A: As a general interpretation of Colorado law, the first critical question is whether a person passes away with a valid will. If so, the terms of the will likely control the flow of property and money to specific people. If no valid will exists, Colorado law sets forth a default plan for inheritance.
It is sometimes the case that a will gives all of a deceased person's property to just one person. A surviving spouse is a valid choice for such a gift of the entire estate. However, if the will makes such a gift to a surviving spouse and leaves nothing to anyone else, interested persons can verify that fact. Generally, a will is submitted to the probate court in the county where the deceased person lived. That will can be read by members of the public, or at least by members of the public related to the deceased person. Consider contacting the courthouse in the county where the deceased person lived and ask for help with a probate question, then ask the probate clerk's office how to search records in that county.
In cases where the person passed away with no valid will, Colorado law sets some default rules for property distribution among relatives. Consider contacting a probate or estate planning attorney in Colorado for help if you wish to assert your potential rights in the probate proceedings. An excellent summary of Colorado's default distribution in the absence of a will is available here: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/intestate-succession-colorado.html
A: The LLC structure is a legally distinct entity in Colorado law. While some code sections and some tax regulations will refer to both businesses and regular people equally as a "person" the significance of the LLC is to create a legal distinction between the business and its owners.
While I can't give advice on your specific situation, Colorado does not recognize service of process upon an LLC as equivalent to service of process upon a natural person. Further, Colorado does not require any kind of public disclosure of the ownership of an LLC, a roster of founders, or any publicly-recorded percentages of ownership. The LLC might be owned by several natural persons, or might not be owned by your target natural person at all, and the public records would not reveal this fact.
Colorado offers a variety of methods to serve process on a natural person that has eluded personal service at their home address. Contact an experienced litigation attorney in your home town to explore the methods of completing the service of process requirements.
A: Hello, your question is a very common one. This is not legal advice specific to your situation, but may be helpful as you continue to frame your question and seek a Labor & Employment Law attorney to help you.
In general, the IRS publishes a few resources to help businesses classify employees as independent contractors or traditional employees. Start here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1779.pdf
Other resources are on the IRS website at:
The IRS has complex laws and a massive body of judicial holdings that factor into the classification of employees. However the IRS also has a reasonably friendly website with plain-language advice. Taken from the IRS website: "[W]hether these people are independent contractors or employees depends on the facts in each case. The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. ... If an employer-employee relationship exists (regardless of what the relationship is called), then you are not an independent contractor and your earnings are generally not subject to self-employment tax. However, your earnings as an employee may be subject to FICA (social security tax and Medicare) and income tax withholding."
Unfortunately, given the very sensitive nature of Labor & Employment Law, and the fact that employee classification is situational, it will be hard to offer more advice of a general nature that might help you. But your concerns are valid; incorrect classifications of employees can be costly or even terminal to a business. Seek a Labor & Employment attorney in your area and ask for help.