Utah Probate Code 75-2-102

Utah Probate Code 75-2-102

Intestate Share of Spouse

75-2-102 Intestate share of spouse.
The intestate share of a decedent’s surviving spouse is the entire intestate estate if:
• no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent; or
• all of the decedent’s surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse;
• the first 70,000, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, if one or more of the decedent’s surviving descendants are not descendants of the surviving spouse.
• For purposes of Subsection if the intestate estate passes to both the decedent’s surviving spouse and to other heirs, then any non-probate transfer, as defined in Section 75-2-206, received by the surviving spouse is added to the probate estate in calculating the intestate heirs’ shares and is conclusively treated as an advancement under Section 75-2-109 in determining the spouse’s share.

Intestate Succession in Utah

If you die without a will in Utah, your assets will go to your closest relatives under state “intestate succession” laws. Here are some details about how intestate succession works in Utah.

Which Assets Pass by Intestate Succession

Only assets that would have passed through your will are affected by intestate succession laws. Usually, that includes only assets that you own alone, in your own name.

Many valuable assets don’t go through your will and aren’t affected by intestate succession laws. Here are some examples:

• property you’ve transferred to a living trust
• Life insurance proceeds
• funds in an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement account
• securities held in a transfer-on-death account
• real estate held by a transfer-on-death or beneficiary deed
• payable-on-death bank accounts, or
• property you own with someone else in joint tenancy.

These assets will pass to the surviving co-owner or to the beneficiary you named, whether or not you have a will.

What Property is Excluded or Included

Before going into detail about how to understand Utah’s intestacy laws, it’s important to realize that these laws only apply to some of what a person might have owned at death. Intestacy law only applies to property that would have passed by a Will (if that person had written one)–but this does not include assets that pass to people at death by beneficiary designation or joint tenancy, which can be most of what a person owned.
Here’s a list of common assets that pass to people at death outside of intestacy laws:

• Retirement accounts
• Life insurance
• Payable on death accounts
• Transfer on death accounts
• Annuities
• Real property held in joint tenancy
• Real property held as community property with right of survivorship
• Bank accounts held in joint tenancy
• Property held in living trusts

All such assets pass automatically to the people named as beneficiaries or to the surviving joint owners or to the beneficiaries of a living trust. (If no beneficiary is named, or if the named beneficiary has already died, then these assets pass to the decedent’s estate–which means that they will be subject to intestacy laws.)Intestacy law applies to everything else owned by a person at death–such as bank accounts held in the name of the dead person, real property held individually or as a tenant in common, stocks and bonds held in investment accounts in that person’s name, and all of a person’s tangible personal property (furniture, clothing, cars, and the like).

How Intestate Property is Inherited

Utah’s intestacy law dictate who is going to inherit such assets and Utah’s probate laws determine how those assets are going to be transferred. Generally, if someone dies with a Will a court has to supervise the distribution of an estate. That’s what probate is, a process in which a judge verifies that a Will is valid (or if there is no Will, identifies the proper heirs) and, once the right people have been notified, the assets have been properly valued, and taxes and creditors have been paid, issues a court order allowing for the distribution of the estate. Dying without a Will doesn’t get you out of that process, it just means that instead of interpreting the decedent’s Will, the court is going to follow Utah’s intestacy laws to distribute the estate.

In every state, though, estates that fall below a certain dollar limit don’t have to go through probate at all. If an estate is small enough, you don’t need a court order before being able to distribute that property to the proper people. So, if your spouse or parent dies without a Will, your first question is going to be whether or not you are going to need to open up a probate proceeding and get a court order before you can distribute the property.If a person’s assets fall below Utah’s small estates limit, you won’t need to open a probate proceeding in Utah to distribute the property, but if the decedent’s assets are more than this limit, you will need to open a probate proceeding to distribute the assets to those who stand to inherit.

Understanding Intestacy Laws

Here’s a list of definitions to help you sort through the relevant terms and understand your relationship to the decedent, and your claim on his or her assets:


A spouse is a person who was legally married to the decedent, or, in some states, a Registered Domestic partner. A few states recognize common-law marriage, which means that a person who lived with the decedent as if married, and held themselves out to the world as that person’s spouse would have the same legal rights as a spouse in terms of inheritance.


A child is usually defined as a direct descendant of the decedent. That means child, grandchild, great-grandchild and so on. Legally adopted children are treated just like lineal descendants, so they count, too. And that means that once a child is legally adopted by another, that child’s legal ties to the birthparent are legally severed, which means that they don’t count for inheritance purposes. Children who were born after a parent dies count as children for inheritance purposes.

Stepchildren who were never legally adopted don’t usually count as children for intestate purposes. Stepchildren who were adopted by a stepparent can still inherit from their biological parent, but this is dependent on state law. In some states, an un-adopted stepchild may qualify as an heir if certain conditions are satisfied, such as that the relationship with the parent started while the stepchild was a minor and continued throughout the parent’s lifetime and the parent would have adopted that child but there was some legal barrier to doing so (like the parent’s natural parent refusing to consent to such adoption).

Outside of Marriage

A child born outside of a marriage has the same claim as a child born inside of a marriage, but the legal issue that’ can be difficult is determining who that child’s legal parent is. It’s easy enough on the mother’s side: a child can inherit from his or her birth mother. But on the father’s side, if parents were never married, a child will need to prove paternity to have a legal claim. How does a child do this? Here are some common ways:

• A court order declaring paternity
• A written statement from the father acknowledging paternity
• Evidence that a father held a child out as his child publically


Brothers, sisters, and half-brothers and half-sisters all count in this group in most states. For example, if Sam married Sarah and had a daughter, Karen, then married Gloria and had twin sons, Ike and Mike and then died intestate, Karen, Ike and Mike (who have a common father) would all be considered his heirs.

Community v. Separate Property

In nine states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin (and Alaska, which is an opt-in community property state that gives both parties the option to make their property community property) people can own different kinds of property: community and separate. In some of those states, the kind of property determines who can inherit. For example, in California, a surviving spouse inherits all of the community property, but inherits either one-half or one third of the decedent’s separate property, sharing that with surviving children, or parents, or siblings, depending on who survives the decedent.

Spouse’s Share in Utah

In Utah, if you are married and you die without a will, what your spouse gets depends on whether or not you have living descendants — children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren.If you die with no descendants, or if all of your descendants are from you and your surviving spouse. Your spouse inherits all of your intestate property.If you die with descendants who are not the descendants of your surviving spouse — in other words, you have children or grandchildren from a previous relationship. Your spouse inherits the first $75,000 of your intestate property, plus 1/2 of the balance. Your descendants inherit everything else.If your spouse will split your property with others, there’s another rule to bear in mind: The value of any non-probate transfers — for example, a house that passes through joint tenancy or a transfer of any of the other kinds of property listed under “Which Assets Pass by Intestate Succession,” above — will be added to the intestate estate. The non-probate transfer is considered an “advancement,” meaning that its value will be deducted from the spouse’s intestate share. If the amount of the advancement exceeds what the spouse is entitled to under intestate succession laws, the spouse will not have to pay anything back, but he or she will not inherit anything more.

Who Inherits When Your Spouse Without a Will?

If your spouse dies without a Will, Utah law determines who will inherit his or her property. These laws, called intestacy laws, are essentially state-written Wills that determine who gets the decedent’s property. The word “intestate” describes a person who dies without a will. A person who dies with a Will is said to die “testate.” Generally, in intestate succession, property goes to close family members, starting with a surviving spouse and children, and then gradually widening out to parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, grandparents and their legal descendants, and more distant relatives after that. If absolutely no relatives can be found, then a decedent’s property goes to the state.And, just to make it all more complicated, the laws of more than one state may apply. The rules for distributing a person’s personal property (cars, clothes, jewelry, etc.) will be the state where that person lived, called “domicile” in legal speak.

But, if a person also owned real property in another state, that state’s law would apply to the distribution of that real property.Because these laws are written to cover a vast variety of families and situations, they can be complicated to read, and they vary state to state. Basically, in each state, you have to understand the kind of property a person has and the family relationships that person has to work your way down to who gets what. In some states, for example, a surviving spouse will inherit all the property left by a decedent, if all of that person’s surviving heirs are also descendants of the surviving spouse. States also differ in how they divide up property among the surviving heirs. If a person who would be entitled to inherit has died before the decedent, that person’s descendants will inherit that share. There are two different ways to determine how much such descendants are entitled to:

• Per capita distribution means “per head” in Latin and each descendant takes an equal share. If, for example, one sibling and two nieces of a deceased sibling are the right heirs, each would get one-third of the estate.

• Per stirpes distribution means “by the root” in Latin and each descendant takes a share determined by the root–or what that person’s deceased ancestor would have inherited. For example, if a child would have inherited one-half of a decedent’s assets, but died first and left three children, those three children would each inherit one-sixth of the estate (each would inherit one-third of their parent’s one-half share).

Utah Code 75-2-102 Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with Utah Probate Code 75-2-102, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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Utah Probate Code Disclaimer

A “Disclaimer” means any writing which declines, refuses, renounces, or disclaims any interest that would otherwise be taken by a beneficiary. As part of the Utah Uniform Probate Code, the beneficiary of an interest in property may renounce the gift, either in part or in full. Note that the option to disclaim is only available to beneficiaries who have not acted in any way to indicate acceptance or ownership of the interest. The disclaimer must be in writing and include a description of the interest, a declaration of intent to disclaim all or a defined portion of the interest, and be signed by the disclaimant. File the disclaimer within nine months of the transfer (e.g., the death of the creator of the interest) with the district court of the county that has jurisdiction over proceedings regarding the estate of the deceased donor. In addition, deliver a copy of the disclaimer in person or send it by registered mail to the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. If the transfer is enacted by an instrument other than a will, deliver a copy of the disclaimer to the person who has legal title to or possession of the property.

