Probate, Estate Planning, and Litigation

What are JDF Forms and Am I Required to Use Them?

JDF Forms are standard forms approved by the Colorado Judicial Department. These forms meet the requirements of the Colorado Probate Code and the Colorado Rules of Probate Procedure. Please note that more than one form is often required to meet the requirements set forth by theses codes.

JDF Forms can be divided into two types: instructions and forms to complete. The instructions are very useful because they provide both directions (including the forms that are required or may be required) and a completion checklist.

The Probate Court Rules for the state of Colorado apply to the Denver Probate Court and all District Courts that handle probate cases. Probate Court Rule 5 requires that JDF forms be used wherever applicable. When these forms are not used or not applicable, the Rule sets out specific additional language that must be included in the document you file with the Court.

Am I Required to Use JDF Forms?

JDF forms should always be used for several reasons: 

  1. They are required to be used by Probate Court Rule 5;
  2. They contain the minimum required information for the form to be filed with the clerk;
  3. When properly completed, each form should be legally sufficient if all steps in the related JDF instruction form are followed;
  4. JDF instruction forms provide detailed steps to follow in order to complete the desired action such as informally opening a probate or formally closing a probate.
  5. Forms are available in Microsoft Word and PDF format for free from the Colorado Judicial Branch here.

You must use the proper form for each situation. For example, you cannot use the JDF form for the informal appointment of a Personal Representative if you have a holographic (hand-written) Will.

When a JDF form does not exist, the pleading filed with the clerk must conform to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure. If there is no JDF form for your needs, if you have questions about the requirements of a form, or if you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney. There are also clinics in most counties where you can meet briefly with a volunteer probate attorney.

This posting is for the purpose of general information only.  It addresses the general application of Colorado probate law. It is not legal advice. Each individual situation requires a careful review of the facts in order to properly apply the law to the facts.