Court Opinion: Colorado Court of Appeals Opinion for June 6

Editor’s Note: Law Week Colorado edits court opinion summaries for style and, when necessary, length.

In re the Estate of Ramiro Calderon Gonzalez 

This probate case required the Colorado Court of Appeals to interpret for the first time specific provisions in the Compensation and Cost Recovery Act of the Colorado Probate Code, specifically Section 15-10-604(4) of the Colorado Revised Statutes. That provision governs the procedures a court must follow when an individual who provides a benefit to an estate requests compensation from the estate, and another interested person challenges the requested compensation. 

Ramiro Calderon and Hortensia Villano are children of Ramiro Calderon Gonzales. Calderon raises two contentions on appeal. First, he contends the district court erred by awarding reimbursement of Villano’s attorney’s fees — which she asserts she incurred because she provided a benefit to her father’s estate — without first holding a hearing so he could challenge the request. 

Second, Calderon argued the court erred by failing to make statutorily mandated findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the reimbursement. 

The appeals court agreed with Calderon that the statutory scheme required the court to provide Calderon with a hearing before awarding Villano her attorney’s fees. 

The appeals court also concluded the court didn’t make all the necessary findings of fact and conclusions of law or any other factor the court deemed appropriate under the circumstances. 

The appeals court reversed the order and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. 

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