March 19, 2019

Colorado Court of Appeals: Personal Representative Entitled to Access to Decedent’s Non-Probate Legal Files

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re Estate of Rabin on Thursday, December 28, 2018.

Probate — Duty of Personal Representative; Attorneys and Clients — Attorney-Client Privilege

A division of the court of appeals considers whether the right of a probate estate’s personal representative to possession of the decedent’s property under section 15-12-709, C.R.S. 2018, encompasses the right to access the decedent’s non-probate legal files, or whether such access conflicts with the rule that the attorney-client privilege survives the death of the client. The division holds that it does not conflict, because the personal representative steps into the shoes of the decedent and becomes the privilege holder. Therefore, the personal representative is entitled to the legal files absent contrary instructions in the will.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.