If real property is involved, record a copy of the disclaimer in the office of the county recorder in the county in which the property or interest disclaimed is located. A disclaimer is irrevocable and binding for the disclaiming party and his or her creditors, so be sure to consult an attorney when in doubt about the drawbacks and benefits of disclaiming inherited property. If the disclaimed interest arises out of jointly-owned property, seek legal advice as well. Usually a disclaimer is made by giving timely written notice in proper form to the person who is in control of the inherited asset (using the word “inherited” in a broad non-technical sense) within the time allowed by statute. You cannot disclaim once you have taken actions consistent with ownership or you have waived the right to disclaim in writing. The theory behind this harsh rule is to prevent people from “having it both ways.” You either inherit something or you decline to accept the inheritance. Once you have taken any action that reveals intent to do on or the other of these things, you aren’t allowed to change your mind.

What is a Probate Disclaimer?

A probate disclaimer is a document that is signed by someone entitled to receive an inheritance disclaiming (giving up) that inheritance. When this is done the person who disclaims is treated as having predeceased (i.e. died before) the person who has just died and whose estate is being probated. There are a couple of important rules to remember when it comes to disclaimers:

• It must be irrevocable and unqualified (i.e. there can be no conditions set on the disclaimer);

• It must be in writing;

• The writing must be delivered to delivered to the Personal Representative within 9 months of the later of: (1) the date on which the transfer creating the interest in the disclaimant is made (i.e. date of death); or (2) the day on which the disclaimant turns 21 years of age.

• The disclaimant must not have accepted the interest disclaimed or any of its benefits; and

• The interest disclaimed must pass either to the spouse of the decedent or to a person other than the disclaimant without any direction on the part of the person making the disclaimer.

There is ONE important thing to remember before you disclaim any assets. Make sure you know who is next in line for the assets if you disclaim. You don’t get to choose where the assets go, so it’s important to know all of the consequences of disclaiming before you do so.

Disclaiming an Inheritance – How to Do It

• A person in ill health and with an estate already likely to be taxed heavily who does not need the inheritance realizes that the person next in line in the Will or Trust can use the money and will not likely face large estate taxes in the near future.

• A person who wishes to claim a community property interest in a property is given twenty percent of it in the Will and, instead, will insist on taking fifty percent of the property due to its community property nature.

• A person facing personal bankruptcy, thus likely to lose the inheritance in any event, wishes the money to pass directly to his or her children, next in line in the Trust, and never to vest in him or her.

Procedure for Creating a Disclaimer

• Form Requirements: The disclaimer shall be in writing, and shall be signed by the disclaimant, and shall: Identify the creator of the interest, describe the interest to be disclaimed, State the disclaimer and the extent of the disclaimer.

• Time Requirements: In order to be effective, a disclaimer must be filed within a reasonable time after the person able to disclaim acquires knowledge of the interest. In the case of any of the following interest, a disclaimer is conclusively presumed to have been filed within a reasonable time if it is filed within nine months after the death of the creator of the interest or within nine months after the interest becomes indefeasibly vested, whichever occurs later: An interest created under a will, An interest created by interstate succession, An interest created pursuant to the exercise or non-exercise of a testamentary power or appointment, An interest created by surviving the death of a depositor of a Totten trust account or P.O.D. account, An interest created under a life insurance of annuity contract, An interest created by surviving the death of another joint contract, An interest created under am employee benefit plan, An interest created under an individual retirement account, annuity or bond.

• In the case of an interest created by a living trust, an interest created by the exercise of a presently exercisable power of appointment, an outright inter vivo gift, a power of appointment, or an interest created or increased by succession to a disclaimed interest, a disclaimer is conclusively presumed to have been filed within a reasonable time if it is filed within nine months after whichever of the following times occur latest: the time of the creation of the trust, the exercise of the power of appointment, the making of the gift, the creation of the power of appointment, or the disclaimer of the disclaimed property. The time of the first knowledge of the interest is acquired by the person able to disclaim. The time the interest becomes indefeasibly vested, a disclaimer is conclusively presumed to have been filed within a reasonable time if it is filed within nine months after whichever of the following times occur later: Nine months after the time the interest becomes an estate in possession. A disclaimer, when effective, is irrevocable and binding upon the beneficiary and all persons claiming by, through, or under the beneficiary, including creditors of the beneficiary. Keep this in mind: one cannot change one’s mind once the disclaimer is achieved and once it is achieved, the effect is usually equivalent to the person who otherwise would have received the asset never having received the asset in any manner. Whatever the purpose, it is absolutely vital for a person considering use of such a tool to both act with alacrity and seek experienced legal and tax advice before disclaiming any interest. Since they are irrevocable, this can be a decision that could very well alter one’s well being significantly and should only be undertaken with care and appropriate input.

How Do You Disclaim A Gift?

If a person chooses not to accept an inheritance, they are said to be disclaiming it. However, the disclaimer would have to be made after the death; if it was made before the testator’s death, it is not effective. If a gift is left to more than one person as joint tenants, a disclaimer can only be made by all of them acting together. A person disclaiming a gift cannot decide who receives the gift instead. If they want the gift to go to a specific alternative person, this should be done by a deed of variation. When a gift is disclaimed, the estate is distributed as if the will had not included the gift at all. A disclaimer cannot be revoked if any other person has acted on the basis of it: once a gift is disclaimed, the beneficiary cannot change their mind, except in very specific circumstances. Once a gift has been accepted, it cannot later be disclaimed. A disclaimer should be formal and made in writing, and the best way of doing this is by a deed of disclaimer. It will simply say, in legal language, that the beneficiary disclaims the gift – i.e. has decided not to accept it. A disclaimer made by deed cannot be revoked. As a deed, it will need to be signed by two competent witnesses. Good practice is that the witnesses should not be people mentioned in the will, or members of the family. A transfer of property from a donor to the receive is a gift, whether the transfer occurs during the donor’s lifetime (inter vivo gift) or after the donor’s death. There are 3 recognized elements to any gift:

• the intention to give a gift,

• its delivery,

• acceptance.

A disclaimer is a refusal to accept a gift of inheritance. When an heir or beneficiary disclaims an inheritance, it has the legal effect of the disclaimant predeceasing the decedent or before the property is distributed; the title to the property never passes to the disclaimant. There are 2 primary benefits to a disclaimer: to avoid or reduce taxes and to avoid the claims of creditors. If an heir first took title to the property then gave it to another, the heir may have to claim the inheritance as income and may also be liable for gift taxes after giving the inheritance to someone else. Furthermore, if the next in line after the disclaimant earns less income than the disclaimant and the property earns an income, then income taxes will be reduced for the recipient of the disclaimed property. Hence, disclaimers may reduce tax liability for both parties. Under common law, a disclaimer only applies to probate property, but the modern trend is to extend disclaimers to non-probate property as well. To avoid gift tax liability, the Internal Revenue Service also requires that the disclaimer be a qualified disclaimer, which must satisfy all the following conditions:

• a refusal to accept the disclaimed property by the disclaimant must be: irrevocable and unqualified; be in writing:

• the disclaimant has never accepted the disclaimed property or any of its benefits, and

• The disclaimer causes the disclaimed property to pass—without any direction from the disclaimant—to someone else.

• Without a disclaimer, an heir’s creditors could attach the estate property after a default by the heir, and if the heir transferred the property before the creditors attached it, the creditors could have the transfer reversed under fraudulent conveyance laws.

Because the disclaimant never takes legal title to the property, the disclaimant incurs no gift tax liability nor can most creditors of the disclaimant reach the property. However, there is an exception when the state or federal government is the creditor, either for taxes or for reimbursement for Medicaid, which is a state-federal cooperative program providing payment for required medical services for poor people. In Troy v. Hart, a Medicaid recipient disclaimed his inheritance, allowing it to pass to his sisters, so that he could continue to qualify for Medicaid. However, the court ruled that it was against public policy to allow such a disclaimer, so it created a constructive trust so that the state can file any claims for reimbursement of Medicaid benefits. A minority of states do not allow an insolvent debtor to disclaim property. Under federal bankruptcy law, a disclaimer is usually effective before the disclaimant files for bankruptcy, but after the filing of bankruptcy and within 180 days of the filing, any inherited property or rights thereof or any other received benefit because of the death of another, such as the proceeds of life insurance, belongs to the bankruptcy estate and not to the heir, and, thus, cannot be disclaimed.

Disclaimers and Variations

A beneficiary of an estate, whether by Will or the laws of intestacy is perfectly within their rights to reject their inheritance? Beneficiaries may wish to vary dispositions of property following death in order to redirect benefits to other family members who are more in need or less well provided for and to save tax. In order to do this there are three options:

• By Gift: A gift by a beneficiary has taxed consequences if the item has increased in value since the date of death and if the beneficiary dies within 7 years of making the gift.

• By Disclaimer: A Disclaimer is a simple deed in which the beneficiary gives up all rights to their inheritance. The inheritance then passes to the next person entitled under the will or on intestacy. With a disclaimer the original beneficiary has no control over who receives the asset.

• By Variation: A Variation is often preferred to a disclaimer because it allows the original beneficiary to choose who inherits.
Disclaimers and Variations are more tax efficient provided they contain a statement regarding the tax consequences of their decision. However Variations can cause problems for income tax which disclaimers can avoid so where possible a disclaimer by a parent is favourable to a variation where children minor are the next beneficiaries in line to inherit. It is possible that the variation can be drafted so that it doesn’t affect the Capital Gains Tax position of the original beneficiary. Here it would be drafted so that it affected the Inheritance tax position only. This means it is treated as a gift by the deceased for inheritance tax purposes but a gift by the beneficiary for Capital gains tax. This can be beneficial in circumstances where an asset has increased hugely in value since the date of death but the original beneficiary has brought forward losses, which would negate the gain here. It would be preferable to use this rather than force the original beneficiary to eventually pay more capital gains tax when they eventually dispose of it given that they would inherit at the value at the date of death otherwise.

