Estate Planning And Retirement Benefits

Estate Planning And Retirement Benefits

Retirement planning is the process of determining retirement income goals and the actions and decisions necessary to achieve those goals. Retirement planning includes identifying sources of income, estimating expenses, implementing a savings program, and managing assets and risk. Future cash flows are estimated to determine if the retirement income goal will be achieved. Some retirement plans change depending on whether you’re in, say, the United States, or Canada. Retirement planning is ideally a life-long process. You can start at any time, but it works best if you factor it into your financial planning from the beginning. That’s the best way to ensure a safe, secure and fun retirement. The fun part is why it makes sense to pay attention to the serious and perhaps boring part: planning how you’ll get there.

In the simplest sense, retirement planning is the planning one does to be prepared for life after paid work ends, not just financially but in all aspects of life. The non-financial aspects include lifestyle choices such as how to spend time in retirement, where to live, when to completely quit working, etc. A holistic approach to retirement planning considers all these areas. The emphasis one puts on retirement planning changes throughout different life stages. Early in a person’s working life, retirement planning is about setting aside enough money for retirement. During the middle of your career, it might also include setting specific income or asset targets and taking the steps to achieve them. Once you reach retirement age, you go from accumulating assets to what planners call the distribution phase. You’re no longer paying in; instead, your decades of saving are paying out. Remember that retirement planning starts long before you retire—the sooner, the better. Your “magic number,” the amount you need to retire comfortably, is highly personalized, but there are numerous rules of thumb that can give you an idea of how much to save. People used to say that you need around $1 million to retire comfortably. Other professionals use the 80% rule (i.e., you need enough to live on 80% of your income at retirement). If you made $100,000 per year, you would need savings that could produce $80,000 per year for roughly 20 years, or $1.6 million. Others say most retirees aren’t saving anywhere near enough to meet those benchmarks and should adjust their lifestyle to live on what they have. Whatever method you, and possibly a financial planner, use to calculate your retirement savings needs, start as early as you can.

Stages of Retirement Planning and Estate Plans

• Young Adulthood (ages 21–35): Those embarking on adult life may not have a lot of money free to invest, but they do have time to let investments mature, which is a critical and valuable piece of retirement savings. This is because of the principle of compound interest. Compound interest allows interest to earn interest, and the more time you have, the more interest you will earn. Even if you can only put aside $50 a month, it will be worth three times more if you invest it at age 25 than if you wait to start investing at age 45, thanks to the joys of compounding. You might be able to invest more money in the future, but you’ll never be able to make up for the lost time.

• Early Midlife (36–50): Early midlife tends to bring a number of financial strains, including mortgages, student loans, insurance premiums, and credit card debt. However, it’s critical to continue saving at this stage of retirement planning. The combination of earning more money and the time you still have to invest and earn interest makes these years some of the best for aggressive savings. People at this stage of retirement planning should continue to take advantage of any 401(k) matching programs their employers offer. They should also try to max out contributions to a 401(k) and/or Roth IRA (you can have both at the same time). For those ineligible for a Roth IRA, consider a traditional IRA. As with your 401(k), this is funded with pre-tax dollars, and the assets within it grow tax-deferred. Finally, don’t neglect life insurance and disability insurance. You want to ensure your family could survive financially without pulling from retirement savings should something happen to you.

• Later Midlife (50–65): As you age, your investment accounts should become more conservative. While time is running out to save for people at this stage of retirement planning, there are a few advantages. Higher wages and potentially having some of the aforementioned expenses (mortgages, student loans, credit card debt, etc.) paid off by this time can leave you with more disposable income to invest. And it’s never too late to set up and contribute to a 401(k) or an IRA. One benefit of this retirement planning stage is catch-up contributions. From age 50 on, you can contribute an additional $1,000 a year to your traditional or Roth IRA, and an additional $6,000 a year to your 401(k).

A pension plan (also referred to as a defined benefit plan) is a retirement account that is sponsored and funded by your employer. It’s based on a formula that includes factors such as your salary, age, and the number of years you have worked at your company. For example, your pension benefit might be equal to one percent of your average salary for the last five years of employment, and then times your total years of service. Over the years, your employer makes contributions on your behalf and promises to make you regular, predetermined payouts every month when you retire. A 401k plan is a retirement account that’s made available to employees who wish to save for their retirement (provided their employer offers a plan). In this case, it’s the employer that holds back a part of your salary (tax-deferred) and places it into a fund that you’ll receive when you retire. Some employers are even willing to match the contributions made by their employees with their own money. Since 401(k) plans are meant to encourage you to save for retirement, there are heavy tax penalties imposed for early withdrawals (before age 59½).

Estate Planning For Pension Plan And A 401(K) Plan

• A pension plan is funded by the employer, while a 401(k) is funded by the employee. (Some employers will match a portion of your 401(k) contributions.)

• A 401(k) allows you control over your fund contributions, a pension plan does not.

• Pension plans guarantee a monthly check in retirement a 401(k) does not offer guarantees.

• Pension plans have been in existence for a long time, while 401(k)s are gaining in popularity. In fact, the 401(k) will most likely be replacing pension plans all together in the near future. However, there are still employers who offer both a pension plan and a 401(k) plan – if you’re lucky enough to be in that fortunate situation.

Factors to Consider While Planning for Your Retirement

Retirement planning is essential and should be considered by almost everyone at an early stage of their professional life. That’s because post retirement is a journey in an individual’s life where he/she wants to get away from all the struggles of life and spend his/her sunset years in calmness and peace without bearing any financial burdens. But to enjoy a peaceful retirement life later in life, you might have to consider starting retirement planning sooner. That is because the early you start, the better it is because then, you stand a chance to save more. Planning your retirement at an early stage in life might buy you more time and also help you build a decent retirement corpus.

Here are a few factors to consider before retirement planning

• Keep a retirement budget: You know your expenses. You know how much money you need right now to survive on a monthly basis. The smart way to determine your retirement budget is to gather all your expense receipts and identify your current spending. Telephone bills, electricity bills, credit card, bills, restaurant bills, and grocery receipts; gather as much expense sources as you can so that you get an idea of your monthly expenses. Getting to know about your expenses is a good way to start with retirement planning.

• Identify your risk appetite: What type of investor are you? Are you an aggressive investor who doesn’t mind investing a large amount in equities with the hope of earning higher profit margins? Or are you a conservative type who doesn’t mind settling with a low but steady income? An individual’s risk appetite plays an important role in not just retirement planning but any type of investment planning. Make sure you understand your risk appetite before investing your hard earned money in any retirement scheme.

• Figure out how many years you have in hand before you retire: The difference between your current age and your approximate age of retirement defines the number of years you have in hand to build a retirement corpus. Investing in the direct equities offer high risk to return ratio. Having said that, investments made in the equities are exposed to market volatility and only if you have some appetite for risk, consider investing in equities. If you wish to stay away from direct equities, you can consider investing in mutual funds as mutual funds generally are capable of diversifying an investor’s portfolio. No matter where you invest, make sure you give yourself enough years to potentially grow your corpus.

• Income sources post retirement: Well, your monthly salary won’t be credited in your account any more, there can be other ways in which you might continue sourcing income. For example, you can receive a pension from your employer, you could own an extra home which you could give on rent, or you could be hired as a guest faculty in an educational institution and receive fees for sharing your expertise with the students. Are these sources of income adding up to help you build enough money so that you are ready for unexpected expenses? Retirement life can bring in unforeseeable expenses in your life, and you need to make sure that you are prepared for it.

• It’s never too late to start retirement planning: It can be really tough to find out that you are too late for the party. But with retirement planning, that’s not the case, and individuals need to understand that they can start retirement planning whenever they want. But if you start saving just years before retirement, make sure that you save a lot of money considering you will be having very few years in hand.

