rules under the formal rulemaking structure of the Colorado Supreme Court.
Previously, the CB A's Trust and Estate Section Rules and Forms Committee had worked for a number of years to update the CRPP, and it provided its proposals to the Supreme Court for review and promulgation. The Supreme Court sent these proposed revisions to the Probate Advisory Workgroup (the Workgroup) (formerly the Probate Advisory Committee) at the State Court Administrator's Office for the Workgroup's review. Upon completion of that review, the revisions were returned to the Supreme Court for its review and adoption. When the Supreme Court received the proposed CRPP revisions, Chief Justice Rice determined it was necessary and appropriate for the probate rules to be reviewed through a formal committee, as currently established for the civil, criminal, juvenile, and appellate rules, and she directed the establishment of the Committee. Chief Justice Rice directed that the Committee's responsibilities include probate forms in addition to the probate rules.
Following its formation, the Committee was also charged with reviewing the Workgroup's proposed amendments and recommending any proposed changes to the Colorado Supreme Court for consideration. Justice Allison Eid was the Committee's initial liaison to the Supreme Court, and currently Justice Richard Gabriel serves in this role. The Committee is chaired by Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Diana Terry. Committee members are drawn from the judiciary, practicing attorneys, probate court staff, and supervising court executives.
The Committee's Review Process
The Committee's first formal meeting was held on January 15, 2016. During this meeting, the Committee began its review of the proposed repeal and reenactment of the probate rules received from the CBA's Trust and Estate Section and the Workgroup. These proposed rule changes represented five years of dedicated work from CBA section members supplemented by additional review and revisions by the Workgroup. The proposed rules changes were posted on the Colorado Supreme Court's website for public comment. Following the Committee's review of all the comments, two subcommittees were formed: an Editing Subcommittee, to review the comments...