Reasons for Disclaiming Property or Interest

Property may be disclaimed for several reasons: because it is unwanted, because it carries heavy liabilities, because of tax reasons or because the intended beneficiary wants to pass the property to another beneficiary. A disclaiming trust may be used as part of estate planning; for example, a married couple may set up a disclaiming trust so that the first spouse to die can pass on his or her assets to his or her originally selected beneficiaries, and not to the new spouse of the surviving spouse, while still providing for the livelihood of the surviving spouse. An heir may disclaim an inheritance in order to pass the bequest on to his or her children, or because he or she does not want the responsibilities of caring for the property, or to avoid paying creditors’ claims on an estate.

Utah Probate Code Disclaimer Lawyer

When you need legal help with estate administration, estate planning, probate, or a disclaimer, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC

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How Do Probate Records Show?

How Do Probate Records Show

Probate records are those records and files kept by a probate court. The word probate comes from Latin and means “to prove,” in this case to prove in court the authenticity of a last will and testament of someone who has died. In the absence of a will, inheritance laws have provided for the passing on of property, belongings, and assets.

Probate courts are under state purview. State probate laws have changed throughout the hundreds of years. The sorts of records to be found in probate documents have changed likewise. Probate laws can differ from state to state however will in general pursue certain general practices. The probate of the home of somebody who has kicked the bucket and has left a will is called testate. The probate of the domain of somebody who has kicked the bucket however has not leave a will is called intestate.
times, probate courts have likewise had ward over different procedures, for example, receptions, guardianships for minors, and name changes after separations. Presently different courts handle these capacities. Therefore analysts will find that the substance of probate documents change throughout the years.

Toward the finish of the twentieth century, almost all deaths are followed by probate, if just to set up that there is no requirement for probate procedures. In the event that there is a will, at that point there is an agent of the will. In the event that there is no will, at that point three is a chairman of the bequest.

Documents You Might Find in Probate Files

The documents found in a probate file will vary radically. They may range from a single letter to a sheaf of court and family documents.
If the file represents proceedings to settle the estate of a deceased, its contents might include

• a will, if there was one
• codicils (amendments) to the will
• a petition for an executor or administrator
• probate of the will
• a list of heirs or divisees
• an inventory of the deceased’s estate at time of death
• a report of the committee for partition when heirs cannot agree amongst themselves about how to divide the estate
• receipts from heirs and divisees
• a closing statement by the court
• an inventory of real estate and stocks and bonds held in joint tenancy, even though not part of the probate proceedings
If the file represents a name change, its contents might include…
• a petition for a name change
• a court decree
If the file represents adoption proceedings, its contents might include…
• a petition for adoption
• a deposition regarding the character of the prospective parents

• Most people who are called upon to probate a will have never done the task before.
• It can be intimidating to know that you may be held financially liable for any mistakes you might make in the process.
• Probate must begin soon after the death of a loved one, a time of stress and grief when you may not feel up to a new task.
• It’s not unusual for conflicts to arise among heirs, which require sensitivity and skill to navigate.

If you have been named the executor or administrator of an estate, you now have a legal duty to the estate’s heirs and beneficiaries. You can be held personally liable for errors and underpayments in the estate. By working with a Utah probate attorney at Ascent Law LLC you will have the guidance and support of experienced legal professionals on your side from the filing of the Petition for Letters Testamentary, which begins the process to the distribution of the assets to the named beneficiaries which ends the process.

Probate Law Information

1.Identification of Executor/Administrator: After a demise, a nearby relative will more often than not approach with a will. The will more often than not names the individual who is to be the agent of the domain. In the event that there is no will, ordinarily a relative petitions the Register of Wills to turn into the Estate’s Administrator.

2.Filing of Will with the Court: The agent or individual delegate will record a Petition for Grant of Letters Testamentary if there is a Will or Grant of Letters of Administration if there is no Will.

3.Notice of Probate Proceeding: The open must be advised of the passing with the goal that loan bosses can demand installment for obligations. This is finished by promoting the award of letters in a paper of general flow at or close to where the decedent lived, and in a lawful periodical.

4.Inventory and Appraisal of the Estate: The most tedious piece of the procedure for most agents is documentation of the home. This incorporates valuation and gathering of monetary resources, for example, ledgers, venture accounts, last checks and retirement accounts. It additionally incorporates archiving extraordinary obligations.

5.Payment of Outstanding Debts: It’s the activity of the agent to pay any exceptional bills out of the advantages of the bequest. This incorporates the expense of directing the home, memorial service costs, exceptional family unit and restorative costs, loan bosses and charges.

6.Preparation of the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Return: The Inheritance Tax Return must be documented and the duty paid inside 9 months from the decedent’s passing.

7.Transfer of property: Once the bills have been paid, and the legacy government form is affirmed and, on the off chance that vital, a bureaucratic Estate expense form documented and endorsed, at that point the rest of the benefits can be moved to the beneficiaries and recipients. A deed to a home might be moved to another proprietor, or a home might be sold.

Probate Notices in Newspapers

Think about the notification of probate activities. One of my companions was looking into her granddad who had kicked the bucket and left a will. Issue was, the province town hall serving the region where he kicked the bucket required installment for a pursuit of the probate record—and afterward, after she paid, reacted by advising her there was no court case. She knew there was a probate case since her dad had been the agent of the will. So what do you do when an official lets you know there isn’t a case?

I recommended she go to papers and search in the lawful notification area. Sure enough, she had the option to discover the probate case—and with a duplicate of that lawful notice, returned to the court assistants who were then ready to furnish her with the document.

Probate sees in papers can give you names, dates, and data that you can catch up with at the town hall. On account of these notification from 1908 in Minnesota, the name of the expired, the individual regulating the probate, the judge, and the following court date are recorded.

That a few resources, quite grain and steers were underestimated in Swedish inventories is a sign, yet to decide whether the all out estimation of the home was underestimated in the probates, we have to discover a strategy to look at the market costs of the benefits in the probate. The motivation behind why grain and cows have been examined is that it is similarly simple to discover appraisals of market costs for steers and grain individually, while it is significantly more hard for different sorts of things, which in any case could make up an extensive extent of the complete resources of the perished. We along these lines propose to utilize a similar technique found in investigations of US inventories, for example contrasting the probate esteem and the closeout deals cost of the extremely same thing.

Probate Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with a probate in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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Are Death Records Public Record?

Probate and Estate Attorney

Public records are any information or documents that are made by a government agency or officer and are required by law to be kept and maintained. They are also any records that are filed with a government agency or office. Most public records are available to anyone that requests them but some have eligibility requirements or are confidential. There are many types of public records that are available for free at the federal, state, county and city level. Some examples of free public records are census data, property information, tax liens and judgments, criminal records, bankruptcies and court records. Even though these types of records are free they can often be difficult to find as they are typically available at a local government agency. There are many private companies and websites that aggregate public records from a wide variety of sources and charge a fee to provide access to all of them from one search.
It would appear that, from beginning to end, all of the biggest events in your life are also part of public records. New births are always reported by the hospitals or professionals who deliver the child, while coroners’ offices assign death certificates. These records assist with census data and other commonly used statistics. Additionally, birth and death records help states avoid having unidentified residents in their records or on their social programs. Marriage licenses are also kept as a matter of public record.

These types of documents can be extremely helpful when researching your family tree and history, as tracking down past family members and their spouses would be a real challenge without them. Birth, death, marriage and divorce records are typically managed and made available at the local county clerk’s office where the event took place. States will also often have a department of health that can provide access to older vital records. In addition to physical locations, many states are putting or have put their databases online for ease of access.

Death records are included with birth records under the category of “vital records.” These records are created by local authorities throughout the States and may also be created overseas by the military. There are many reasons why you may need a death record. For example, you may be an executor of an estate. You may be a surviving spouse who needs a death record to gain access to your spouse’s real estate assets. Regardless of the reason, there are many ways to gain access to a death record. Vital records have been kept by most states since the early 1900s. However, some states have had death records as early as the 1600s. It is now required by federal law for all states to keep death records, but what must be included in a death record can vary. In the 21st century, certain forms of death records have become much more accessible than others.

Types Of Death Records

There are two types of death records: official death certificates and death indexes. The official death certificate is issued at the time of one’s death and includes vital information about the deceased. This includes the: Full name, Cause of death and Time of death.

The information included in these records can be more sensitive, so they are sometimes restricted by the state. The restriction expires within 50 to 100 years, depending on the state. To obtain an official death certificate, begin by contacting the state in which the individual resided. The state may refer you to a local agency or may have possession of the certificate.
Death indexes are more readily accessible. They provide basic information about the deceased and do not include sensitive information. While there are often costs associated with obtaining death certificates, death indexes can usually be downloaded for free.

Obtaining Death Records Online

Depending on the state in which the death certificate was issued, it may be possible to obtain a death certificate online. State agencies sometimes maintain their death records online and there are also various websites which aggregate death records online. While these websites are convenient, the death records are not official. If you need an official death certificate then it is best to contact the county in which the death took place and/or the place in which the person who died had lived. Marriage licenses, birth certificates, warrants/arrests, court cases, and obituaries are just a few of the records available to the public. Many government agencies are now digitizing these records and making them publicly available online. There are many reasons to search for public records. Whether you’re trying to compile a family genealogy, prepare for an employment background check on your own arrest record, or are just curious about someone in your family, there are many free resources online that can help you easily locate public records.

• Find birth records: Birth records are one of the most commonly searched for vital records. Most online vital records websites do not let you view the actual birth certificate. However, many free sites will allow you to at least see the person’s name, date of birth, and their county or city of birth.

• Acquire a Death Certificate: There are many ways to find death records online. Some genealogy websites list death records with their birth record information. But the most accurate way to get official information is to search for your local secretary of state’s website. If you’re looking for a relative, be sure to know the person’s full name. It may be helpful to know the individual’s date of birth as well. If you don’t know the exact year of death, you may at least need to know the range of the individual’s year of death. This can help narrow your search, and ensure that you get accurate results. To conduct a search, all you need to do is type in an individual’s name and a range of years within which you think they died. If a record matches your search, you can click on it and you will be given a reference number, the name, the date of death, the county of death, and the gender of the individual.