• Stay off debt: Well taking care of debts must feel like a cakewalk right now but trust us, you do not want to owe anyone money later in life, especially when you are about to retire. It is advisable to not have any pending loans or unpaid credits in the kitty as you near retirement. Pay off all your debts if you do not wish to lead a debt ridden retirement life.

• Invest within your limits: Although saving maximum to enjoy retirement is indeed a must, that doesn’t mean you invest all the money that you currently possess. Remember that no type of investment is considered to be safe. So it is advisable to invest within your limits and do not get lured by lucrative schemes offering exceptionally good interest rates. Invest within your boundaries and regularly invest, because this way you stand a chance of benefiting from the power of compounding.

Estate Planning Essential Documents for Retirement

When planning for retirement, most people focus on saving, and rightly so. Having enough money to fund your retirement dreams is a key element to any plan. Often overlooked, however, is the importance of obtaining and organizing important documents.

• Pension Paperwork: Defined benefit pensions have become less common over the years, but there are still many people covered by them. If you have a pension at work, the details of the plan will be spelled out in the plan’s Summary Plan Description. In addition, you should receive an Individual Benefit Statement that details the specific benefits that you have earned and are eligible for. Make sure to review those documents as you approach retirement so that both you and your spouse have a good understanding of how much income you can expect from the plan and what will happen to that income if the primary pension holder dies. Make sure to contact your employee benefit’s department with questions or concerns. Also, the Department of Health and Human Services offers help and advice to pension holders through its Pension Counseling and Information Program.

• Beneficiary Designation Forms: Many accounts, such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), 401(k)s, annuities, and insurance policies allow you to name a beneficiary who will receive those assets when you die. Many people don’t realize that those designations take precedence over their will, even if the will is more accurate and up to date. Because of this, it is important to review the beneficiary designations on all your accounts (as well as those of your aging parents if you are helping them with their finances) prior to retiring to make sure that they accurately reflect your wishes. Meet with your financial adviser and estate planning attorney to ensure that your designations not only pass property to the correct people, but also minimize expense and taxes.

• Documents Needed When Applying for Social Security: The Social Security Administration will need you to provide certain documents when filing for retirement or survivor benefits. Documents they may request include your Social Security card, a certified copy of your birth certificate, proof of citizenship if you were not born in Utah, military discharge papers, a copy of your marriage license or divorce papers, and a copy of your W-2 form (or self-employment tax return) for last year. Having these documents readily available will help speed the process along.

• Investment Paperwork: Most people’s assets are divided into many different types of accounts. Some may be tax-deferred, others may not. Some might have restrictions or requirements on withdrawals. Some, like annuities, might give you different options for turning the account into a guaranteed income stream. When transitioning into retirement, it is important to have current copies of your account statements as well as options or restrictions associated with each account so you can craft a distribution strategy that meets your needs while minimizing expense, hassle and taxes.

• Health Care Paperwork: Your health benefits during retirement will likely come from multiple sources. Those could include a former employer, Medicare, Medicaid, a Medicare supplement policy, or a long-term care policy. Be sure to retain benefit summaries, contact information, and policies associated with each. If you have not filed for Social Security benefits by age 65, you will need to apply for Medicare. You can do this up to three months prior to your 65th birthday. When applying, you will likely need to provide them with the same documents mentioned earlier for Social Security applicants.

• Home Inventory: Many house fires or burglaries occur when the homeowner is away. When you retire, you will likely spend more time traveling or at a second home than you did during your working years. Because of this, it is important to inventory the contents of your home so that you can more easily make insurance claims and rebuild your life if the unexpected happens.

• Insurance Policies: Many retirees have life insurance policies in order to replace income in the event of a death, as a vehicle to build cash value, or for estate planning purposes. Make sure to have current copies of your policies as well as contact information for the insurance company so you can easily access cash value during life or so that your heirs can easily claim benefits if something happens to you.

• Will/Trust: Most people need a will, regardless of the size of their estate, to control the passing of property at death. Another tool to accomplish this while at the same time avoiding probate is a Revocable Living Trust. As you enter retirement, you should meet with your attorney to put a plan in place that passes your property to the correct people, designates the correct people to take charge, and minimizes expense, hassle and taxes.

• Durable Power of Attorney for Finance and Health Care: A durable power of attorney for finance is a simple and inexpensive legal document that authorizes a person you have chosen to step in and manage your day-to-day financial decisions if you become incapacitated. Everyone needs this document to provide for the ongoing management of their financial affairs if they cannot make decisions for themselves. Similar to the power of attorney for finance, the health care power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes a person you have chosen to step in and make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated and can no longer speak for yourself. You can also include a health care directive which provides written instructions to your agent that communicates your wishes regarding the withholding or withdrawal of certain life support equipment or medical procedures. If you plan on moving to a different state when you retire, meet with your attorney to make sure that your will, trust, and powers of attorney will be valid in your new state of residence and make any necessary revisions.

• Tax Returns: In many ways life becomes easier after you retire. Unfortunately, this is not the case with your taxes. In fact, because your employer is no longer automatically withholding from your paycheck, tracking and paying your taxes may become more complicated. To make matters worse, different states tax income and spending differently.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, 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

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Utah County Probate Records

Utah County Probate Records

When you need legal help with Utah County Probate Records, please call Ascent Law LLC. We want to help you with Utah County Probate Records.

A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes, in certain modern nations. A county may be further subdivided into districts, hundreds, townships or other administrative jurisdictions within the county. A county usually, but not always, contains cities, towns, townships, villages, or other municipal corporations, which in most cases are somewhat subordinate or dependent upon county governments. Depending on the nation, municipality, and local geography, municipalities may or may not be subject to direct or indirect county control — the functions of both levels are often consolidated into a city government when the area is densely populated. Probate is the process for handling a person’s property after their death, including transferring title. It begins when a person, usually a family member, petitions the court to probate the estate and appoint a personal representative. The personal representative then administers the estate. This includes paying debts and claims against the estate, selling property (if required), and distributing assets. A court creates probate records after a person’s death based on the contents of the deceased person’s will. Probate records dictate the distribution of the estate and the care of any dependents. Probate court is a segment of the judicial system that primarily handles such matters as wills, estates, conservatorships, and guardianships, as well as the commitment of mentally ill persons to institutions designed to help them. When wills are contested, for example, the probate court is responsible for ruling on the authenticity of the document and the mental stability of the person who signed it. The court also decides who receives which portion of the decedent’s assets, based on the instructions in the will or – barring that – other laws in place. The role of the probate court is to make sure that a deceased person’s debts are paid and assets are allocated to the correct beneficiaries.

Probate Records

Probate records are court records created after an individual’s death that relate to a court’s decisions regarding the distribution of the estate to the heirs or creditors and the care of dependents. This process took place whether there was a will (testate) or not (intestate). Various types of records may be found in probate files. These may include wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. These documents are extremely valuable to genealogists and should not be neglected. In many instances, they are the only known source of relevant information such as the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence. You may also learn about the adoption or guardianship of minor children and dependents. Additional clues often found in probate records are an ancestor’s previous residence, occupation, land ownership, household items, former spouse(s), religion, and military service. Probate records relate to a deceased person’s estate, whether that estate is “testate” (through a will) or “intestate” (without a will). Whether the decedent left a large estate or just some personal property, there’s a good chance that a probate file exists in a local court that oversaw distribution of property, the guardianship of a minor, or payment of debts. The contents of a probate file can vary from case to case, but certain details are found in most probates, most importantly, the names and residences of beneficiaries and their relationship to the decedent. An inventory of the estate assets can reveal personal details about the deceased’s occupation and lifestyle. There may also be references to debts, deeds, and other documents related to the settling of the estate. Probate records are essential for research because they often pre-date the birth and death records kept by civil authorities. Estates were probated for approximately 25 percent of the heads of households in the United States before 1900, whether or not the individual left a will. The percentage was higher for rural areas than for urban areas because of the greater likelihood of land ownership for farmers. Because wills often list the names of many family members, as much as half the population either left a will or was mentioned in one. While probate records are one of the most accurate sources of genealogical evidence, they have limitations.
Types of Probate Records
Here are some of the types of documents you may run across in this collection:
• Wills: Wills direct the distribution of the estate according to the wishes of the testator. When the testator dies, the executor or executrix petitions the court for letters testamentary to prove (probate) the will. If the will is judged to be valid, it will be recorded in the will books of that court. The recorded will may include affidavits of witnesses attesting to the authenticity of the will and the competence of the testator at the time it was written. A copy of the will may also be found in the loose papers of a probate packet.
• Letters of Administration: In cases of intestate estates, letters of administration are requested to grant an administrator (usually the widow/widower or eldest son) the right to oversee the distribution of the estate in accordance with prevailing laws.

