Family Lawyer Heber City Utah





Family Lawyer Heber City Utah

Someone first receives official notice that he has been sued by receiving the plaintiff’s complaint and an accompanying summons from the court. The summons typically directs the now-defendant to answer the complaint, but the defendant actually has a number of different ways of responding to being sued. If you have been served with a summons in a family dispute, contact an experienced Heber Utah family lawyer.

First, the defendant can simply ignore the whole thing. If the defendant in a criminal case fails to answer a summons or appear for trial, the police can go out and arrest her. Not so in a civil case. But that doesn’t mean that anyone can just ignore a complaint. The sanction for failing to respond to the complaint is that the plaintiff can get the court to enter a default against the defendant. A default prevents the defendant from subsequently entering any defenses on the merits of the case, and the plaintiff can proceed to get a default judgment that concludes the case against the defendant and then can attempt to enforce it like any other judgment.

Sometimes a defendant may take the chance of ignoring a complaint and having a default judgment entered against it because the defendant doesn’t think the plaintiff will be willing or able to enforce the judgment. The second tack the defendant can take is to raise an objection to being sued that is unrelated to the merits of the case. The objection takes the form of a motion to dismiss. A motion is a formal request to the court, here to get rid of the case without ever reaching the substance of what happened.
Some of these objections are trivial. A defendant can say that there was a technical defect in the form of the summons or in the method of service of process, sending the complaint and summons by mail, for example, when personal service is required. If the plaintiff can cure the defect, in this case by personally serving the defendant, then the objection may delay the case but doesn’t halt it altogether. If the plaintiff cannot cure the defect because the defendant is unavailable to be served, then the defendant’s strategy may prevent the case from going forward at all.
A more important basis for a motion to dismiss is that the court lacks jurisdiction over the defendant or the case. Recall that a court can only render a binding judgment in a case when it has jurisdiction, or authority over the subject matter of the case and over the parties. If the defendant demonstrates that the court lacks jurisdiction, the court has no power to do anything other than officially recognize its lack of jurisdiction by dismissing the case.

The third move the defendant might make is to challenge the legal sufficiency of the plaintiff’s complaint. This procedure was classically known as a demurrer, and is today more commonly referred to as a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim or failure to state a cause of action. In such a motion to dismiss, the defendant argues that even if all of the facts that the plaintiff alleges are true, there is no legal basis for holding the defendant liable to the plaintiff. The motion therefore tests the strength of the plaintiff’s legal argument without getting into the facts underlying the dispute.

If the defendant has no basis for making a motion to dismiss the complaint, or if any motions to dismiss fail, the defendant finally has to meet the complaint on the merits of the case. The defendant does this by filing a pleading called an answer, which, obviously, answers the allegations made in the plaintiff’s complaint. The defendant can meet the plaintiff’s allegations in three ways, by saying “no” (denying that the allegations are true), “I don’t know” (disclaiming knowledge about the allegations), or “yes, but” (admitting the allegations but stating facts that would provide a defense to the plaintiff’s claims).

Ideally, a defendant might like to deny everything the plaintiff said in its complaint, thereby hiding all the information the defendant has about the case and putting the plaintiff to the trouble of proving every piece of information it needed to establish its claim. In former times and in a few jurisdictions today, the defendant could accomplish that through a general denial, which places into contention every allegation in the complaint. Most courts no longer permit a general denial, though, because in most cases it subverts the purposes of the pleadings and the goals of the procedural system. The pleading process is designed to help identify and narrow the issues that are in dispute. If the defendant, through a general denial, controverts an allegation that it knows to be true, an issue that could be excluded is raised unnecessarily.

Sometimes the defendant will admit that the essential elements of the plaintiff’s complaint may be true, but the defendant will argue that the complaint doesn’t tell the whole story. If so, in its answer, the plaintiff can raise an affirmative defense. A defense introduces a new factor that eliminates or reduces the defendant’s liability even if all of the elements of the plaintiff’s claim are established.