• Find Marriage Records and divorce records: Much like birth and death records, you will not be able to find the actual marriage or divorce licenses online. However, you can search online for records of marriages and divorces, which are generally maintained at either the state or county level. Many states manage marriage and divorce records online through the Department of Health. In the State of Utah, for example, the Department of Health oversees the Office of Vital Statistics. This office maintains an index of marriages and divorces, but for actual copies of a marriage license or a divorce decree you would need to contact the county probate court or the county clerk of courts, respectively.

• Records remain confidential for 72 years from the date of the census. For example, records from the 1950 Census will be available to the public in 2022. Once records become public, they are transferred from the Census Bureau to the National Archives. Therefore, if you want to search public census records, you will usually do it through the National Archives website.

Obtaining Obituaries

In addition to finding a death record, there are many websites that aggregate obituaries. Obituaries should not be treated as official death records because it is possible to submit an obituary that contains information that is not factual. A death certificate is considered a much more official record of an individual’s death. When someone dies, the death must be registered with the local or state vital records office within a matter of days. The vital records office can then issue copies of the death certificate, which you may want or your personal records or to handle a deceased person’s affairs.

The funeral home, cremation organization, or other person in charge of the deceased person’s remains will prepare and file the death certificate. Preparing the certificate involves gathering personal information from family members and obtaining the signature of a doctor, medical examiner, or coroner. The process must be completed quickly within three to ten days, depending on state law. A death certificate contains important information about the person who has died. Details vary from state to state, but often include:

• full name
• address
• birth date and birthplace
• father’s name and birthplace
• mother’s name and birthplace
• complete or partial Social Security number
• veteran’s discharge or claim number
• education
• marital status and name of surviving spouse, if there was one
• date, place, and time of death, and
• the cause of death.

In many states, you can get either informational or “certified” copies of a death certificate. Informational copies are for personal records and are usually available to anyone who requests them. Certified copies bear an official stamp, and are necessary to carry out many tasks after a death from obtaining a permit for burial or cremation to transferring the deceased person’s property to inheritors.

In an increasing number of states, certified copies are available only to members of the deceased person’s immediate family, the executor of the estate, or someone who can prove that they have a direct financial interest in the estate. The simplest way to get certified copies of a death certificate is to order them through the funeral home or mortuary at the time of the death. If you are in charge of winding up the deceased person’s affairs, you should ask for at least ten copies. You will need one each time you claim property or benefits that belonged to the deceased person, including life insurance proceeds, Social Security benefits, payable on death accounts, veterans benefits, and many others. If the time of death has passed and you need to order death certificates yourself, contact the county or state vital records office. For deaths that occurred within the past few months, you should start with the county office, because it is more likely to have the certificate on file. After a few months have passed, the state office will probably have it, too. You will have to pay for each copy of the death certificate. The cost depends on your state. If you order additional copies at the same time, they will probably be less expensive. If you’re serving as the executor of the deceased person’s estate and you pay for the death certificates yourself, you can later reimburse yourself from the estate.

Although public records are records of public business, they are not necessarily available without restriction, although Freedom of Information legislation (FOI) that has been gradually introduced in many jurisdictions since the 1960s has made access easier. Each government has policies and regulations that govern the availability of information contained in public records. A common restriction is that data about a person is not normally available to others; for example, the Public Records Act (PRA) states that “except for certain explicit exceptions, personal information maintained about an individual may not be disclosed without the person’s consent”. In some state, Cabinet papers were subject to the thirty-year rule: until the introduction of FOI legislation, Cabinet papers were not available for thirty years; some information could be withheld for longer. As of 2011 the rule still applies to some information, such as minutes of Cabinet meetings. Some companies provide access, for a fee, to many public records available on the Internet. Many of them specialize in particular types of information, while some offer access to different types of record, typically to professionals in various fields. Some companies sell software with a promise of unlimited access to public records, but may provide nothing more than basic information on how to access already available and generally free public websites.

If you are like most people, you might not have been aware that public records even exist. However, if you are working on legal matters, genealogy research, government policy, or getting a copy of a marriage certificate you might find yourself looking for public records. In fact, virtually everyone will end up looking for them at some point in their life. There are a wide variety of documents and information that can be unearthed through public records requests. While the methods for retrieving documents from the government differ for the various agencies, there are some common traits that apply to all public records. Imagine, if you will, that you lived in a dystopian state where all government action is kept secret. You have no way to know what the government has been doing and how its activities may positively or negatively affect your life.

As the old cliché goes, knowledge is power. A government that keeps all the information locked up tight exerts a high degree of power over its citizens. The importance of public records really can’t be overstated because it helps ensure transparency and accountability in government. Records can be in tangible forms, such as paper, photographs, and maps, or stored on electronic media, such as CDs, DVDs, and computer databases. How the information is stored doesn’t really matter, it’s the nature of the information that determines whether it’s a public record.
Typical public records include, but are not limited to:
• Court records
• Birth records
• Death records
• Marriage records
• Licensing records
• Statistical data
• Business records, such as articles of incorporation
• Meeting minutes
• Voting records
• Correspondence
• Budgets
• Government financial records
• Manuals
• Statutes and regulations and interpretations regarding the same
• Directives, orders, and interpretations regarding the same
• Studies and reports
• Transcripts of hearings and meetings
• Administrative policies and procedures
• Government contracts and leases
• Historical records
• Research records

Obtain Death Certificate

A Death Certificate is a document issued by the Government to the nearest relatives of the deceased, stating the date, fact and cause of death. It is essential to register death to prove the time and date of death, to establish the fact of death for relieving the individual from social, legal and official obligations, to enable settlement of property inheritance, and to authorize the family to collect insurance and other benefits. A death can be reported and registered by the head of the family, in case it occurs in a house; by the medical in charge if it occurs in a hospital; by the jail in-charge if it occurs in a jail; and by the headman of the village or the in-charge of the local police station in case the body is found deserted in that area. To apply for a Death Certificate, you must first register the death.

The death has to be registered with the concerned local authorities within 21 days of its occurrence, by filling up the form prescribed by the Registrar. Death Certificate is then issued after proper verification. If a death is not registered within 21 days of its occurrence, permission from the Registrar/Area Magistrate, along with the fee prescribed in case of late registration, is required. The application form in which you are required to apply is usually available with the area’s local body authorities, or with the Registrar who maintains the Register of Deaths. You might also need to submit proof of birth of the deceased, an affidavit specifying the date and time of death, a copy of the ration card, and the required fee in the form of court fee stamps.

Estate and Probate Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with Estate and Probate Law in Utah, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Who Inherits When There Is No Will?

Who Inherits When There Is No Will

On the off chance that your mate or parent bites the dust without a Will, Utah law figures out who will acquire his or her property. These laws, called intestacy laws, are basically state-composed Wills that figure out who gets the decedent’s property. “Intestate” portrays an individual who kicks the bucket without a will. An individual who bites the dust with a Will is said to pass on “testate.” By and large, in intestate progression, property goes to close relatives, beginning with an enduring mate and youngsters, and after that step by step broadening out to guardians, kin, nieces and nephews, grandparents and their lawful relatives, and progressively far off relatives after that. On the off chance that positively no relatives can be discovered, at that point a decedent’s property goes to the state. Also, just to make everything increasingly convoluted, the laws of more than one state may apply. The guidelines for conveying an individual’s close to home property (autos, garments, adornments, and so on.) will be where that individual lived, called “residence” in legal talk.

In any case, if an individual additionally claimed genuine property in another express, that state’s law would apply to the conveyance of that genuine property. Since these laws are composed to cover a tremendous assortment of families and circumstances, they can be confused to peruse, and they change state to state. Fundamentally, in each state, you need to comprehend the sort of property an individual has and the family connections that individual needs to work your way down to who gets what. In certain states like the state of Utah, for instance, an enduring companion will acquire all the property left by a decedent, if the majority of that individual’s enduring heirs are likewise relatives of the enduring mate. For instance, in a state that way, if John bites the dust intestate, deserting a wife, Kate, a child little girl, Sally, a sibling and the two guardians, Kate, the enduring life partner, would acquire everything. In certain states including Utah, however, an enduring companion would just acquire a segment of John’s domain. In New York, for instance, Kate, as the enduring life partner, would acquire $50,000 and one-portion of the home, while Sally, the girl, would acquire the rest. In certain states, Kate may acquire one-portion of the domain and the other half would go to John’s enduring guardians. Furthermore, in certain states, if John had been hitched before he hitched Kate, and had kids from that first marriage, Kate would acquire a bit of his domain (one-half or perhaps 33%) and the rest would be separated between his kids from the two relational unions. Utah State likewise vary by the way they gap up property among the enduring heirs. In the event that an individual who might be qualified for acquire has passed on before the decedent, that individual’s relatives will acquire that share.

There are two distinct approaches to decide how much such relatives are qualified for. Per capita appropriation signifies “per head” in Latin and every relative takes an equivalent offer. In the event that, for instance, one kin and two nieces of an expired kin are the correct heirs, each would get 33% of the domain. Per stirpes appropriation signifies “by the root” in Latin and every relative takes an offer dictated by the root- – or what that individual’s perished predecessor would have acquired. For instance, if a youngster would have acquired one-portion of a decedent’s benefits, yet kicked the bucket first and left three kids, those three kids would each acquire one-6th of the domain (each would acquire 33% of their parent’s one-half offer).