• Inventories: An inventory of the estate lists the assets with appraisals so an accurate accounting can be made and probate fees accurately levied. Inventories can give you some insights into your ancestor’s relative wealth, lifestyle, and occupation.
• Distributions and Accounting: You may find documents relating to the distributions paid out of the estate for administrative costs, allowances for heirs prior to settlement, and the final distribution of the estate. You may also find receipts and documents relating to the sale of estate assets.
• Bonds: Administrators, and at times executors, of estates may have been required to post a bond that would cover the value of the estate to protect the heirs from misconduct. Bondsmen were typically close family members, so these are important documents.
• Guardianships: If a minor child or a family member deemed incompetent and dependent had an interest in the estate, you may find guardianship papers included in the probate file. In addition, the guardian may have needed to post a bond equaling the value of the inheritance.
Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, oaths of executors, forms about guardians and other court documents. Information in entries includes:
• Name of testator or deceased
• Names of heirs such as spouse, children, and other relatives or friends
• Names of witnesses
• Residence of testator
• Lists of belongings, property, and so forth
• Document and recording dates (Sometimes the date of death will be given. Recording dates are also used to approximate event dates, i.e. a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death
Probate functions (testate and intestate proceedings; guardianships for males under age twenty-one and females under age eighteen and those incompetent to handle their legal affairs) were shared by county probate courts and territorial district courts between 1852 and 1896. Records for these are generally at the county seat, though some probate records have been microfilmed and are accessible through the FHL and/or the Utah State Archives. Microfilm coverage varies between counties.
After 1896, jurisdiction for probate matters became the sole responsibility of the District Court that operated for the county. There are now eight judicial districts encompassing twenty-nine counties.
There are 29 counties in the U.S. state of Utah.
• Beaver county
• Box Elder county
• Cache county
• Carbon county
• Daggett county
• Davis county
• Duchesne county
• Emery county
• Garfield county
• Grand county
• Iron county
• Juab county
• Kane county
• Millard county
• Morgan county
• Piute county
• Rich county
• Salt Lake county
• San Juan county
• Sanpete county
• Sevier county
• Summit county
• Tooele county
• Uintah county
• Utah county
• Wasatch county
• Washington county
• Wayne county
• Weber county

Types of Probate Court Records
Case Files
• Contain copies of each document filed in a probate action.
• In an estate action, the case file normally contains documents requesting an appointment of an administrator; filing and proving of the will, authorizing the payment of valid claims on the decedent’s estate; inventorying the assets and liabilities of the estate; and determining the appropriate disposition of the assets to heirs or legatees.
• In an insanity action, the case file may contain a petition asking the court to declare an individual insane, medical testimony bearing on the individual’s mental capacity, a determination by the court of the individual’s mental state, the possible commitment to a state hospital or other facility, and the appointment of a guardian for the individual.
• Guardianship files for minors or for adults who were unable to handle their affairs may contain a petition to appoint a guardian, reports from social service or other agencies requested by the judge, and reports on any assets that the minor child or incapacitated adult may be entitled to.

• In a juvenile delinquency action, the case file may contain criminal complaints against the individual, investigatory reports ordered by the court, sentences imposed by the court, and follow-up reports ordered by the court.
Case files are normally filed in numerical order according to numbers assigned at the time of the opening of the casein some counties a single numerical sequence includes all types of cases. In other counties separately numbered series of files exist for estate cases, insanity cases, guardianship cases, or other special case types.
Registers of Actions
• Contain a record of the opening of each case and a notation of each document filed in the case.
• Brief records that provide a framework for the history of each case and its participants.
Each volume usually includes an index to the cases in that volume. The registers usually include the case file number thereby providing an alternative to a separate index to the case files.
Will Books
• Contain a verbatim transcript of each will approved entered into the court record.
• Contain only the last will approved by the court. They will not contain earlier versions of wills that were later superseded.
• The original will is normally part of the probate case file.
• The will recorded in the will book will not contain original signatures of its creator or witnesses.
Will books are normally arranged chronologically according to the date in which the will was entered into the court record, usually shortly after the death of the individual. Researchers should be aware that the date the will was made might have been many years before the will was entered into the court record. .
Final Decrees of Distribution of Estates
• Contain a transcription of the final decree distributing the assets of a decedent
• Original final decree normally is filed in the case file
• Will normally list which heir or legatee received what portion of the decedent’s real or personal property.
• Researchers should note that this document does not necessarily include a listing of what happened to all the property of the deceased.
• Will show how much cash each heir received if the estate administrator converted many of the estate’s assets into cash during the probate process
Final decrees are usually arranged within each volume in rough chronological order according to the date that the final decree was issued. Final decrees also may be arranged in several different series depending on the nature of the estate case and the type of decree. Frequently, some final decree records also were included in miscellaneous order books. For certain time periods, final decrees may be separated by testate (decedent died with a valid will) or intestate (decedent died without a valid will) case type.
Insanity Record Books
• Summary of the mental competency cases that came before the court
• Frequently include a detailed medical evaluation of the individual whose competency was being questioned.
• If declared to be not competent to conduct one’s own affairs, an individual may have been committed to a state hospital.
Insanity records are mostly dated before 1920. Access to certain information may be restricted.
Additional Record Books
• Inventories of the assets of estates, frequently termed “inventory and appraisement records”;
• Letter records, appointing specific individuals as administrators of an estate;
• Appointment books, appointing administrators or guardians;
• Order books, reproducing administrative orders filed in a case file;
• Guardianship records, appointing guardians for minor children or for an adult with diminished mental capacity; and
• Minute books, containing brief entries of the daily proceedings before the court.

The information contained in a probate record generally shows:
• Name of the estate
• Date of filing
• Case number
• Name of the deceased
• Date of death
• Description of real and personal property
• Value of the estate and tax liability due
• Names of next of kin

Probate Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with a probate in Utah County, 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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Utah County Probate

Utah County Probate

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. Click here to find out Utah’s small estate threshold and procedure. 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.” For example, if a house is owned this way, “Jane Sage and John Sage, as joint tenants,” and Jane dies, John owns the entire house.

• 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 kinds of probate proceedings: informal, unsupervised, and supervised formal.

Informal Probate In Utah County

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.

Unsupervised Formal Probate In Utah County

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.

Utah County Supervised Formal Probate

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.

When Is Probate Necessary In Utah County?

If the decedent owned assets (such as a home or other real property, bank accounts, or investments) titled solely in his or her name and without a valid beneficiary designation, probate is necessary to sell these assets or distribute them to the beneficiaries or heirs. With the decedent gone, only a personal representative has authority to sign the deed or other document transferring title to these assets. The one exception is when the estate is under $100,000, and therefore a small estate affidavit can be used to collect the decedent’s assets.

What property can be transferred without a probate?