Often the defendant doesn’t know whether some of the plaintiff’s claims are true. In that case, the rules of civil procedure permit the defendant to say, in effect, “I don’t know.” This puts the issue into dispute and the plaintiff has to come up with its proof. Of course, the desire to promote candor and to define the disputed issues through the pleadings requires that the defendant really not know if the plaintiff’s allegation is true, and courts often extend that requirement to force the defendant to engage in a reasonable degree of investigation to ascertain the truth. If, for example, the allegation concerns some facts about what the defendant itself did, the defendant cannot profess lack of knowledge. Once again, the goal of the process is to efficiently define what the parties are really disputing about and what they can agree on.

Usually we think of a lawsuit as involving two people, the plaintiff and the defendant. But even an ordinary action may involve multiple parties. In addition to involving multiple parties, lawsuits often involve multiple claims.

Discovery

It would be possible to proceed to trial without each party finding out in advance what the other knows. But modern civil procedure uses a more open system in which each party has an extensive opportunity to unearth all of the facts relevant to the litigation during the pretrial stage of the litigation. To obtain information that is in the adversary’s possession, or that can be most easily obtained from the adversary even though it may be available elsewhere, a party can interview the other party under oath, called a deposition; submit written questions, called interrogatories; demand that documents or other physical evidence be produced; require the other party to submit to a physical examination; and ask the other party to admit the truth of facts relevant to the litigation.

A deposition is an oral examination of the other party or someone else with knowledge of the case. A deposition is like the examination of a witness at trial, in that it is conducted by an attorney, a verbatim record is made, and the witness is under oath; the key differences are that the examination is not conducted in front of a judge and there is no cross-examination. Instead, a court reporter swears in the witness and records the testimony. By taking someone’s deposition, an attorney can find out what that person knows in a flexible way; the answer to one question may open up a new line of inquiry. If the witness might testify in an adverse way at trial, the deposition pins down the testimony, allowing the attorney to develop contrary evidence or to use inconsistencies between the deposition testimony and subsequent testimony at trial. It also gives both attorneys a chance to assess how good the witness will be at trial–not only what she says, but how persuasive or credible she is.

The disadvantage of taking depositions is the expense. In a typical deposition, the attorneys for both sides will be present, running up their fees, and the court reporter must be paid, too. One way of reducing this cost is to submit written questions (interrogatories), to be answered under oath. All the attorney has to do is prepare and submit the interrogatories, not be present at a deposition; therefore, interrogatories can be much cheaper, especially because standard form interrogatories are often used for routine aspects of cases.

Interrogatories also place on the adversary the responsibility of ascertaining the facts needed to respond to the questions posed. The disadvantage of interrogatories, though, is that they are inflexible and not spontaneous. The answers often are crafted by the attorney for the responding party to be responsive but not particularly forthcoming, cryptic, and narrowly drawn to give no more information than is absolutely necessary. Nor can an attorney follow up on the answer to one question by asking another; the attorney has to anticipate all the questions that might be asked and include them in the original set of interrogatories.
In connection with depositions or interrogatories, or in a separate request, one party can demand that the other produce documents or other evidence.

Where someone’s physical or mental condition is at issue in the case, one party can ask the court to require them to submit to a medical examination. And a party must disclose whether it has retained an expert to testify at trial and what the expert will testify about.

Finally, where one party believes that some facts are undisputed, that party can request the other to admit that they are true, narrowing down the issues to be tried.

Pretrial discovery has significant advantages over a system of trial by surprise in achieving a fair and efficient process, and in promoting the values of the underlying substantive law. Simply at a practical level, it focuses the recollection of witnesses at an early stage and preserves information that otherwise might not be available at the time of trial. Because it typically takes years for a civil case to come to trial, witnesses may forget details about: events or may even die, and documents or other evidence may be lost or destroyed. Discovery comes well before trial, when recollections are fresher and evidence is more likely to still be available.

More importantly, through discovery the parties learn the contours of each others’ cases and clarify which issues actually are in controversy. This helps the parties to prepare for trial and negotiate a settlement because it narrows down what is involved in a case and gives them a sense of the strength and weakness of each party’s position.

Finally, discovery furthers the law’s substantive values by making it possible to bring actions or assert defenses that could not be done in the absence of full discovery, and by allowing the parties to bring out all of the evidence that might relate to the application of the relevant rules of law. Only when the parties discover and present at trial all of the evidence that bears on the case can the relevant rules of law be correctly applied.

These functions of discovery suggest that the scope of discovery–what information parties can discover and what tools they can use to obtain it–should be very broad, and in most court systems it is.