Prior to broadly expounding on the best way to comprehend Utah’s intestacy laws, it’s essential to understand that these laws just apply to some of what an individual may have possessed at death. Intestacy law just applies to property that would have gone by a Will (if that individual had kept in touch with one)- – yet this does exclude resources that go to individuals at death by beneficiary assignment or joint tenure, which can be the greater part of what an individual claimed. Here’s a rundown of normal resources that go to individuals at death outside of intestacy laws:
• Retirement accounts
• Life coverage
• Payable on death accounts
• Move on death accounts
• Annuities
• Genuine property held in joint occupancy
• Genuine property held as network property with right of survivorship
• Financial balances held in joint occupancy
• Property held in living trusts

Every single such resource pass naturally to the general population named as beneficiaries or to the enduring joint proprietors or to the beneficiaries of a living trust. (In the event that no beneficiary is named, or on the off chance that the named beneficiary has as of now kicked the bucket, at that point these advantages go to the decedent’s bequest – which implies that they will be liable to intestacy laws.)
Intestacy law applies to everything else possessed by an individual at death–, for example, financial balances held for the sake of the dead individual, genuine property held exclusively or as an occupant in like manner, stocks and bonds held in venture accounts in that individual’s name, and the majority of an individual’s unmistakable individual property (furniture, garments, vehicles, and such). Utah’s intestacy law manage who will acquire such resources and Utah’s probate laws decide how those advantages will be moved. For the most part, in the event that somebody dies with a Will a court needs to manage the appropriation of a home.

That is the thing that probate is, a procedure wherein a judge confirms that a Will is substantial (or if there is no Will, distinguishes the best possible heirs) and, when the ideal individuals have been told, the benefits have been appropriately esteemed, and charges and loan bosses have been paid, issues a court request taking into account the dispersion of the bequest. Passing on without a Will doesn’t get you out of that procedure, it just implies that as opposed to deciphering the decedent’s Will, the court will pursue Utah’s intestacy laws to disseminate the bequest. To discover how probate functions in Utah, call Ascent Law LLC for more information.

In each state, however, domains that fall underneath a specific dollar breaking point don’t need to experience probate by any stretch of the imagination. In the event that a domain is little enough, you needn’t bother with a court request before having the option to convey that property to the best possible individuals. Along these lines, if your life partner or parent kicks the bucket without a Will, your first inquiry will be whether you are going to need to open up a probate continuing and get a court request before you can disperse the property. On the off chance that an individual’s benefits fall underneath Utah’s little bequests limit, you won’t have to open a probate continuing in Utah to circulate the property, yet on the off chance that the decedent’s advantages are more than this point of confinement, you will need to open a probate continuing to convey the resources for the individuals who remain to inherit. Snap here to find out about the little domains limit in Utah.

State intestacy laws are composed like PC, dislike books, in spite of the fact that they do have a specific cleanser show like quality to them. (It very well may be incredible to imaging an individual with each one of those entangled family connections simultaneously!) Basically, you can consider state intestacy laws like a long arrangement of “Assuming this then that” explanations – IF the decedent was hitched, and had no kids, then the life partner acquires all.” Once you locate the correct arrangement of lots of ifs you can figure out who gets the property at issue. The general population with the privilege to acquire are classified “heirs.”

Here’s a rundown of definitions to enable you to deal with the important terms and comprehend your relationship to the decedent, and your case on his or her benefits:

• Life partner. A mate is an individual who was lawfully hitched to the decedent, or, in certain states, a Registered Domestic accomplice. A couple of states perceive customary marriage, which implies that an individual who lived with the decedent as though wedded, and held themselves out to the world as that individual’s life partner would have indistinguishable lawful rights from a life partner regarding legacy. Snap here to see whether Utah perceives customary marriage.

• Children. A kid is generally characterized as an immediate relative of the dececent. That implies tyke, grandkid, greatgrandchild, etc. Legitimately embraced youngsters are dealt with simply like lineal relatives, so they check, as well. Furthermore, that implies that once a kid is lawfully received by another, that kid’s lawful connections to the birthparent are legitimately cut off, which implies that they don’t mean legacy purposes. Youngsters who were brought into the world after a parent bites the dust consider kids for legacy purposes.

• Stepchildren who were never lawfully embraced don’t generally consider youngsters for intestate purposes. Stepchildren who were received by a stepparent can at present acquire from their organic parent, yet this is reliant on state law. In certain states, an unadopted stepchild may qualify as a heir if certain conditions are fulfilled, for example, that the association with the parent began while the stepchild was a minor and proceeded all through the parent’s lifetime and the parent would have received that tyke yet there was some legitimate obstruction to doing as such (like the parent’s regular parent declining to agree to such appropriation).

• Outside of Marriage. A youngster brought into the world outside of a marriage has a similar case as a kid brought into the world within a marriage, yet the lawful issue that’ can be troublesome is figuring out who that kid’s legitimate parent is. It’s simple enough on the mother’s side: a kid can acquire from his or her introduction to the world mother. Be that as it may, on the dad’s side, if guardians were never hitched, a kid will need to demonstrate paternity to have a legitimate case. How does a kid do this? Here are some normal ways:

o A court request pronouncing paternity

o A composed proclamation from the dad recognizing paternity
Kin. Siblings, sisters, and stepbrothers and stepsisters all include in this gathering in many states. For instance, on the off chance that Sam wedded Sarah and had a little girl, Karen, at that point wedded Gloria and had twin children, Ike and Mike and after that passed on intestate, Karen, Ike and Mike (who have a typical dad) would all be viewed as his heirs.
In Utah, on the off chance that you leave no life partner and no relatives, your bequest will go to your folks. In the event that you left no guardians, your property will go to any of your enduring kin. On the off chance that you have no enduring kin, one-portion of the bequest will go to your maternal grandparents or their relatives, and the other half will go to your fatherly grandparents or their relatives. On the off chance that no living relatives can be discovered, the property escheats to the state to be put in training store. On the off chance that you pass on without a will and don’t have any family, your property will “escheat” into the state’s coffers. In any case, this in all respects once in a while happens in light of the fact that the laws are intended to get your property to any individual who was even remotely identified with you.

For instance, your property won’t go to the state in the event that you leave a life partner, youngsters, kin, guardians, grandparents, aunties or uncles, distant uncles or aunties, nieces or nephews, cousins of any degree, or the relatives of a mate who bites the dust before you do. Regularly, the “heirs” who are probably going to acquire under intestate progression will be the individual’s life partner or kids. The life partner has need. In any case, on the off chance that there is no living life partner, at that point the domain goes to the youngsters. In the event that there are no enduring youngsters, at that point Utah law manages that the home would next go to an enduring guardian. On the off chance that no parent endures, at that point the home goes to enduring relatives of the decedent’s folks (regularly kin of the decedent). On the off chance that no relative of a parent endures, at that point the home goes to any enduring grandparent. On the off chance that there is no enduring grandparent, at that point the domain goes to any enduring relative of the grandparents. On the off chance that nothing unless there are other options people endure, at that point Utah law looks to relatives of the decedent’s perished life partner who are not relatives of the decedent. The vast majority will have recognizable heirs under Utah’s arrangement of intestate progression. Be that as it may, on the off chance that no taker exists, at that point under Utah Code Section 75-2-105, the intestate home goes to the State to assist the state school finance.

Estate Administration Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with administering an estate in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Can The Executor Of A Will Take Everything In Utah?

Can The Executor Of A Will Take Everything?

Filling in as the executor of somebody’s last will and confirmation can be a respect and the most unnerving knowledge of your life simultaneously. By definition, an executor is endowed with the huge obligation of ensuring an individual’s last wishes are conceded concerning the attitude of their property and assets. When it comes down to fundamentals, an executor of a will is in charge of ensuring that any obligations and leasers that the expired had are satisfied, and that any residual cash or property is disseminated by their desires. In spite of the fact that the law doesn’t require an executor to be a legal counselor or monetary master, it requires than each executor satisfy their obligations with the most extreme trustworthiness and steadiness. The legitimate term for this prerequisite is a “guardian obligation,” which holds the executor to act in compliance with common decency concerning an individual’s will.

An executor is an individual selected to control the bequest of a perished individual. The executor’s primary obligation is to complete the guidelines and wishes of the perished. The executor is selected either by the deceased benefactor of the will (the person who makes the will), or by a court, in cases wherein there was no earlier arrangement. The executor is in charge of ensuring all benefits in the will are represented, alongside moving these resources for the right party (parties). Resources can incorporate budgetary possessions, for example, stocks, securities, or currency advertise ventures; land; direct speculations; or even collectibles like are. The executor needs to gauge the estimation of the domain by utilizing either the date of death esteem or the elective valuation date, as gave in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The executor additionally needs to guarantee that every one of the obligations of the perished are satisfied, including any duties. The executor is legitimately committed to meet the desires of the perished and act in light of a legitimate concern for the expired. The executor can be nearly anybody however is generally a legal counselor, bookkeeper or relative, with the main limitation being that the person in question must be beyond 18 years old and have no earlier lawful offense feelings. Executors are key in domain getting ready for people and their families and recipients. Domain arranging is a sweeping term that spreads how a person’s advantages will be saved, overseen, and conveyed after death. It likewise considers the administration of this current person’s properties and monetary commitments (for example obligations) if s/he winds up crippled.

People have different purposes behind arranging a home, including safeguarding family riches, accommodating enduring companions and youngsters, financing kids and additionally grandkids’ instruction, or abandoning their heritage to a magnanimous reason. The most essential advance in bequest arranging includes composing a will. Other significant bequest arranging errands include:

• Constraining bequest charges by setting up trust accounts for the sake of recipients
• Building up a watchman for living wards
• Naming an executor of the home to direct the particulars of the will
• Making/refreshing recipients on plans, for example, extra security, IRAs and 401(k)s
• Building up yearly gifting to qualified altruistic and non-benefit associations to diminish the assessable home
• Setting up a sturdy intensity of lawyer (POA) to coordinate different resources and speculations

It’s a significant activity, and truly, an executor is normally qualified for installment. The amount she may be paid relies upon the state wherein the decedent has kicked the bucket and where the will is being probated. Numerous individuals incorporate arrangements for their executor’s remuneration in the details of their wills. Courts normally respect these arrangements in the event that they don’t go against state law, and state law dominates if the will is quiet as to installment. As a down to earth matter, numerous executors who are firmly identified with the decedent forgo installment, especially when they’re recipients under the terms the will and when the home isn’t convoluted. The executor’s installment leaves the home, diminishing the sum that is left over for recipients. What’s more, installments for administrations rendered speak to assessable pay to the executor, while money legacies for the most part aren’t assessable, in any event not at the government level. Much of the time, it can bode well for the executor to swear off installment and acknowledge a to some degree bigger legacy.