Any of the decedent’s untitled property, such as personal and household possessions, valuables, or money, can be transferred without a probate. Doing so, however, may subject such property to the claims of the decedent’s creditors. In addition, several types of property pass outside of probate because they have a built-in transfer mechanism that does not involve probate. Such property includes:

• Jointly owned assets, such as a joint bank account or a home or other real estate owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship
• POD (Pay on Death) bank accounts or TOD (Transfer on Death) stock brokerage accounts
• Insurance proceeds, including life insurance and accidental death benefits
• Death benefits of annuities, pension plans, and retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k)s
• Property held by a trustee of a living trust
When else should probate be considered?
Even if the decedent did not own titled property that requires a probate to be transferred, you should still consider a probate if:
• The decedent left unpaid debts, and you want to cut off potential claims of the decedent’s creditors.
• There is a dispute over who is entitled to the decedent’s property.
• The decedent had a last will, which you want to be able to enforce in court. A will that is not probated is not legally enforceable.
• The decedent’s estate needs to make an income tax or estate tax election. (Usually, only a personal representative can make this election.)
• The person dealing with the decedent’s property wants to be discharged from liability to the heirs and beneficiaries after the property is distributed.
Letters testamentary is a one-page document issued by the court stating that the personal representative has been duly appointed. If someone tells you they will not release an asset of the decedent without letters testamentary, it means they want to deal only with a personal representative.

What Are My Probate Options?

• Small Estate Affidavit: You may be able to avoid filing a probate by signing a small estate affidavit, which can be used to collect a decedent’s Utah property, except real estate, if the net value of the decedent’s property subject to probate does not exceed $100,000. A small estate affidavit is not legally available, however, until 30 days after the decedent’s death.

• Filing Options: If filing a Utah probate cannot be avoided, the most common filing options are: Informal probate, which is generally appropriate for simple, uncontested estates and usually costs less than a formal probate because no attorney travel or in-court time is required. In some circumstances, the decedent’s relatives may be required to sign written consents to this process. Formal probate, which is appropriate for estates in which the right of the person seeking appointment as personal representative is contested or in which some other dispute may arise. Formal probate requires an in-court hearing, which the attorney (but not the client) is required to attend.

• Ancillary probate for out-of-state decedents: This option can be used when (a) the decedent resided outside Utah at the time of death, (b) a probate has been filed there, and (c) the decedent owned Utah real estate or other property that needs to be sold.

Avoiding Probate and Estate Taxes

There are several ways property can avoid probate, including:
• Assets owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship: All property left to a surviving spouse avoids probate and federal estate tax. This includes assets such as a bank account or a home or other real estate that are owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship.
• Pay-on-death bank accounts or transfer-on-death stock brokerage accounts: The proceeds from these accounts go to the beneficiary you name probate free, as long as that doesn’t conflict with other components of your estate plan.
• Insurance proceeds, including life insurance and accidental death benefits: These proceeds bypass probate but will be subject to estate taxation unless the insurance policy is held by an irrevocable trust.
• Property held by a trustee of a living trust: If the living trust is revocable, its assets may bypass probate and go directly to beneficiaries, but those assets will be subject to estate taxation. If the living trust is irrevocable, then the assets are not part of the estate and may bypass not only probate but also estate taxation.
• Property held by a charitable, special-needs or other irrevocable trust: As with the irrevocable living trust, property that belongs to an irrevocable charitable or special-needs trust is free from probate and estate taxation.
• Death benefits of annuities, pension plans and retirement accounts: Money inherited from company pensions and 401(k)s, and even individual retirement accounts (IRAs), is not subject to probate, but is subject to estate tax consideration. Because the IRA has been funded with pre-tax dollars, IRA beneficiaries are also liable for income taxes due when the funds are withdrawn.

Do I need to apply for grant of probate?

In the vast majority of cases, you’ll need to apply for grant of probate before you can settle someone’s affairs. However, it may not be necessary if the deceased’s estate was worth less than £15,000, or if their assets were held jointly and are passing to a surviving spouse or civil partner.

What if probate is contested?

There are several ways which probate could be contested, which could prevent you from being given a grant of probate. In some cases, a beneficiary or relative of the deceased may enter a caveat, which can prevent or delay probate being granted. This might happen if two people are entitled to apply for probate, or if there are questions about the legitimacy of the will. Otherwise, it is a matter for the courts to resolve, so that probate can be granted to whichever party it deems appropriate.

Who is responsible for handling probate?

In most circumstances, the executor named in the will takes this job. If there isn’t any will, or the will fails to name an executor, the probate court names someone (called an administrator) to handle the process. Most often, the job goes to the closest capable relative or the person who inherits the bulk of the deceased person’s assets. If no formal probate proceeding is necessary, the court does not appoint an estate administrator. Instead, a close relative or friend serves as an informal estate representative. Normally, families and friends choose this person, and it is not uncommon for several people to share the responsibilities of paying debts, filing a final income tax return and distributing property to the people who are supposed to get it.

Should I plan to avoid probate?

Probate rarely benefits your beneficiaries, and it always costs them money and time. Probate makes sense only if your estate will have complicated problems, such as many debts that can’t easily be paid from the property you leave. Whether to spend your time and effort planning to avoid probate depends on a number of factors, most notably your age, your health, and your wealth. If you’re young and in good health, adopting a complex probate-avoidance plan now may mean you’ll have to re-do it as your life situation changes. And if you have very little property, you might not want to spend your time planning to avoid probate because your property may qualify for your state’s simplified probate procedure. 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 person’s assets, paying their final bills and taxes, and distributing the remainder of the estate to their rightful beneficiaries.

When Is The Probate Process Required?

Each state has specific laws in place to determine what’s required to probate an estate. These laws are included in the estate’s “probate codes,” as well as laws for “intestate succession,” when someone dies without a will. In cases where there is no will, probate is still required to pay the decedent’s final bills and distribute their estate. The steps involved are generally very similar, regardless of whether a will exists—even though laws governing probate can vary by state.

Utah County Probate Lawyer Free Consultation

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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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Utah Formal Probate

Utah Formal Probate

In Utah, as in many other states, there are two ways to administer the estate of a decedent in probate. In Utah these are called formal and informal probate. Other states may have different names. Georgia, for example, calls its two methods of probate solemn and common. In Utah, informal probate is the more common. It’s simpler, faster and generally less expensive. All that has to be done is to file an application for probate with the will. The application for probate names the proposed personal representative (also known as the executor) and lists the names and addresses of the heirs. Then the court gives notice of the application to the heirs, who have a period of time in which to object the appointment of the personal representative. If there is no objection, the application is granted and the applicant is named as personal representative. Letters Testamentary are also issued by the court. This is a document that gives the personal representative the power to act on behalf of the estate, such as signing documents such as deeds or contracts to sell property, taking control of bank and financial accounts and doing everything necessary to administer the estate. That’s about the only involvement with the court system that there is in an informal probate.

A formal probate starts out much the same way with the appointment of the personal representative. However, after that much more is involved. Notices to creditors to file claims against the estate have to be given, either by mail or publication. There is a waiting period in which claims can be filed. The personal representative files periodic reports with the court of property she collects and claims she pays. When the probate is finally administered (meaning all property has been collected, all bills have been paid and all remaining property has been distributed to the heirs) there is a final accounting and the personal representative is discharged and the probate closed.

Why Would Anyone Use Formal Probate?

It’s longer, more complicated and more expensive. The reasons for using formal probate all have to do with the protection given the estate and personal representative by the court’s supervision. After notice to creditors is given, after the claim period has expired and after the estate is closed, any claims are cut off. Neither the estate nor the personal representative has any further liability for any debts unless gross malfeasance or fraud is shown. In informal probate, if a claim arises years later, the estate or personal representative could potentially be held liable. One advantage, besides simplicity, that informal probate has over formal probate is that the probate is never closed. So if, years after the fact, some property is discovered, such as shares of stock or a forgotten life insurance policy, the appointed personal representative can deal with it without having to reopen the probate.

What Are My Probate Options?

• Small Estate Affidavit: You may be able to avoid filing a probate by signing a small estate affidavit, which can be used to collect a decedent’s Utah property, except real estate, if the net value of the decedent’s property subject to probate does not exceed $100,000. A small estate affidavit is not legally available, however, until 30 days after the decedent’s death.