Seek the assistance of an experienced Utah family lawyer

As the defendant in a Utah family law dispute, there is a lot at stake. You should appear in the court on the date listed in the summons and defend the case against you. Utah family law is complex. Seek the assistance of an experienced Heber Utah family lawyer. The lawyer will review your case and advise you on your options. Never attempt to self defend yourself in order to save on attorney fees. It will prove costly.

Heber City Utah Family Law Attorney Free Consultation

When you need legal help from a Heber City Utah Family Law Attorney, 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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Probate Lawyer Heber City Utah

Probate Lawyer Heber City Utah

Probate is a complex process. Once you file for probate, a disgruntled relative who has been disinherited by the will may challenge the will. It’s important to fight the challenge. Fighting the challenge can be a tough task especially if the disgruntled relative is determined to fight it out. During such times, having an experienced Heber Utah probate lawyer assist you is probably the best thing that can happen to you.

The probate process can be an expensive and time-consuming process, depending on the state where you live. Probate costs, which must be paid from your estate before anything can go to your heirs, are generally estimated at 5 percent of an individual’s gross estate value and can be even higher in some cases. The probate process can take at least one to two years.

Hire a probate lawyer

Utah probate law is complex. Your will has to be probated before the beneficiaries of your will get the share you have bequeathed them. Speak to an experienced Heber Utah probate lawyer before you make your will. Every will has to go through probate before the beneficiaries get their share. Probate is the legal process by which a court validates the will. If your close relative has passed away living behind a will, contact an experienced Heber Utah probate lawyer. It’s important that the will is probated. For this you must file an application in the probate court and pay the probate fee.

Trusts

During probate your family loses control of your estate, as well as privacy. The probate process – not your family – has control, and your assets may be tied up until this process is completed. Additionally, probate fields are open to the public, so anyone can get information about your assets and liabilities.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to wills and probate. It’s call the revocable living trust. It avoids probate and ensures your estate plan won’t be altered by the court or legal technicalities in the event of your death or disability.

If you establish a trust during your lifetime, it is calling “living” trust. It’s a legal document similar to a will but offers much more. When you set up a living trust, you simply transfer most of your assets from your individual name to the name of your trust, which you control. Since there is no probate process with a living trust, upon your death, your assets are transferred to your heirs. All expensive court proceedings and delays are eliminated, your privacy is preserved, and the emotional stress on your family is minimized.

While you are alive, you act as the steward of your resources. After you are gone, someone else may have to play that role. If you are planning to establish trusts for children and grandchildren to protect and distribute family assets, carefully choose trustees or those who will manage your affairs, communications, or oversight. Again, as with planning, some trustees excel in technical capacity, whereas others may excel in human understanding and empathy or even wisdom. Increasingly, people are leaving room for two trustees, one a family adviser or family member, another a corporate trustee to make sure that both wisdom and competence are well represented.

If your child is under age eighteen, the opinion and work of your trustee is particularly important to the well-being of your family. The choice of a beneficiary may affect beneficiaries for decades to come, so having at least one of the trustees be a family member or friend who is a good communicator and knows your children or spouse is a good idea. Many family members or friends are willing to serve for only a modest fee or no fee.
A well-chosen trustee can be more than an administrator of the terms of the trust. He or she can also be a mentor, someone to whom the heirs can look—as they might have looked to you—as a role model. In some trusts the beneficiaries can take over some responsibility for the trust at a certain age. Having a trustee who as mentor can prepare heirs for that role then becomes key to a successful handoff of responsibility.

Wrongly disinherited

If you have been wrongly disinherited by your close relative or you strongly believe that your deceased relative’s will was made under undue influence, speak to an experienced Heber Utah probate lawyer. Utah law has provisions to challenge a will. All wills must go through probate. When an application for probate is made, it is open for interested parties to challenge the will. It’s at this time that you should challenge the will. There is no point in challenging the will when your relative is alive. In fact, you cannot challenge the will at that stage. A will becomes operative only on the death of the testator – the person making the will. If your relative is still alive, you are better off talking to the relative rather than challenging the will in court. There is a time for everything and the time to challenge a will is when it goes through probate. If there is a probate dispute in Heber, the court will generally order the parties to try and resolve the dispute thorough probate mediation. Speak to an experienced Heber Utah probate lawyer to know more about the mediation process.