Not all domains require every one of these means, and some especially confounded bequests may require extra work. This is an essential diagram of what the activity can involve. Counsel with a bequest lawyer in the event that somebody has requested that you go about as executor to discover precisely what will be expected of you in your state.

When the domain has been opened for probate in the Utah district where the decedent lived, the executor who is named in the will is selected by the probate court. At the arrangement or before long, the court issues letters testamentary. Letters testamentary are duplicates of a one-page archive expressing that the executor has expert to follow up for the benefit of the decedent with respect to settling the domain. The letters testamentary enable the executor to give confirmation that he has the ability to follow up for the perished benefit. The executor gets letters testamentary when he officially acknowledges the situation recorded as a hard copy. In the event that the decedent passed on without a will, the court chooses an agent who should likewise acknowledge the arrangement recorded as a hard copy.
In the state of Utah Legally, a manager or executor of a bequest can’t do anything until they’ve been guaranteed by the court, so it’s critical to jump on the probate court schedule as fast as could be allowed. Some portion of that confirmation procedure is additionally finding the will, if there is one, and documenting it with the court. This may sound basic enough, yet in case you don’t know there’s a will or don’t have a clue where it is, you have to demonstrate the court that you’ve tried to discover it. That implies experiencing the majority of the decedent’s papers, calling their lawyer, checking with their bank to check whether they have a security store box, and heading off to the town hall to check whether a will has been documented there.

Regardless of whether a will is 30 years of age and the greater part of its recipients have kicked the bucket, if that is the latest form, that is the one that should be recorded and pursued. On the off chance that there is no will, the executor of the bequest must appeal to the court to announce the home “intestate.” all things considered, you’ll need to pursue state laws to decide legitimate beneficiaries before settling a domain. Finding resources can transform into a scrounger chase. We’ve worked with customers who had no clue about a portion of the advantages their folks claimed, incorporating property in different states, costly gems covered up in the bogus base of a trunk, and long-overlooked bonds now worth a little fortune. You should discover and report everything the decedent claimed, in such a case that something turns up later—after probate closes—you could need to plunge once again into more administrative work. The watchwords here, however, are “verifying” and “safeguarding.” Once you’ve found everything and made a total stock of advantages, it’s your legitimate obligation to verify the benefits so they aren’t lost or stolen, and that they keep up their incentive between the season of the demise and when probate at long last settles a domain. Until probate settles, you should deal with the funds of the bequest as though it were a different business. This is the place we’ve seen an excessive number of individuals hazard executor wrongdoing by blending cash from the domain with different assets. You additionally should gather any obligations owed to the decedent, including back pay, annuity pay or Social Security that was expected at the season of the passing. Executors must document bequest duties and individual annual charges for the decedent. The majority of this bequest bookkeeping will in the long run be documented with the court. Additionally state of Utah enable home executors to get “sensible” installment from the domain for their administrations, however here’s the trick—you don’t get the opportunity to choose what’s sensible. The court will choose for you, and your record-keeping must be trustworthy. We’ve seen customers pay their own bills out of the bequest’s records and give themselves liberal rewards for the hours they’ve put in. This is clear executor offense. Keep in mind, it’s not your cash. Everything has a place with the domain, and each dime you spend should be endorsed by the court.

In fact, circulating resources is the essential occupation of an executor, yet these different advances must be finished before this can occur. Where we’ve seen executors kept running into inconvenience is the point at which they make dispersions too soon or in the off-base request. Despite what’s in the will, lenders have top need with regards to getting resources from the domain. Be that as it may, not all loan bosses are equivalent. Each state has its very own need positioning (obviously, Uncle Sam is for the most part at the top). On the off chance that an executor of a bequest neglects to appropriate dependent on the right need, the executor may need to compensate for any shortfall with their very own cash. Simply after all banks are paid should an executor disperse any outstanding resources for recipients—and after that just to named recipients (or legitimate beneficiaries if there is no will). It’s enticing to give a touch of something to relatives or companions who were near the decedent, yet on the off chance that they aren’t named as recipients, anything you dispense outside of the will could wind up leaving your very own pocket. Notwithstanding the issue, however, there’s one law each executor ought to pursue: When in uncertainty, inquire. Check with the probate court before paying out any cash, and if the home is especially convoluted you might need to acquire a probate master. That can spare you a great deal of migraines—and a ton of cash—not far off.

Normally The Utah probate code names the beneficiaries of individuals who kick the bucket without a will. These are known as the Utah “laws of intestacy.” The property will go to a life partner who is the main survivor. On the off chance that the perished is made due by a life partner and kids who are all from the companion, the mate is the sole beneficiary. On the off chance that the expired is made due by a mate and at any rate one youngster who isn’t from the mate, the mate gets the first $75,000 and the a large portion of the parity, with half of the parity setting off to the offspring of the perished. In this last case, the law requires a probate court to include every other exchange which go outside the probate (for instance, in joint tenures, shared services, or in a trust) for the reasons for making the counts. On the off chance that the perished leaves neither a mate nor a youngster, Utah intestacy laws characterize the closest relative – relatives (grandkids, incredible grandkids) first, at that point guardians, at that point siblings and sisters, at that point different relatives of the guardians, at that point different relatives. In spite of an exceptionally regular conviction, the property isn’t relinquished to the state. Utah intestacy laws will locate a relative (“closest relative,” anyway remotely related they might be.

Additionally a legal advisor can’t charge a rate expense dependent on the advantages of the bequest for recording and overseeing an Utah probate. Our Utah probate attorneys and different legal counselors now and again consent to rate expenses (no charge except if resources are gathered) in probate related claims to recuperate or gather resources of the home, win illegitimate passing cases and different claims including misuse and money related abuse claims In contrast to numerous states, Utah does not force exceptional prerequisites on executors who live out of state. Be that as it may, that doesn’t mean it’s a smart thought to delegate somebody who lives far away. For commonsense reasons, it’s typically best to name an executor who lives close you. Your executor may need to deal with everyday issues for quite a long time, months, or at times longer.

Executor Of A Will Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help as an executor of a will or as a personal representative, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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What Does Probate Actually Do?

What Does Probate Actually Do

Probate is the court supervised process of authenticating a last will and testament if the deceased made one. It includes locating and determining the value of the decedent’s assets, paying his final bills and taxes, and, finally, distributing the remainder of the estate to his rightful beneficiaries. Each state has specific laws in place to determine what’s required there to probate an estate. These laws are included in the estate’s “probate codes,” as well as laws for “intestate succession” when a decedent dies without a will. Probate is still required to pay the decedent’s final bills and distribute his estate when he dies without a will. Although the laws governing probate can vary from state to state, the steps involved are generally very similar regardless of whether a will exists.

Probate is the official way that an estate gets settled under the supervision of the court. A person, usually a surviving spouse or an adult child, is appointed by the court if there is no Will, or nominated by the deceased person’s Will. Once appointed, this person, called an executor or Personal Representative, has the legal authority to gather and value the assets owned by the estate, to pay bills and taxes, and, ultimately, to distribute the assets to the heirs or beneficiaries. The purpose of probate is to prevent fraud after someone’s death. Imagine everyone stealing the castle after the Lord dies. It’s a way to freeze the estate until a judge determines that the Will is valid, that all the relevant people have been notified, that all the property in the estate has been identified and appraised, that the creditors have been paid and that all the taxes have been paid. Once all of that’s been done, the court issues an Order distributing the property and the estate is closed. Not all estates must go through probate though. First, if an estate falls below a certain threshold, it is considered a “small estate” and doesn’t require court supervision to be settled. Second, not all assets are subject to probate. Some kinds of assets transfer automatically at the death of an owner with no probate required. The most common kinds of assets that pass without probate are:

• Joint Tenancy assets-when one joint tenant dies, the surviving joint tenant becomes the owner of the entire asset, without the need for a court order. This is called “right of survivorship”

• Tenancy by the Entirety or Community Property With Right of Survivorship-these are forms of property ownership that function like joint tenancy, in that the survivor owns the entire property at the death of the other tenant, but are only available to married couples.

• Beneficiary Designations-retirement accounts and life insurance policies have named beneficiaries. Upon the death of the account or policy owner, these beneficiaries are entitled to the assets in the account or the proceeds of the policy.

• Payable on Death Accounts/Transfer on Death Accounts-bank and brokerage accounts can have designated beneficiaries, too. The account owner can fill out forms to designate who should receive the account assets after their death.

Third, if a decedent had created a Living Trust to hold his or her largest assets, than that estate, too, won’t go through probate, unless the assets left outside of the trust add up to more than Utah’s small estate limit. That, in fact, is why that Living Trust was created, to avoid probate after the death of the trust’s Grantor. But for estates in Utah that exceed the small estate’s threshold, and for which there is either no Will, or a Will (but not a Living Trust), probate will be required before an estate can be transferred to the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries. The general procedure required to settle an estate via probate in Utah is set out in a set of laws called the Uniform Probate Code, a set of probate procedures that has been adopted, with minor variations, in 15 states, including Utah. In Utah, under the UPC there are three kind of probate proceedings: informal, unsupervised, and supervised formal.

Informal Probate

Most probate proceedings in Utah are informal. You can use it when the heirs and beneficiaries are getting along, there are no creditor problems to resolve and you don’t expect any trouble. The process begins when you file an application with the probate court to serve as the “personal representative” of the estate. (This is what most people think of as the “executor”). Once your application is approved, you have legal authority to act for the estate. Usually you’ll get what’s called “Letters Testamentary” from the court.

