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Kris A. Zumalt

Kris A. Zumalt Esq.

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General Biography
Practice Areas
Administrative Law
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education
Kris A. Zumalt, Esq. has 20 years of trial and advocacy experience in Colorado state courts, with particular emphasis on elder law and probate litigation but also including contract disputes and tort claims. Ms. Zumalt worked as a litigation associate for Holland & Hart LLP and Glatstein & O’Brien LLP, co-founded Zumalt & Sigler LLC, and opened her own elder law, probate litigation, and estate planning practice, Zumalt Law LLC. She also served as a deputy district attorney for Colorado’s First Judicial District (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties), prosecuting numerous serious felony cases to verdict.
From 2013 until she joined JAMS in 2022, Ms. Zumalt focused her practice on probate and elder law matters. Her probate litigation experience included cases involving contested petitions for appointments of guardians, conservators, and/or successor fiduciaries; will contests; fee disputes; creditor claims; breach of fiduciary duties in estate and trust administrations; removal petitions; financial exploitation; abuse, mistreatment and neglect; Colorado Adult Protective Services (CAPS) appeals; mental health proceedings; and criminal matters. Ms. Zumalt represented individuals, family members, and lay and professional fiduciaries as petitioners, respondents, objectors, and interested persons. She also served as court-appointed counsel and guardian ad litem in elder law, probate, mental health, and criminal matters.
Ms. Zumalt has experience addressing the following claims and issues arising in probate litigation, estate and trust administration, and elder law matters:
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty (involving personal representatives, trustees, guardians, conservators, agents under powers of attorney)
  • Financial Exploitation / Asset Mismanagement / Theft
  • Abuse, Mistreatment, and Neglect of At-Risk Adults (by both professional and lay caregivers)
  • Removal / Surcharge
  • Contested Appointment of Guardian / Conservator / Successor Fiduciary
  • Incapacity / Inability to Manage Financial Affairs
  • Unauthorized Practice of Law
  • Medicaid Fraud
  • Pre-Mortem Family Disputes
  • Common Law Marriage
  • Creditor Claims
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Fee Shifting / Reasonableness of Fees pursuant to the Colorado Compensation & Cost Recovery Act
  • Contested Attorney / Professional Fees
  • Contested Validity of Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trust Provisions, HIPAA Releases, and Caregiver Agreements
  • Undue Influence
Recognizing the time, cost, emotional strain, and uncertainty of litigation, Ms. Zumalt routinely pursued opportunities for negotiation and settlement in her clients’ cases. Particularly in relation to her experience as a probate advocate and trial lawyer, she is sensitive to the emotionally charged nature of probate and elder law litigation and understands how to use mediation to efficiently and effectively resolve these matters. She now turns the same diligent preparation, patience, and insight she used as a litigator to assist parties and their counsel in the mediation process.
With Ms. Zumalt’s background in elder law and probate litigation, she is also comfortable acting as a decision-maker in fee shifting and attorney fee disputes that may arise in these cases.
Ms. Zumalt recognizes that parties to probate and elder law disputes span all walks of life and come with individual physical, cognitive, emotional, and financial conditions and limitations. She conducts dispute resolution proceedings in-person, virtually, or in a hybrid format to meet the needs of the parties. In-person proceedings may occur at the JAMS Denver office or at a place of your choosing.
Ms. Zumalt is the past chair of the Colorado Bar Association’s Elder Law Section, and actively serves on the Elder Law Section’s Executive Council. She has presented on numerous topics of interest to elder law and probate practitioners at Continuing Legal Education programs and the Colorado Bar Association Elder Law Section annual retreats. She has also given presentations to senior citizens and their families at community outreach programs.  
Ms. Zumalt co-authored Chapter 29: Family Discussions, Decisions, and Dispute Resolution in the 2023 Edition of the Senior Law Handbook, and served as a section editor of the Colorado Probate Bench Book.
Ms. Zumalt is originally from New Orleans and has lived in Colorado for the last thirty years. Away from work, she enjoys time with family and friends, photography, cooking, road trips, four-wheeling, hiking, and biking.

Representative Matters

  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Special Master
  • Estates / Probate / Trusts
  • Elder Law
  • Fee Shifting / Reasonableness of Fees / Colorado Compensation & Cost Recovery Act
  • Administrative Law / CAPS Appeals
  • Hearing Officer / Title IX Cases

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Member, Executive Council, Elder Law Section, Colorado Bar Association, 2019-2023
  • Past Chair, Elder Law Section, Colorado Bar Association, 2021-2022
  • Past Legislative Policy Committee Liaison, Elder Law Section, Colorado Bar Association, 2019-2021
  • Member, Colorado Bar Association, Elder Law, Trust and Estate, and Criminal Law Sections
  • Section Editor, Probate Bench Book
  • Co-Author, Senior Law Handbook, 2023 Edition, Chapter  29: Family Discussions, Decisions, and Dispute Resolution
  • Speaker, “CAPS Reporting: Introduction to Regulations and Implications for Professional Fiduciaries,” Colorado Guardianship Association, 2022
  • Speaker, “Navigating the Appeal of an APS Substantiated Finding of Mistreatment of an At-Risk Adult (A.K.A. CAPS Appeal),” Colorado Bar Association, 2021
  • Panelist, “APS 201: Substantiated Findings of Mistreatment in the CAPS System and Potential Impacts in Guardianship and Conservatorship Proceedings,” 13th Annual Rocky Mountain Regional Elder Law Retreat, 2021
  • Co-Presenter, “I’m a Beneficiary: What Do I Need to Know?” Jefferson County Senior Law Day, 2019
  • Co-Presenter, “What to Do When Someone Dies: The First Few Days,” Jefferson County Senior Law Day, 2016, 2017; Denver Senior Law Day, 2016, 2017, 2019; Jefferson County TRIAD, 2016; and Applewood Valley United Methodist Church, 2018. 
  • Co-Presenter, “Criminal Issues in Elder Law – In Search of Good Solutions: Beyond Guilty and Not Guilty,” 8th Annual Elder Law Retreat, 2016
  • Co-Presenter, “Domestic Violence and the Elderly,” Colorado Bar Association, 2016
  • Member, 1st Judicial District Bar Association
  • Member, Colorado Women’s Bar Association
  • Fellow, Colorado Bar Foundation

Background and Education

  • Private Law Practice, 14 years
    • 9 years in elder law, probate litigation, trust and estate administration, estate planning, mental health proceedings, and criminal defense.
    • 5 years in commercial and civil litigation, including contract disputes, creditor/debtor claims, civil rights complaints, personal injury and products liability cases.
  • Deputy District Attorney, First Judicial District of Colorado, 6 years
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable Henry A. Politz, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2001-2002
  • J.D., University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Order of St. Ives, 2001
    • Editor in Chief, Water Law Review
    • American Jurisprudence Awards in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Criminal Trial Practice, and Evidence, 1999-2000
  • M.S., Environmental Science and Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 1996
  • B.S., Computer Science, University of Central Florida, magna cum laude, 1988


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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