Request that you have an opportunity to meet with your Heber Utah probate lawyer at a convenient time, and for a reasonable number of times, to discuss the case to that point and the implications of the impending trial. Discuss the strategy and any possible defenses he or she proposes to use in your behalf. To prevent inadvertent disclosure, the attorney may decline to reveal a plan to you. Ask for an honest appraisal of your situation—the weaknesses as well as the strengths of your case. During the meeting, ask for a brief outline of the court proceedings—what you can expect, what will be expected of you. This is also a good time to discuss the possibility of a settlement.

Much of this preparation will be a review of documents and records that you should have examined previously in preparation for the deposition. Reexamine the complaint, the medical record, and all other documents relevant to the case. Refresh your memory on the details, the facts, and the allegations. Make copious notes, but be sure that only you and your attorney have access to them. If you have not already done so, prepare a detailed, chronological summary of all the events surrounding the alleged incident. If this has already been done, review it carefully and add any additional information as necessary.

Probate Mediation

Mediation is not really new. It is as old as the new testament and perhaps older. The Greek word for mediate means to stand between. People have always known that standing between two people in conflict can be helpful. What is new is that mediation has been rediscovered as a replacement for many of the present methods of addressing adversarial conflict. The mediation method encourages cooperating with and helping your adversary. This new way of thinking is gaining a foothold, not only in conflict resolution theory, but also in business.

Probate mediation is different than traditional probate procedures, even when traditional steps taken by attorneys lead to a settlement of the case without a trial. In fact, what occurs in probate mediation is 180 degrees from the adversarial process at virtually every point. The philosophy of mediation is that all sides should achieve a victorious outcome, in contrast to the adversarial probate philosophy of winner prevails due to the loser.

Mediation is most effective when the parties understand the differences between the mediation process and other processes, such as litigation or tribunal hearings. In litigation, or a case conducted before a tribunal, the emphasis is on putting the best case forward in an adversarial approach.

Mediation however is flexible, non-confrontational, and allows the parties to be involved and exercise control over the outcome. The emphasis is on interests and concerns rather than legal issues, and all parties work together to formulate creative solutions.

Whilst mediation is useful for resolving disagreement at any stage, it is best placed as a process when a solution could not be reached by negotiation, but before any more formal process. Since mediation has the status of a ‘without prejudice’ discussion and matters raised are confidential, the process can continue despite ongoing litigation.

Estate planning

Consult with an experienced Heber Utah probate lawyer to decide on which estate planning device you should use. Estate planning means planning for the orderly handling, disposition, and administration of your goods and money when you die. Charitable estate planning is a vehicle that can help you give after you die in ways and amounts that often you could not give during your lifetime. There is a misconception that only those with a lot of money or other assets need to undertake thoughtful estate planning, including writing a will. That’s not true. If you have any money in a bank or retirement account, own a home or other real estate, or own anything of any value—a car, a work of art, jewelry—you have the chance to decide what will happen to these possessions after your death. If you don’t decide, the government will decide for you. For those with larger estates, to die without an up-to-date will can cost a significant fraction of your wealth at death in unnecessary taxes. Estate planning, in short, lets you provide for loved ones, make gifts to causes you care about, and save your heirs income and estate taxes.

It’s important to have an experienced Heber City Utah probate lawyer prepare your estate planning documents. Too often financial plans and estate plans are created without attention to or articulation of core values. We need to keep at the heart of our estate planning what really matters, why we are planning, and for whom. Too often financial plans are created with only our own financial security and tax reduction as objectives. Likewise, estate plans are predominantly created to avoid or reduce taxes, or to pass money, meaningful objects, or lessons on to our families or friends. Little, if any, support is passed to the nonprofits we have cared most about. Establishing a philanthropic or giving plan may tie together and lend added meaning to your other planning. Having or making money for others, not just for ourselves, gives added significance to doing good for the greater community. With a giving plan in place, your financial plan and your estate plan are likely to shift.

Never assume that a will is not for you and that you are better off using trusts for the purpose of estate planning. More often than not, a will may be the best option for you. It is important that you understand the entire probate process before you take a decision. Speak to an experienced Heber City Utah probate lawyer.