• Filing Options. If filing a Utah probate cannot be avoided, the most common filing options are:

• Informal probate, which is generally appropriate for simple, uncontested estates and usually costs less than a formal probate because no attorney travel or in-court time is required. In some circumstances, the decedent’s relatives may be required to sign written consents to this process.

• Formal probate, which is appropriate for estates in which the right of the person seeking appointment as personal representative is contested or in which some other dispute may arise. Formal probate requires an in-court hearing, which the attorney (but not the client) is required to attend.

• Order determining heirs, which are appropriate when the decedent’s Utah real estate or other property located in Utah, needs to be sold and more than three years have passed since the decedent’s death.

• Ancillary probate for out-of-state decedents. This option can be used when the decedent resided outside Utah at the time of death, a probate has been filed there, and the decedent owned Utah real estate or other property that needs to be sold.

What You Need for File A Formal Probate For An Estate

Formal probate matters are typically heard by a judge and may involve one or more hearings before the court. A formal probate proceeding requires both written notice and publication notice before the allowance of the formal petition. There are different forms you’ll need to file depending on whether or not the decedent (the person who has died) died with a will.
If the decedent died with a will, you’ll need to file:

• Petition for Formal Probate of Will and/or Appointment of Personal Representative
• Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law
• Devisees
• The original will if it’s available, or if not, a statement of the will’s contents
• A certified copy of the death certificate if it’s available, or if not, an affidavit
• Citation-Return of Service , which will be issued to you by the court
• Decree and Order on Petition for Formal Adjudication
You may also need to file:
• Bond if you want to appoint a personal representative
• Military Affidavit if not all interested parties (anyone having a property right in or claim against an estate) agree to the petition
• An authenticated copy of the will and appointment if it’s for an ancillary (additional) probate proceeding
• Assent and Waiver of Notice/Renunciation/Nomination/Waiver of Sureties
• Cause of Death Affidavit, Affidavit of Witness to Will , Affidavit of Domicile or no conflict of a conservator (an affidavit stating a conservator of an incapacitated person or minor with an interest in the estate has no conflict of interest)
• Proof of guardianship or conservatorship
• Uniform Counsel Certification Form
If the decedent died without a will
You’ll need to file:
• Petition for Formal Probate of Will and/or Appointment of Personal Representative
• Surviving Spouse, Children, Heirs at Law
• A certified copy of the death certificate if it’s available, or if not, an affidavit
• Citation-Return of Service , which will be issued to you by the court
• Decree and Order on Petition for Formal Adjudication
You may also need to file:
• Bond if you want to appoint a personal representative
• Military Affidavit if not all interested parties (anyone having a property right in or claim against an estate) agree to the petition
• Assent and Waiver of Notice/Renunciation/Nomination/Waiver of Sureties
• Cause of Death Affidavit , Affidavit of Domicile or no conflict of a conservator (an affidavit stating a conservator of an incapacitated person or minor with an interest in the estate has no conflict of interest)
• Proof of guardianship or conservatorship
• Certification Form
Fees For File A Formal Probate For An Estate
• Probate petition filing fee – $360

How to File file a Formal Probate for an Estate

In person
Once you have the required forms, file them at the correct Utah District Court.

• File in any county where the decedent had property when they died. You may need to file additional forms in the state where the decedent lived as well.

• Serve thenotice: After you file and pay for a formal petition, the Registry of Probate will issue formal notice to the petitioner (the person filing for probate). The formal notice is called a citation. You’ll need to serve a copy of the citation on all interested persons and publish a copy in the newspaper listed in the Order of Notice.

When planning your estate and your future, there are always many different decisions that need to be made ranging from your particular financial needs to the types of estate planning instruments that will best accomplish your goals to who should be the beneficiary of your will or a trust. One thing that will not be planned by you personally will be whether your estate goes through informal or formal probate after you pass away. Your personal representative will probably be the one who makes this decision, but it is still important to understand the difference between the two processes. Informal probate begins when a personal representative makes application to a probate registrar. In informal probate, the application does not go to a judge. It is very important to make sure the personal representative completes the paperwork accurately as there will not be a probate hearing; the paperwork will be what the probate registrar uses in order to make all decisions that come up in the future. The paperwork needs to include a variety of information, ranging from the names of the heirs, the assets and debts of the estate, and personal information of the decedent. In some counties, the application must be presented in person to the registrar, but in many counties, the application may be simply mailed in.

If the application is approved by the probate registrar, notice can then be sent to all interested parties such as heirs, creditors, and the personal representative, if that is not the person who filed the application. The personal representative will receive letters testamentary from the registrar allowing him or her to take action to dissolve the estate, such as paying off debts and selling assets. Informal probate can go forward with very little oversight from the courts. By contrast, formal probate begins with the filing of a petition asking a judge to decide if the will is valid, appoint a personal representative, and determine the heirs of the deceased. In some cases, the petition may also request that the process be supervised, which mean the court would must approve distributions to the heirs before they are made. Formal probate may be appropriate where there are minors who stand to inherit; there is a dispute over the validity or existence of the will, or not knowing who should be appointed as the personal representative of the estate.

When a person dies, they are called a decedent. A decedent leaves property behind. That property needs to be passed on to those who will inherit it. The property could include:
• Real property (houses and other buildings, land and the things attached to it)
• Personal property (furniture, cars, and other things not attached to land)
• Bank accounts
• Stocks and bonds
• Debts owed to the person
The law spells out how a person’s property must be distributed when that person dies. In some states, the probate courts are in charge of making sure a decedent’s estate is distributed correctly. This is called probate administration. The estate includes a lot of the decedent’s property. Some of the property is not part of the estate and is not distributed through the probate court. The estate does not usually include:

• Jointly owned property
• Insurance policies
• Retirement accounts
• Trusts that are not established by a will

Jointly Owned Property

Jointly owned property is property owned by more than one person. It is generally not included in an estate. Examples of jointly owned personal property are if you and the decedent are both listed on the title of a car or if you have a joint bank account. When the decedent died, you automatically had full ownership of that property, so it is not part of the estate. You may want to take a copy of the decedent’s death certificate to the bank or Secretary of State Office to remove the decedent’s name from the account or car title. However, sometimes joint ownership is more complex. If you own real property with the decedent, or if you own any property with the decedent and someone else, ownership can be hard to understand after a death.

There are different ways an estate can be administered. If the estate does not have much property in it, you may be able to use a simplified process where the probate court is not involved at all, or only a little bit. The simplified processes are:
• Assignment of property
• Transfer by affidavit
• Collecting money due from an employer
• Transferring a vehicle
• Collecting personal property
These processes ignore the wishes in a decedent’s will, if any. In order to qualify for a simplified process, an estate must be worth $23,000 or less for a decedent who died in 2019. This number goes up every few years.

Appointing a Personal Representative

The order from highest to lowest priority is:
• The person named as personal representative in the decedent’s will
• The decedent’s surviving spouse, if the spouse is a devisee
• Other devisees of the decedent
• The decedent’s surviving spouse, if the spouse is not a devisee
• Other heirs of the decedent who are not devisees
• A creditor’s nominee (the creditor must wait 42 days after the decedent’s death to nominate someone, and the court must find the nominee suitable)

• The state or county public administrator (this person must wait 42 days after the decedent’s death, and there must be no known heir or U.S. resident beneficiary entitled to a share of the decedent’s estate)
A person who is named as the personal representative in a valid will has the highest priority. This person cannot transfer this priority to anyone else. However, everyone else can transfer their priority by nominating another person to be the representative. Also, a judge can find the person with the highest priority to be unsuitable and nominate and appoint someone else. If someone has a higher priority than you do to be the personal representative, it does not mean that you cannot be appointed as the personal representative. It only means that if that person challenges you to be the personal representative, he or she will likely be appointed.