Once you get the letters, you need to do these things:
• Send out formal notice to heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors that you know of.
• Publish a notice in a local newspaper to alert other creditors.
• Provide proof that you’ve mailed notices and published the notice.
• Prepare an inventory and appraisal of the estate’s assets.
• Keep all the property safe
• Distribute the property (when the estate closes)
Once the property’s been distributed, you close an informal proceeding by filing a “final accounting” with the court and a “closing statement” that says you’ve paid all the debts and taxes, distributed the property, and filed the accounting.

Formal Probate

A formal probate, even an unsupervised one, is a court proceeding. That means that a judge must approve certain actions taken by the Personal Representative, such as selling estate property, or distributing assets, or paying an attorney. The purpose of involving a judge is to settle disputes between beneficiaries over the distribution of assets, the meaning of a Will, or the amounts due to certain creditors. The informal probate process won’t work if there are disputes, so that’s when the court gets involved.

A supervised formal probate is one in which the court steps in to supervise the entire probate process. The court must approve the distribution of all property in such a proceeding.

Most states have laws in place that require that anyone who is in possession of the deceased’s will must file it with the probate court as soon as is reasonably possible. An application or petition to open probate of the estate is usually done at the same time. Sometimes it’s necessary to file the death certificate as well, along with the will and the petition. Completing and submitting the petition doesn’t have to be a daunting challenge. Many state courts provide forms for this. If the decedent left a will, the judge will confirm that it is, in fact, valid. This typically involves a court hearing, and notice of the hearing must be given to all the beneficiaries listed in the decedent’s will as well as his heirs those who would inherit by operation of law if he had not left a will. The hearing gives everyone concerned an opportunity to object to the will being admitted for probate maybe because it’s not drafted properly or because someone is in possession of a more recent will. Someone might also object to the appointment of the executor nominated in the will to handle the estate.

The judge will appoint an executor as well, also sometimes called a personal representative or administrator. This individual will oversee the probate process and to settle the estate. The decedent’s choice for an executor is typically included in her will, but the court will appoint next of kin if she didn’t leave a will, typically her surviving spouse or an adult child. This individual isn’t obligated to serve, he can decline and the court will then appoint someone else. The appointed executor will receive “letters testamentary” from the court a fancy, legal way of saying he’ll receive documentation that allows him to act and enter into transactions on behalf of the estate. This documentation is sometimes referred to as “letters of authority” or “letters of administration.” It might be necessary for the executor to post bond before he can accept the letters and act for the estate, although some wills include provisions stating that this isn’t necessary. Bond acts as an insurance policy that will kick in to reimburse the estate in the event the executor commits some grievous error, either intentionally or unintentionally that financially damages the estate, and, by extension, its beneficiaries. Beneficiaries can elect to unanimously reject this requirement in some states, but it’s an ironclad rule in others, particularly if the executor ends up being someone other than the individual nominated in the will or if he lives out of state.

The executor’s first task involves locating and taking possession of all the decedent’s assets so she can protect them during the probate process. This can involve a fair bit of sleuthing sometimes some people own assets that they’ve told no one about, even their spouses, and these assets might not be delineated in their wills. The executor must hunt for any such assets, typically through a review of insurance policies, tax returns, and other documentation. In the case of real estate, the executor is not expected to move into the residence or the building and remain there throughout the probate process to “protect” it. But he must ensure that property taxes are paid, insurance is kept current, and any mortgage payments are made so the property isn’t lost and doesn’t go into foreclosure. The executor might literally take possession of other assets, however, such as collectibles or even vehicles, placing them in a safe location. He’ll collect all statements and other documentation concerning bank and investment accounts, as well as stocks and bonds.
Date of death values for the decedent’s assets must be determined and this is generally accomplished through account statements and appraisals. The court will appoint appraisers in some states, but in others, the executor can choose someone.

Many states require that the executor submit a written report to the court, listing everything the decedent owned along with each asset’s value, as well as a notation as to how that value was arrived at.

The executor can petition the court for permission to distribute what is left of the decedent’s assets to the beneficiaries named in his will. This usually requires the court’s permission, which is typically only granted after the executor has submitted a complete accounting of every financial transaction she’s engaged in throughout the probate process. Some states allow the estate’s beneficiaries to collectively waive this accounting requirement if they’re all in agreement that it’s not necessary. Otherwise, the executor will have to list and explain each and every expense paid and all income earned by the estate. Some states provide forms to make this process a little easier. If the will includes bequests to minors, the executor might also be responsible for setting up a trust to accept possession of bequests made to them because minors can’t own their own property. In other cases and with adult beneficiaries, deeds and other transfer documents must be drawn up and filed with the appropriate state or county officials to finalize the bequests.

The Probate Process

If you have a will which names an executor, then they will start the process by filing the appropriate paperwork with the local probate court. It is highly recommended that the executor hire an attorney to handle this paperwork, and to help prove the validity of your will. The executor, or their legal representative, will then need to supply the court with a list of your property, debts, and beneficiaries. Once this has all been established, they can begin to pay debts and transfer property. If you do not have a will at the time of your death, the process will be similar however, the executor of your estate will be appointed by a judge. Only after all property, beneficiaries, and outstanding debts and taxes have been established, can the probate court start to pay debts and transfer property to the new owners. Since you did not name beneficiaries, the court will follow state laws to determine who will inherit what, and this can be a very lengthy process.

Anyone with a basic understanding of estate planning knows that one of the primary benefits of having a living trust is to avoid probate. Nevertheless, unless you are an attorney or have been personally involved in a probate proceeding in the past, few people have an understanding of what probate really is and why it is not recommended for most estates. Probate is a court supervised process for administering and (hopefully) distributing a person’s estate after their death. When a person dies leaving property (especially real estate) in their name, the only way to transfer ownership from the deceased owner’s name to the name of their heirs is for a court to order the transfer through the probate process. In other words, since a deceased owner of property is no longer around to execute deeds, only a court can effectuate the transfer of real property after the owner dies, and probate is the legal process by which this would occur. Many people have the misconception that having a will alone avoids the probate process. A will merely informs the world where you want your property to go, but probate is still needed to carry out the wishes expressed in the will (since even with a will, property stays in the name of decedent). Only a trust can avoid probate because once you have a trust, all of your assets are then transferred to the trust during your lifetime thereby avoiding the need for a court to do so.

For some estates, probate might be a good alternative, but consider these five reasons why you would want to avoid having your estate pass through probate:

• Probate is a public proceeding. As with any court proceeding, the court hearings and documents in probate are completely open to the public. In fact, probate courts typically require filing an inventory and accounting of the entire estate with the court. Anyone can simply visit the probate court and view or copy probate records, and some courts even make this information available online. If you have any interest in keeping your finances, property or family members’ secret upon your death, you want to avoid the probate process.

• The personal representative has to formally notify all your creditors of your death. One of the primary purposes of probate is to afford creditors the opportunity to have their debts with the decedent settled through the probate process. In fact, one of the first steps in the probate process is to specifically notify all known or reasonably ascertainable creditors that decedent has died, and therefore, if they want anything, they need to act now. Once a creditor has been notified, they merely need to file a claim with the probate court within the time allowed and will be entitled to payment from the probate estate (assuming it is not contested and there are assets are available to pay).

• Probate is a court supervised process. In many cases in probate, court approval is required at every step in the process, from appointing the initial personal representative for the estate, proving the will (if any), confirming dispositions of property, approving the inventory and accounting of the estate, settling disputes between creditors or beneficiaries of the estate, and final distributions of the estate. The process is fraught with rules and procedures that must be followed in order to obtain court approval. For example, selling real estate through the probate process may entail securing formal appraisals, offering the property for sale through a court bidding process, and ultimately obtaining court approval for the final sale. By contrast, since a trust is usually administered without any involvement of a court, the makers of the trust can be very flexible in how their property will be distributed without the need for a lot of formalities that a court would require.

• Probate involves time and delay in administering and distributing the estate. Given all the court procedures and requirements of administering a probate estate, even the most simple and uncontested probate proceedings can take many months to a year. If there are claims, disputes, or other complications in the proceedings, the process can take much longer. As courts continue to report reduced funding and large caseloads, increasing delays will likely continue to be part of the probate process.

• Probates usually involve significant attorney’s fees. Although parties certainly have the option to represent themselves in probate, due to all the procedural requirements in probate, which is usually quite different from the procedures in a typical lawsuit, attorneys are usually recommended in all but the most simple of probate estates. Attorney’s fees are usually paid from the estate based on a percentage of the value of the estate. If there are complications in the estate administration that requires extraordinary services, the fees would be even more.

Probate Lawyer Free Consultation

When You Need Legal Help With Probate In Utah, Please Call Ascent Law LLC (801) 676-5506 For Your Free Consultation. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Making a Will FAQs

Making a Will FAQs

Making a will is a part of Estate Planning. In this article, we’ll outline the frequently asked questions about wills. Hope you enjoy!

What is the purpose of preparing a will?

A will is a legally binding document that identifies who should inherit a person’s property after they die. Recipients often include a spouse, children, grandchildren or a charitable organization. Many wills also contain a provision that names a guardian to care for minor children. A person that makes a will is called a testator.

What happens to my property and my children if I die without preparing a will?

If a person dies without a will or another legal distribution device, a state’s laws of intestate succession govern inheritance rights. Typically, a spouse (or in some states a domestic partner) and children are first in line to inherit a decedent’s property. If the deceased did not have a spouse or children, close relatives like parents, siblings, and grandparents will inherit the property. If the decedent has no relatives that qualify under a state’s intestate succession laws, the state receives the property.

If a parent of minor children dies without a will and the other parent is unable to provide care, the state determines who will become the guardian of the children and the property they inherit.

Do I need a lawyer to create a valid will?

No. State laws do not require the assistance of a lawyer when preparing a will. Because most wills only require instructions for the distribution of property and the naming of a guardian for minor children, most people can create a simple will by using software, ready-made forms or instructions from a book.

Can I make a handwritten will?