Attorneys may have a reputation for being expensive and difficult to deal with, but that is not necessarily accurate. As in any profession, there are some people you’ll relate to better than others. The legal field is no exception. And, in fact, an attorney who will take time to understand your wishes and your adult child’s needs can become an important ally. Not only will he give you legal advice but you can count on him to follow up with the appointment of fiduciaries you choose to act for your child and to help them advocate for your child in the event of problems with carrying out the plan.

As with doctors, if you can’t relate to one and she won’t listen to you, choose another one. The same applies to attorneys. You will need the attorney to have a greater understanding of your family situation than some families may require. Thus, the relationship needs to work well to enhance that understanding. As with choosing any other professional, you won’t learn much about a person from a yellow pages listing. It’s better, if possible, to get a referral from friends or family members who have used that attorney. Additionally, some agencies have lists of attorneys who have been helpful to their clients. Some attorneys will speak at support groups and you may get a chance to hear them before scheduling an appointment.

Free Consultation with a Heber City Utah Probate Lawyer

When you need legal help with an estate, trust, will or probate matter in Heber City 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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Probate Lawyer Bountiful Utah

Probate Lawyer Bountiful Utah

Speak to an experienced Bountiful Utah probate lawyer to know how you can ensure that your estate is distributed properly to your family members. It’s important that you have a will or some other estate planning device in place to ensure this distribution.

Many people want to be sure that children or spouses have “enough” from their estates. Then the important question becomes “How much is enough?” This is a question that, while good to discuss with one’s spouse or partner and one’s advisor, should also be considered for a family meeting or a meeting with your heirs. You might start such a conversation by asking heirs to guess how big your estate will be. You may be surprised at how wrong they are.

This kind of inquiry is simply a direct way to gather the thoughts and feelings of your family as you are reviewing your plans. Listen carefully and take notes. You may be surprised, and your family members are bound to be, by your inquiry and consideration. Even if things change, your family or heirs will remember that you were considerate enough to engage them or try to. Even if the conversation seems tense or difficult, just imagine how much more difficult it would be for the family to sort out after you are gone and can no longer guide them through a process to shared understandings and, if need be, reconciliation.

Once your inspired legacy plan has been drafted by your advisors, you may want to present it formally to your family, perhaps even before you finally sign off on all the documents. Some people call this a “dress rehearsal” for reading the will.

While you are alive, you act as the steward of your resources. After you are gone, someone else may have to play that role. If you are planning to establish trusts for children and grandchildren to protect and distribute family assets, carefully choose trustees or those who will manage your affairs, communications, or oversight. Again, as with planning, some trustees excel in technical capacity, whereas others may excel in human understanding and empathy or even wisdom. Increasingly, people are leaving room for two trustees, one a family adviser or family member, another a corporate trustee to make sure that both wisdom and competence are well represented.

If your child is under age eighteen, the opinion and work of your trustee is particularly important to the well-being of your family. The choice of a beneficiary may affect beneficiaries for decades to come, so having at least one of the trustees be a family member or friend who is a good communicator and knows your children or spouse is a good idea. Many family members or friends are willing to serve for only a modest fee or no fee.
A well-chosen trustee can be more than an administrator of the terms of the trust. He or she can also be a mentor, someone to whom the heirs can look—as they might have looked to you—as a role model. In some trusts the beneficiaries can take over some responsibility for the trust at a certain age. Having a trustee who as mentor can prepare heirs for that role then becomes key to a successful handoff of responsibility.

Leaving a legacy to your spouse, friend, or children is often a life-changing event. The most loving thing you can do is to prepare yourself, your advisers, and your family for what is inevitably ahead. Death is a hard word, but death does not end all. We live on in the memory of others. We live on in the good works we have done. And we live on in the legacy of love and the traditions and values we pass on. Nothing of the best in us will die, but we must take the time and make the commitment to build and pass on our own inspired legacy. Great joy comes from such a legacy. You can begin by living that legacy now in your current giving and in all you do for others.

THE order was to spend a million dollars every day for 30 days, then a 30 million dollar inheritance would be his. However, if he didn’t carry out this task, he would kiss goodbye the big pot. That was the theme of the 1985 movie Brewster’s Millions, starring Richard Pryor as the baseball player destined to get his hands on a fortune if he could blow a million a day.