Formal Probate Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need a Utah Formal Probate, 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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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

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Utah Probate Code 75-2-101

Utah Probate Code 75-2-101

Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who dies without having in force a valid will or other binding declaration. Alternatively, this may also apply where a will or declaration has been made, but only applies to part of the estate; the remaining estate forms the “intestate estate”. Intestacy law, also referred to as the law of descent and distribution, refers to the body of law (statutory and case law) that determines who is entitled to the property from the estate under the rules of inheritance.When a person dies without having a valid will in place, his or her property passes by what is called “intestate succession” to heirs according to state law. In other words, if you don’t have a will, the state will make one for you. The purpose of intestate succession statutes is to distribute the decedent’s wealth in a manner that closely represents how the average person would have designed his or her estate plan, had that person had a will. However, this default can differ dramatically from what the person really would have wanted. Even where it is known what the person intended, no exceptions are made where no valid will exists. Nor are there any exceptions made based on need or special circumstances.

Will in Utah

Adult residents of Utah may make a will disposing of their estate after death. The freedom to control where your property goes is subject to certain limitations if you are married or have children. Your spouse is entitled to one third of the estate as well as a $15,000 homestead allowance and $10,000 in furniture, furnishings and personal effects. If you have no surviving spouse, but have surviving children, they will be entitled to these benefits. The remainder of your property will pass according to your will, or according to the state’s laws of intestate succession if no valid will is present.

Surviving Spouse

If you die without a valid will in Utah, the law directs that your estate be distributed to your relatives without regard to the quality of your relationships. If you leave a surviving spouse, but no children, or the children are also the children of your spouse, your spouse will be awarded the entire estate. If you leave a surviving spouse and children not of the surviving spouse, the spouse is entitled to $75,000 plus one-half of the estate.

Surviving Children

If you leave no surviving spouse, your surviving children will share equally in all of the estate in Utah. Likewise, if the children are not of the surviving spouse, they will share equally in one-half of the estate, minus the additional $75,000 award to the spouse. However, if some of your children are deceased but have living children, these grandchildren share equally in their parents’ share. For example, assume you have five children, each with three children of his own. If only four of your children survive you, each of the surviving children is entitled to one-fifth of the estate. The remaining one-fifth is then split equally among the children of your deceased child.

1990 Uniform Probate Code

The 1990 Uniform Probate Code (the Code) serves as the starting point for many states’ laws. Nevertheless, the laws of different states can vary greatly from each other and from the Code itself. However, the Code represents the best reference for a general discussion.Under the Code, close relatives take property instead of distant relatives. The classes of relatives whose members receive property under the Code include the decedent’s surviving spouse, descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.), parents, descendants of decedent’s parents (siblings, nieces and nephews), grandparents, and descendants of grandparents (aunts and uncles and cousins). Adopted descendants are treated the same as biological descendants. If none of the above-named classes of relatives include any persons qualified to take the estate, the property “escheats” (goes by default) to the state.

75-2-101 Intestate Succession

Any part of a decedent’s estate not effectively disposed of by will passes by intestate succession to the decedent’s heirs as provided in this title, except as modified by the decedent’s will. A decedent by will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing by intestate succession. If that individual or a member of that class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent’s intestate estate to which that individual or class would have succeeded passes as if that individual or each member of that class had disclaimed his intestate share.

What Happens When Someone Dies Without Heirs

When residents of Utah pass away without a valid will their estate is subject to the laws of intestacy. Intestate succession can be a complicated process. The way the court distributes property depends on the type of assets and the number of relatives. We’ll take a look at some of the major aspects of intestate succession in Utah.

The Typical Intestate Distribution

As stated, all jurisdictions have intestacy laws that come in to play when a person dies without a will. It helps to understand how intestacy works when heirs do exist. Utah Codes 75-2-101, 75-2-102 and 75-2-103 work in conjunction to determine who should receive the property.First, the entire estate goes to a surviving spouse if no children outside of the marriage exist. If the decedent has descendants outside of the marriage, the spouse is only entitled to $50,000 of the estate plus half of anything that remains. Another code section, 75-2-206, states that the surviving spouse’s share can be charged for any death benefits (such as workers’ compensation) which are received. This would reduce the amount that the spouse can claim and preserve funds for the descendants.When an estate goes directly to surviving descendants, there is a particular order mandated by law. There will be a per capita distribution for each generation of the decedent’s lineal descendants. If no descendants exist, the estate may be given to the decedent’s parents. In a situation without parents, the descendants of the decedent’s parents may get the estate. This includes a parent’s children outside of the marriage that produced the decedent.In situations where neither parents nor descendants exist, the estate will go to any living grandparents of the decedent. The estate may then pass to equally to the paternal and maternal grandparents of the decedent. For further information on this ordering system, it is a wise idea to speak to an estate attorney.

When There Is No One

In Utah, if you leave no spouse and no descendants, your estate will pass to your parents. If you left no parents, your property will pass to any of your surviving siblings. If you have no surviving siblings, one-half of the estate will pass to your maternal grandparents or their descendants, and the other half will pass to your paternal grandparents or their descendants. If no living relatives can be found, the property escheats to the state to be placed in an education fund.However, this very rarely happens because the laws are designed to get your property to anyone who was even remotely related to you. For example, your property won’t go to the state if you leave a spouse, children, siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, great uncles or aunts, nieces or nephews, cousins of any degree, or the descendants of a spouse who dies before you do.

Property Subject To Intestacy Laws

Under Utah Code § 75-2-101 any property that would have been included in a will can be passed through intestate succession. In most cases this means any assets that are solely owned by the decedent. Most high value items are not subject to the rules of intestacy. This includes life insurance, 401k accounts, joint tenancies in real property and payable-on-death financial accounts. A probate lawyer is your best source of information regarding the types of property that are affected by intestacy.

Divvying Up Assets

Utah Code § 75-2-102 provides the instructions on how to divide intestate property among living relatives. In the typical case where a spouse dies and the surviving spouse remains with children from the marriage the spouse will receive everything. If the neither spouse has children the estate will also pass to the surviving spouse.If the decedent is married and only has children outside the marriage (i.e. from a prior relationship) the surviving spouse will get 75% of the estate and half of the estate balance. The children will receive all the other property.In the situation where a person dies and has no spouse or children the court will look to his or her parents. The decedent’s parents will inherit the entire estate. It’s a similar situation for a person who dies without a spouse, children, or parents. In this case the decedent’s siblings will receive the estate.Of course it is possible for many other types of family relations to exist. The Utah code tries to account for each possible situation. Half-relatives will inherit as if they were full-blood relatives. Adopted children are entitled to a full share while stepchildren (not adopted) are not. Children of the decedent who were legally adopted by another family do not receive a share. Yet, a male decedent’s children born outside of marriage can inherit if paternity was recognized by the decedent.

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.

Who Gets What in Utah?

Under intestate succession, who gets what depends on whether or not you have living children, parents, or other close relatives when you die. Here’s a quick overview:
If you die with here’s what happens:
• children but no spouse – children inherit everything
• spouse but no descendants – spouse inherits everything
• spouse and descendants from you and that spouse – spouse inherits everything
• spouse and descendants from you and someone other than that spouse – spouse inherits the first $75,000 of your intestate property, plus 1/2 of the balancedescendants inherit everything else
• parents but no spouse or descendants – parents inherit everything
• siblings but no spouse, descendants, or parents – siblings inherit everything

Survivorship period

To inherit under Utah’s intestate succession statutes, a person must outlive you by 120 hours. So, if you and your brother are in a car accident and he dies a few hours after you do, his estate would not receive any of your property.


“Half” relatives inherit as if they were “whole.” That is, your sister with whom you share a father, but not a mother, has the same right to your property as she would if you had both parents in common.

Posthumous relatives

Relatives conceived before but born after you die inherit as if they had been born while you were alive, as long as they survive at least 120 hours after birth.