It depends on whether a state’s law recognizes a handwritten will. In about half of the states, a person may create a handwritten will, also called a “holographic” will. Unlike typed and computer-printed wills, witnesses are unnecessary for holographic wills. Some states require that the testator handwrite the entire holographic will, including the provisions, the date, and the signature. Other states are more lenient — the testator may use a fill-in-the-blank document if it contains handwritten portions, a signature, and a date.

Handwritten wills, however, may create complications. Many probate courts are hesitant to recognize the validity of these wills since they are difficult to verify.

How do I make a will valid?

When preparing a will, most states require the following elements:

  • The testator is at least 18 years old and of sound mind;
  • The inclusion of a statement that the document is the testator’s will;
  • The will is typed or computer-printed, except in the case of a handwritten will;
  • The will must have at least one provision that disposes of property or a provision that appoints a guardian for minor children;
  • The appointment of an executor; and
  • The testator and at least two witnesses signed the will.

The testator should adhere to the following guidelines when signing a will and selecting witnesses:

  • The testator must sign and date the end of a typed or computer-printed will in ink;
  • The signature should match the name that appears in the will;
  • The witnesses must see the testator sign the will;
  • The witnesses must also sign the will;
  • The witnesses should be at least 18 years old; and
  • The witnesses must not be beneficiaries in the will.

It is unnecessary to have a will notarized; however, doing so may simplify probate proceedings.

Can I name a guardian for my children in my will?

Yes. A will can name a “personal guardian” to care for minor children if both parents are deceased or if the surviving parent is unable to care for the children. The personal guardian will have legal guardianship over the minor children until they reach the age of 18.

Can I disinherit my spouse?

In community property states, a spouse is legally entitled to half of the property acquired or earned during the marriage. While a married person may leave their half of the community property to someone other than their spouse, they may not dispose of the spouse’s share of the community property.

In Utah, you really can’t completely disinherit you spouse, says local Utah Probate Lawyer. This is because the surviving spouse can make what is called an elective share and they will get at least the first $75,000 of the estate, plus half of the remaining estate, if they are a second or third spouse. Sometimes, they can get it all. You should call and talk to us if you truly want to disinherit your spouse.

In states where common law governs inheritance laws, a person may choose to disinherit a spouse through a will. However, common law states protect the surviving spouse from complete disinheritance by granting the right of the spouse to claim some portion of the deceased spouse’s property by going to court.

How do I revise my will?

A testator can change a will by preparing a new will or by adding an addition called a codicil. When changes are substantive, revoking a will and starting over may be easier. An express statement in the new will of the revocation of all prior wills legally revokes a will. Minor changes, such as the addition of a new provision or the removal of a beneficiary, are appropriate changes for a codicil.

Free Consultation with a Utah Will Lawyer

If you are here, you should get your free consultation, so call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We want to help you with your will.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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Estate Planning Forms and Tools

Estate Planning Forms and Tools

Although no one likes to think about falling ill or passing away, it’s important to plan for it. Preparing a will allows you to make sure your money and property goes to the people you want them to go to. It’s also important to let your loved ones know your wishes if you ever unable to communicate your wishes. The process of estate planning is the way to plan for death or incapacitation. In this section you can find samples for various estate planning tools, such as a sample will, a sample health care power of attorney, and a sample living will. There is also a helpful estate planning checklist and a questionnaire to prepare you for meeting with an estate planning attorney.

Contents of a Basic Will

While there isn’t a standard, legally foolproof will, there are some basic elements that pretty much every will contains. A will should begin by making it clear that it’s meant to be a will and include the full name and residence of the testator (the person who is making the will). It’s also always a good idea to include a statement revoking any previous wills. The will should include to whom you would like to leave your money and property. If you would like to leave specific belongings or amounts of money to various people, you can list these wishes in the will. If, on the contrary, you simply want to leave everything to one person, you could make a general statement conveying that information. A will should also designate an executor to handle estate administration. It’s usually a good idea to include an alternative executor, in case the original executor can’t or won’t take the responsibility of being the executor. Finally, the testator must sign and date the will. While these are the basic elements of a will, it’s important to check the laws of your state to find out the requirements for drafting a will in your state.

Living Wills and Powers of Attorney

All of the states in the U.S. have laws concerning the ability of people to make decisions about their medical care before there is a need for treatment. A living will or advanced directive is a document that allows people to explain the type and duration of medical care they would like to receive if they are in a situation where they can’t communicate those wishes. Each state has its own laws regarding what can be included in a living will, which is why it’s important to check the laws in your jurisdiction or consult with an attorney when drafting a living will.

It’s worth mentioning that a living will and a health care power of attorney concern similar matters, but are very different. As previously mentioned, a living will explains the wishes of the person in the event that he or she can’t communicate the wishes him or herself. A health care power of an attorney can also have the same information as a living will, but it also designates a person to have the legal ability to make medical decision on a person’s behalf. The health care power of attorney is only valid in the event that the person who makes the document is unable to make medical decisions for him or herself.

Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney

Wills can be fairly easy to draft if a person doesn’t have very many assets. However, if you have a lot of assets or a complex situation, you should probably hire an estate planning lawyer to help you with your will. Regardless of the size of your estate, if you have questions or concerns about estate planning, you might want to consult with an attorney.

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have an estate issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Life Insurance Policy to Lower Estate Tax

Before we get started, you may not need to worry about transferring your life insurance policy unless your estate will be subject to the federal estate tax. As of 2017, only estates worth over $5.49 million are subject to any estate taxes, although this can be changed by Congress at any time.

Life Insurance Policy to Lower Estate Tax

If your estate could be subject to the estate tax, then it’s important to understand that only assets owned in your name at your death count towards the value of your estate. According to estate law, if you transfer your life insurance policy, when you pass away the proceeds will not be in your name and would therefore not be included in the value of your estate at your death.

In general, there are two ways that you can accomplish this goal. First, you can transfer ownership of the policy to another adult, even the named beneficiary. Second, you can create an irrevocable life insurance trust and transfer the policy to the ownership of the trust. Be aware, however, that if you get life insurance through your job, you may not be able to transfer ownership rights.

Transferring Ownership to Other Adults

Although it can be easier, transferring ownership of your life insurance policy to another adult has its drawbacks. Perhaps most significant is that once you transfer ownership you can’t change your mind or go back and alter the policy.

For example, if you transfer your life insurance policy to your best friend, but then have a falling out, you can’t get your life insurance policy back. These transfers tend to work well in situations when you transfer a policy to an adult child with whom you have a good relationship.

The Three-Year Rule

Whenever transferring ownership of life insurance policies, the three-year rule applies. Under this rule created by the IRS, if the transfer takes place within the three years before death and is made without any consideration, then the proceeds from the policy are counted in the estate for tax purposes. So, if you’re considering transferring ownership of your life insurance policy, you should do so sooner rather than later.

Other Applicable IRS Rules

There are other rules and regulations that the IRS follows to determine the ownership of life insurance policies for estate tax purposes, as discussed below.

Retaining Ownership

If a deceased person kept any “incidents of ownership” over the policy after a transfer, then the policy is still considered to be owned by the deceased at death and counted for estate tax purposes. Incidents of ownership exist where, after a transfer, the deceased retains the power to:

  • Cancel, surrender or convert the policy;
  • Use the policy as collateral to borrow money;
  • Change the named beneficiary on the policy; or
  • Select the method of payment for the policy (installments or a lump sum).

Gift Tax Concerns

Under current laws (as of 2017), any gift of more than $14,000 is subject to a gift tax. Therefore, if you transfer a life insurance policy that has a present value of more than $14,000, any amount over that will be taxed when the policy is paid out.

However, even with this tax, it’s still worthwhile to transfer the policy instead of keeping it within your estate. If your estate will already be subject to the estate tax, then the full amount of your life insurance policy will be included in your estate and be subject to the estate tax at your death. However, if you transfer the policy before your death, only the amount that the policy was worth at transfer will be taxed.

How to Transfer Life Insurance Policies

Much like giving other pieces of property, you can give away your life insurance policies either by signing a document called an “assignment of rights” or a “transfer”, or by transferring the policy into a life insurance trust. Let’s take a look at both options.

Assigning/Transferring Rights

Most life insurance companies have their own forms to transfer ownership, which are best to use to avoid confusion. You can request an assignment or transfer form directly from your life insurance company, but you may also have to change the policy to indicate that the insured is no longer the owner.

After the transfer has been completed, the new owner is responsible for making all premium payments. If you continue to make the payments on the policy, the IRS may view this as evidence that you are still the true owner and will count any life insurance proceeds in your estate for tax purposes.

In general, there are two types of life insurance policies that can be transferred. The first is a prepaid, single-payment policy. The upside of transferring this type of policy is that there are no premiums that the new owner must continually pay. However, if the policy is worth more than $14,000 when it is transferred, a gift tax will be assessed on your death. The second type is a policy that asks for yearly premium payments. If the policy is worth less than $14,000 each year, then there will be no gift tax assessed upon your death because you are giving a gift of less than $14,000 each year.

Life Insurance Trusts

In order to transfer your policy to a trust for estate tax purposes, you must create an irrevocable life insurance trust and then place the policy inside of the trust. After you transfer the policy, you are no longer the policy owner and the policy benefits will not be included in your estate.

There are a few reasons why this may be better than transferring ownership to another person. First of all, there may not be anyone that you trust to take ownership and control of the policy. Or, even if there is someone you trust, you may not want that person to incur the responsibility of paying the policy premiums.

In addition, by placing the life insurance policy inside of a trust, you may continue to have some control over the policy remotely. For example, you can set up the trust in such a way that you guarantee that the policy will continue to have its premiums paid while you are still alive by simply putting those conditions inside of the documents that create the trust.

There are three requirements in order to create a valid life insurance trust, which include:

  1. The trust that you place your life insurance policy in must be irrevocable. This means that you will not have the right to revoke the trust. If you do, you are still considered the owner of the trust and it will be counted towards the value of your estate;
  2. You cannot be the trustee of the trust; and
  3. The trust must be created at least three years prior to your death (per the three-year rule).

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have an estate issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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