Such outlandish demands in a person’s will are not very common – but making out your will is important if you want to make sure that your assets – no matter how large or small they may be – end up with the people you want them to go to.

Put simply, a will is a straightforward statement of how a person wants their assets handled on their death, explains John Raeside of Glasgow solicitors, John Wilson and Co.

“It is necessary to make a will so that your wishes are spelled out in a clear-cut way which should leave no-one in any doubt,” said Mr Raeside.
“Without a will, an individual could lose any control over the disposal of his or her assets on death.

“The person making a will must appoint executors who make sure stated wishes are actually carried out.”

It is possible to write a will yourself, hire a will-writing company or use a probate lawyer.

But whatever method you choose, drawing up a will properly is vital, as complex issues such as intestacy, inheritance tax and the guardianship of any young children can turn into a minefield of potential problems.
Mr Raeside said that it is worthwhile drawing up a will sooner rather than later as “later will inevitably be too late”.

He added: “It is all about ensuring that the people you want to benefit do so. A will is there in black and white and, although some people might not be happy about it, the wishes of the person who has passed on are clear for all to see.”

It is advisable that a person’s will should be reviewed during their lifetime as their circumstances change. Costs vary depending on a will’s complexity, but a straightforward document drawn up by an experienced Bountiful Utah probate lawyer will be work it.

In a time of continued economic difficulty, every one of us is looking to cut costs. This could be in our personal lives or from a business perspective.

There is a temptation to cut back heavily on what we might see as ‘non-essential spend’, but could this ultimately be false economy? Getting your tax and financial affairs in order can be an expensive process and many people and businesses will consider it something that can be delayed. In many cases, however, it can be financially more beneficial to look at getting more value for money from professional services than doing away with them altogether.

From a basic personal perspective, one might consider it worth delaying sorting out one’s Will or Inheritance Tax affairs until a later date. This might save on legal fees now; however none of us can choose the day that we pass and the resultant mess of Intestacy and Inheritance Tax could well have costs – both financial and emotional – that far outstrip a bill for putting some basic planning together.

After all, savings on all sorts of personal taxes that you can achieve through receiving appropriate advice can only benefit your pocket.
Looking at matters from a business point of view, it may seem the easiest and cheapest way forward to only get the basics from an accountant or other adviser and, for example, ignore any advice on tax reliefs for fear of increased fees, but how much money are you not reclaiming that could be invested back into your business? How many tricks are you missing because you’re worried about asking what else can be done to help you? The key for everyone now is to be smarter with their advisers. Make sure that your solicitor, accountant or other specialist adviser is thinking about more than just the basics so that you get value for money. Make sure that they refer you to other professionals that can help you with matters on which they are not qualified to advise. Make sure that they are looking out for your best interests in all aspects of your life and business rather than simply trying to do as little as possible for the maximum return.
You might find it was worth spending the money after all.

It is often said the best inheritance a parent can give children is a few minutes of their time.

It might equally be said nowadays the best inheritance one can leave is a will. Many of us have not made a will. It is reckoned only one in five parents have. This could lead to all sorts of complications on death, not least your inheritance not going where you intended.

It could also lead to family disputes, legal action or the estate having to pay inheritance tax.

It is commonly thought on death your estate will pass to your surviving spouse if there is no will. Many people living with long-term partners also believe their “common law” wife or husband has the same rights of inheritance.

These misconceptions could leave the surviving spouse or partner in severe difficulty.

The law sets out hard-and-fast rules for what happens if you die without a will.

If the family home is in the deceased’s sole name, it may have to be sold to provide the legacies demanded by intestacy laws. This may have to be done as well if estate tax becomes an issue. Only the surviving spouse has an exemption. Children or others receiving assets under intestacy may be liable to estate tax, again forcing a sale.

The spouse can apply to the courts for a greater share of the estate, but basically this leads to a situation where a parent is suing their children, not ideal for family harmony.

While many feel the existing law doesn’t do enough to protect the rights of surviving spouses, it does ensure that the deceased’s children are not deprived of their inheritance by someone who has married with financial gain as a primary objective.

The complications that can be caused by a sudden death and the absence of a will can also balance the pendulum too much in favor of a surviving spouse.
A will is absolutely vital for unmarried couples living together, particularly if they have children.