Immigration status

Relatives entitled to an intestate share of your property will inherit whether or not they are citizens or legally in the United States.


Utah considers non-probate transfers as advancements on a relative’s share. So, if your spouse receives life insurance proceeds or funds from a payable on death account, these amounts are included when calculating your spouse’s share. Additionally, if you make a gift during your lifetime to your relative and put in writing that this should be an advancement at the time of making the gift or your relative states this in writing, the value of the property is subtracted from your relative’s share.

Utah Code 75-2-101 Attorney

When you need legal help with Utah Code 75-2-101, 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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Utah Probate Court Search

Utah Probate Court Search

A probate court (sometimes called a surrogate court) is a court that has competence in a jurisdiction to deal with matters of probate and the administration of estates. In some jurisdictions, such courts may be referred to as Orphans’ Courts, or courts of ordinary in Utah they are call District Courts.

In some jurisdictions probate court functions are performed by a government, internal court or another court of equity, or as a part or division of another court.Probate courts administer proper distribution of the assets of a decedent (one who has died), adjudicates the validity of wills, enforces the provisions of a valid will (by issuing the grant of probate), prevents malfeasance by executors and administrators of estates, and provides for the equitable distribution of the assets of persons who die intestate (without a valid will), such as by granting a grant of administration giving judicial approval to the personal representative to administer matters of the estate.In contested matters, the probate court examines the authenticity of a will and decides who is to receive the deceased person’s property. In a case of an intestacy, the court determines who is to receive the deceased’s property under the law of its jurisdiction. The probate court will then oversee the process of distributing the deceased’s assets to the proper beneficiaries. A probate court can be petitioned by interested parties in an estate, such as when a beneficiary feels that an estate is being mishandled. The court has the authority to compel an executor to give an account of their actions.In some jurisdictions (e.g. Texas) probate courts also handle other matters, such as guardianships, trusts, and mental health issues (including the authority to order involuntary commitment to psychiatric facilities and involuntary administering psychiatric medication).

Understanding Probate Court

A court creates probate records after a person’s death based on the contents of the deceased person’s will. Probate records dictate the distribution of the estate and the care of any dependents.Probate court is a segment of the judicial system that primarily handles such matters as wills, estates, conservatorships, and guardianships, as well as the commitment of mentally ill persons to institutions designed to help them. When wills are contested, for example, the probate court is responsible for ruling on the authenticity of the document and the mental stability of the person who signed it. The court also decides who receives which portion of the decedent’s assets, based on the instructions in the will or – barring that – other laws in place.The role of the probate court is to make sure that a deceased person’s debts are paid and assets are allocated to the correct beneficiaries. The term probate is used to describe the legal process that manages the assets and liabilities left behind by a recently deceased person. Probate is multifaceted in that it covers the overall legal process of dealing with a deceased person’s assets and debt, the court that manages the process, and the actual distribution of assets itself.Individual states have specialized probate courts. Some states do not call it a probate court but instead refer to it as a surrogate’s court, orphan’s court or chancery court.

The Process of Probate Court

The process of probate is initiated when a person files a petition for probate with the state’s probate court system. This petition is normally filed by a family member of the deceased or by a designator of the deceased’s will. The probate court then issues an order that appoints a person to be the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate. The executor or administrator is responsible for allocating the deceased’s estate to the proper beneficiaries, among other administrative duties. A probate lawyer is often hired to help deal with the intricacies of probate.

Probate Court with a Will

When a person dies, the probate court determines if that person left behind a will. If so, the court probates the will, meaning that it looks into the validity of the will itself. If the will is valid, the probate court appoints an executor to allocate the deceased person’s assets to the proper beneficiaries. If the will is not valid or if it’s contested, the court reviews and decides the matter.

Probate Court without a Will

When a person dies with no will, the probate court allocates the person’s assets to his or her next of kin. This is known as the law of intestate succession, and it outlines the allocation mix between surviving spouses, grandchildren, siblings, parents, aunts, and uncles.

Probate Records

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 jurisdiction. State probate laws have changed over the centuries. The kinds of records to be found in probate files have changed accordingly. Probate laws can vary from state to state but tend to follow certain general practices. The probate of the estate of someone who has died and has left a will is called testate. The probate of the estate of someone who has died but has not leave a will is called intestate.At times, probate courts have also had jurisdiction over other proceedings such as adoptions, guardianships for minors, and name changes after divorces. Probate records can usually be found in the court records of the county where the deceased was last living. In some cases, early records have been moved to other depositories such as state archives, to allow for better security, temperature and humidity control, and more space for newer records. As storage space and available facilities change, so do the sites of probate records.Probate records can give the historian invaluable information. For example, genealogists value the lists of heirs and devisees that indicate familial relationships. People researching material culture can learn much from household inventories. Historians trying to learn more about particular buildings often find useful information in real estate inventories.

Probate Research Steps

• Determine where the deceased was living at time of death.
• Find out where the records for that probate court jurisdiction at that time are now housed. Remember that the boundaries and names of counties might have changed. If the county (or state) has changed, then the records will be filed with the records in the county at the time of death, not under the county’s name as it is now. For instance, in Maine, parts of Lincoln County of 1760 are now parts of Kennebec, Waldo, Washington, Hancock, Androscoggin, Sagadahoc and Knox counties. Save yourself steps by using the Internet and the telephone to ask for and find the archive that you want. States and counties often have Web home pages.
• Find the index of the probate records you want. This will be at the archive that holds the probate records. Look on-line for a Web site of the likely archive. Many archives now have Web home pages with holdings information, telephone numbers, and directions for getting there. The probate index you want might even be accessible on-line. Some indexes and abstracts are also published or are on microfilm. Archives and research libraries can help you find these.
• If necessary, go to the archive.
• Look in the index for the deceased’s name. This will usually be listed alphabetically by surname. Find and note the docket number. Usually the date of probate is also listed, and this is usually fairly close to the date of death.
• Be thorough. Look also under the names of relatives of the deceased — you might be surprised to find a file full of relevant documents.
• Make a list of files you wish to see and give these to the clerk, who will retrieve the files for you. If the files are old and are in a storage facility off-site, it might take several days for the request to be filled. This is all the more reason to make the request on-line or by telephone if you can.
• If files are missing, and they sometimes are, probate record books might give some evidence of the probate. Probate record books are not likely to contain all the information that is/was in the actual file, however.
• Examine the files and make notes. The cost of making photocopies will vary from archive to archive. It may be as little as 15 cents per page to a dollar or more per page.
• Return the original file, as you found it, to the clerk.
• Label and file your findings, being sure to note the name of the archive, address, telephone number, Web site address, and the date you did your research there. I also usually pick up an information pamphlet at the archive and file it in a dated folder of its own along with address information, driving directions, and helpful archivists’ names, for future reference.

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 devisees
• 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 devisees
• 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
Where do you find probate records?

County Courthouses

County courthouses can contain probate records going back centuries. Once they are recorded at the county level, they never leave it, unless something happens to the courthouse and the records are destroyed. Burned courthouses were an issue in many counties across the nation in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the bane of genealogists everywhere who want to access the records that were in them.Assuming the courthouse where your ancestor lived is still intact, you should be able to go there and look up their probate records in the court’s index, or get a court employee to help you find it. You will be finding the original probate records by going in person. If you can’t make the trip in person, such as with a courthouse that is far away, you can call or write the court to see if they will look up your ancestor in their records and send you any information they find in the probate files.Of course, not every person is going to leave a probate record behind, but a lot of people did. It is extremely worth it, genealogically speaking, to check to see if a probate record exists for your ancestor.

Using Ancestry just added a huge new collection of probate records from around the United States this year. These are the same probate records you would find in county courthouses. sent representatives out to county courthouses across the country to get the courthouses to allow them to digitize their probate records. While not every courthouse complied, most of them did. You can now look up most of your ancestors’ probate records on, rather than traveling to or writing a courthouse. The images are scans of the originals, and you can download and save them to your computer to add to your own genealogy records, and to refer to whenever you need to in your research.