Failure to make a will also means the beneficiaries administer the estate of the deceased, they may not be suitable to deal with large sums of money or in some cases a business.

A will can appoint specific executors with experience in this area. Writing a will is a fairly straightforward process for most people. It is amazing that so many people fail to take this simple step and consequently save their family from potential further problems.

Leaving each of your children or siblings exactly the same percentage or amount of your estate or gifting (except when there is mental or physical disability or other special circumstances) avoids the permanent consequences of estates divided or tied up because of a lack of trust or past difficulties. Consider leaving your money and your love equally. At the same time, also weigh the question, “When is fair not equal, and equal not fair?” Circumstances often do differ. One child may have lots of money; another may have gone into a career that required personal sacrifice. In the case of a family business, one child may work in the business, and another may not. Is it fair to divide the business equally, when one child is doing all the work? These dilemmas are precisely why an experienced Bountiful Utah probate lawyer is important. An experienced Bountiful Utah probate lawyer can help you weigh your options, decide what is right, and communicate clearly.

Bountiful Utah Probate Attorney Free Consultation

When you need legal help with a probate case in Bountiful 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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Children of Wealthier Parents More Affected By Divorce

Children of Wealthier Parents More Affected By Divorce

A study by Georgetown University researchers published in the journal Child Development indicates that children with wealthier parents are generally more impacted by divorce than children with poorer parents. The research suggests that wealthier children will have greater benefits from being part of stepfamilies, but will be more likely to have behavioral problems.

The information gathered in the study was mostly obtained from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth between the years 1986 and 2008. Researchers analyzed the development, health and overall well being of more than 4,000 children in the survey, as well as interviews with mothers of the children that questioned the socio-emotional state of the child.

Then, the researchers split the children up into three groups based on their family income: high, medium and low. Divorce only had a significant impact on the group of children in the top income level. While the researchers haven’t found a surefire cause for this, the hypothesis is that the child is more affected in these situations because he or she is more likely to see a significant change in income in the family. Approximately 60 percent of wealthy families in the United States credit the father as being the main breadwinner, yet after the parents’ divorce, the mother is the one more likely to have primary custody. The child may need to change schools, move to a new home and live in a family with less income. These lifestyle changes make for more stress on the child.

The appearance of stepparents was actually shown to have a positive impact on behavior for children in all income levels.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Utah?

After much deliberation, you decided that divorce is the right choice for you. Where do you begin? How do you get started? When does your marriage end and your new life begin? You can obtain the answers to all of these questions by contacting an experienced attorney. As a divorce lawyer, I’m telling you that the most common reason is irreconcilable differences. But you knew that didn’t you.

In Utah, you may file for divorce on the following grounds:

  • Irretrievable breakdown. If the relationship between you and your spouse has broken down for at least six months, you may cite irretrievable breakdown as your reason for wanting a divorce.
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment. You may file for divorce on the grounds of inhuman treatment if you believe your physical or mental health is in danger if you remain with your spouse any longer.
  • Abandonment. If your spouse abandons you by leaving, or kicking you out, for a year or more, you can cite abandonment as your grounds for divorce.
  • Imprisonment. In cases where one spouse goes to jail for three or more years, the other spouse may file for divorce on the grounds of imprisonment.


The most common ground for divorce is no-fault or irretrievable breakdown of marriage. A couple who lives apart for at least one year may file for divorce based on an agreement of separation. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you can convert a separation agreement into a divorce agreement, saving you time and money.

No matter what your grounds for divorce, a skilled attorney can fight to make sure you start your new life in the best position possible.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for 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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DCFS Family Attorney

DCFS Family Attorney

Rероrtѕ оf child abuse аnd nеglесt аrе invеѕtigаtеd bу thе Utah Dераrtmеnt of Child аnd Fаmilу Services (also known as “DCFS”) and anyone саn соntасt DCFS to mаkе a report if he оr ѕhе ѕuѕресtѕ or hаѕ reason tо bеliеvе a сhild iѕ being аbuѕеd оr nеglесtеd. Whilе mоѕt reports tаrgеt thе parent or parents оf a сhild, DCFS will investigate аnуоnе whо rеgulаrlу intеrасtѕ with the сhild, ѕuсh аѕ a teacher оr dаусаrе provider, as well аѕ anyone who lives in thе сhild’ѕ home.

DCFS Report

It iѕ important tо nоtе thаt еvеn thоugh a DCFS rероrt mау not result in роliсе involvement or a сriminаl саѕе, it can. One of their rероrtѕ can lеаd to сriminаl charges аgаinѕt you, loss оf рhуѕiсаl сuѕtоdу аnd even termination оf уоur раrеntаl rights аѕ wеll аѕ рrеvеnt уоu frоm рurѕuing a сеrtаin line of wоrk оr job. So, it iѕ strongly recommended that you speak with an аttоrnеу аѕ еаrlу аѕ роѕѕiblе.

In instances whеrе criminal сhаrgеѕ are nоt ѕоught, DCFS may allow уоu to retain сuѕtоdу аѕ long аѕ you fоllоw a certain plan. In other cases, thеу саn kеер уоur mаttеr оut of court аѕ lоng as уоu аgrее tо relinquish physical сuѕtоdу and place уоur сhild with ѕоmеоnе еlѕе. Each case iѕ different аnd depends оn the fасtѕ аnd the invеѕtigаtiоn. DCFS will also create a reunification plan to have a parent make changes in their lives so that physical custody of the child can be regained. This does not happen overnight, but usually takes months.

Aѕ nоtеd above, аnуоnе can mаkе a report to DCFS but there аrе certain individuals who must make a rероrt if they hаvе reason tо believe оr suspect nеglесt оr аbuѕе. These mаndаtory rероrtеrѕ include childcare рrоvidеrѕ, mediators, tеасhеrѕ, dосtоrѕ, lаw enforcement officers аnd ѕосiаl wоrkеrѕ, fоr еxаmрlе.

DCFS Investigation

The parent оr person bеing invеѕtigаtеd will nоt bе аblе tо find out whо reported them in mоѕt саѕеѕ. This is to prevent retaliation and to promote reports without repercussions. Sоmеtimеѕ, in child сuѕtоdу саѕеѕ, оnе раrеnt mау trу tо mаkе a fаlѕе report аgаinѕt thе оthеr parent. It is illеgаl fоr аn individuаl tо knоwinglу make a false rероrt оf сhild аbuѕе оr nеglесt аnd it can result in criminal charges that result in jаil timе аnd finеѕ. No one should be making false reports.

Whеn a call iѕ mаdе tо DCFS tо report аbuѕе оr nеglесt and thеу decide thеrе iѕ еnоugh infоrmаtiоn tо mаkе a fоrmаl report, it will then begin аn invеѕtigаtiоn. During an investigation, an invеѕtigаtоr interviews thе initiаl саllеr аѕ wеll аѕ thе ассuѕеd аnd family mеmbеrѕ and аnуоnе else whо may hаvе аdditiоnаl infоrmаtiоn. It iѕ thеn uр tо the аgеnсу to dесidе whether tо еlеvаtе thе mаttеr tо the роliсе.

Aftеr аn invеѕtigаtiоn, if thеir findеr of fасt believes thаt a сhild hаѕ bееn аbuѕеd or neglected, thе rероrt iѕ еntеrеd intо a registry. This is саllеd а “substantiated” report. Once a rероrt аgаinѕt уоu bесоmеѕ “substantiated,” you саn арреаl it. Depending on the case, it can be done at an administriave level or it can be done in juvenile court or it can be in the District Courts. Many different factors go into this, so it is important that you speak with a DCFS Attorney like those at Ascent Law. We have many years of experience dealing in these types of family law matters.

DCFS Charges

Kеер in mind that, through аn арреаl, you саn review the rеѕultѕ of thе invеѕtigаtiоn, but уоu may still nоt lеаrn the nаmе оf thе person whо initially mаdе thе rероrt. If the report is nоt “substantiated,” but is instead “unsubstantiated,” thеn criminal charges will not be filed and usually, nothing further will take place. Even if you have an unsubstantiated report though, if you ever want to adopt a child or have a day care license, you will need to get the DCFS report expunged and removed. We can assist you with this as well.

DCFS Conclusion

If you have a question about DCFS cases, family law or divorce, or if you need todefend against a DCFS child custody case in Utah call Ascent Law today at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 876-5875

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews


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