Older Relatives

If you have older relatives who have collected a large amount of family information over the decades, you should visit them and see what they have in their boxes, chests, and files, if they will let you. They may have records of wills and probate proceedings that go back generations. Even if they only have these records for their own parents and/or grandparents, you are still finding some genealogical gold. Bring a scanner with you to capture the images, to make sure they are preserved for posterity. Your relative may have probate records that do not exist anywhere else, thanks to burned courthouses. These rare documents could open up whole new avenues of research for you.

State or Local Archive Buildings

Probate records from colonial times may be found in county courthouses, but are more often found in archive buildings. If you are looking for the probate records for an ancestor who lived in America before the American Revolution, visit or write to the historical society in the city, town, or county in which they lived. Their probate documents may have been preserved and made their way there. You might even be allowed to handle an original document from the 1600s or 1700s with remnants of red wax seals still on them. Even if you don’t get to handle the original, you will still be shown a copy or a microfilmed version of it. Probate records are incredibly valuable genealogical documents. They are well worth searching for on every branch of your family. The more of them you discover, the more you will learn about your family history, and about your ancestors as individual human beings. That is a real treasure in the study of genealogy.

Probate Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with probate court 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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It can be very difficult to lose someone you love, especially when it happens unexpectedly or when it happens too soon. As if losing your loved one isn’t hard enough on you emotionally, soon after death it will be necessary to take care of the decedent’s property (decedent means the person who has passed away). This is the process to settle their estate. Usually, to accomplish this, you are going to need to go to probate court. When someone dies, and they leave behind a valid last will and testament, that will must be filed with the District Court in Utah within thirty (30) days after that persona’ death, and a copy of the will should be mailed to the personal representative (also called an executor), which is the person nominated in the will to manage the Estate after the deceased passes away.

Definition of Probate

Probate is the act by which a testamentary document is judicially established as having been a testator’s final will. But the word has been extended well beyond that traditional sense. Today it often includes everything that a personal representative does in handling a decedent’s estate. As an adjective, the word takes on still other meanings. (This is according to Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage, 3rd Edition, Oxford). Essentially probate means to “prove” and it is the court process of administrating a dead person’s estate. This is whether they have a will or no will. Probate is the way to transfer assets after someone is dead and we need their signature to transfer property and there isn’t another way to do it.

Eѕѕеntіаllу, аѕ lоng аѕ thе dесеdеnt оwnеd рrореrtу thаt dіd nоt аutоmаtісаllу trаnѕfеr tо ѕоmеоnе еlѕе thrоugh a bеnеfісіаrу оr рауаblе-оn-dеаth dеѕіgnаtіоn, jоіnt tеnаnсу, оr соmmunіtу рrореrtу wіth rіght оf ѕurvіvоrѕhір, thеn іt wіll bе nесеѕѕаrу tо uѕе a рrосеdurе tо trаnѕfеr thаt рrореrtу, оthеrwіѕе knоwn аѕ “рrоbаtе аѕѕеtѕ” tо thоѕе whо аrе lеgаllу еntіtlеd tо rесеіvе іt. Thе mоѕt соmmоn соurt рrосеdurе whісh trаnѕfеrѕ tіtlе fоr рrоbаtе аѕѕеtѕ іѕ саllеd рrоbаtе. Hоwеvеr, рrоbаtе hаѕ іtѕ bеnеfіtѕ; bеlоw аrе some:

Abіlіtу tо сlоѕе оut сrеdіtоrѕ

Prоbаtе аllоwѕ уоu thе аbіlіtу tо сlоѕе оut сrеdіtоrѕ tо thе рrоbаtе еѕtаtе wіthіn a 90-dау wіndоw. Fоr соmраrіѕоn рurроѕеѕ, іf аn іndіvіduаl раѕѕеѕ аwау аnd аll оf thеіr аѕѕеtѕ аrе hеld іn truѕtѕ tо аvоіd рrоbаtе, thеrе іѕ a twо-уеаr wіndоw fоr сrеdіtоrѕ tо рut іn a сlаіm оn thе аѕѕеtѕ tо рау аnу оutѕtаndіng dеbtѕ оf thе dесеаѕеd.

Oрроrtunіtу tо ѕеttlе dіѕаgrееmеntѕ

Unfоrtunаtеlу, аll rеlеvаnt fаmіlу аnd frіеndѕ mау nоt аgrее wіth hоw аn еѕtаtе ѕhоuld bе hаndlеd. Thеrе could bе dіѕаgrееmеntѕ аbоut whеthеr оr nоt thе dесеаѕеd іndіvіduаl wаѕ оf ѕоund mіnd whеn hе оr ѕhе mаdе a dесіѕіоn іn thеіr wіll. Prоbаtе Cоurt оffеrѕ аn орроrtunіtу tо ѕеttlе dіѕаgrееmеntѕ оvеr аn еѕtаtе аmоng nаmеd аnd роtеntіаl hеіrѕ. Eѕtаtе іѕѕuеѕ аrе ѕеnѕіtіvе аnd саn сrеаtе lifelong rіftѕ bеtwееn lоvеd оnеѕ, ѕо ѕоmеtіmеѕ іt іѕ bеttеr tо аllоw a nеutrаl judgе tо mаkе thе fіnаl dесіѕіоn whеn thеrе іѕ a dispute.

Hоw dо I аvоіd рrоbаtе?

Stіll, rеgаrdlеѕѕ оf hоw ѕіmрlе рrоbаtе саn bе, іt’ѕ a соurt рrосеѕѕ, аnd уоu mіght bе wоndеrіng whу уоu wоuldn’t аvоіd іt іf dоіng ѕо іѕ аѕ еаѕу аѕ іt ѕоundѕ. Whеn dеtеrmіnіng whеthеr trуіng tо аvоіd рrоbаtе іѕ thе rіght ѕtrаtеgу fоr уоu, реrhарѕ thе fіrѕt ԛuеѕtіоn уоu ѕhоuld аѕk іѕ hоw уоu wоuld gо аbоut dоіng іt. If thаt рrосеѕѕ іѕ gоіng tо bе dіffісult аnd еxреnѕіvе, іt mау nоt еnd uр gаіnіng уоu muсh, еvеn іf іt wоrkѕ.

Thе mоѕt ѕtrаіghtfоrwаrd wау tо аvоіd рrоbаtе іѕ ѕіmрlу tо сrеаtе a lіvіng truѕt. A lіvіng truѕt іѕ mеrеlу аn аltеrnаtіvе tо thе Lаѕt Wіll. Unlіkе a wіll, whісh mеrеlу dіѕtrіbutеѕ уоur аѕѕеtѕ uроn dеаth, a lіvіng truѕt рlасеѕ уоur аѕѕеtѕ аnd рrореrtу “іn truѕt” whісh аrе thеn mаnаgеd bу a truѕtее fоr thе bеnеfіt оf уоur bеnеfісіаrіеѕ. It аllоwѕ уоu tо аvоіd рrоbаtе еntіrеlу bесаuѕе thе рrореrtу аnd аѕѕеtѕ аrе аlrеаdу dіѕtrіbutеd tо thе truѕt.

Fоr ѕоmе, a Lаѕt Wіll іѕ оftеn a bеttеr fіt thаn a truѕt bесаuѕе іt іѕ a mоrе ѕtrаіghtfоrwаrd еѕtаtе рlаnnіng dосumеnt. Juѕt bесаuѕе уоu hаvе wrіttеn a wіll dоеѕn’t mеаn thаt аll оf уоur аѕѕеtѕ hаvе tо раѕѕ thrоugh рrоbаtе. Whаt mоѕt реорlе dоn’t rеаlіzе іѕ thаt mаnу оf оur mоѕt vаluеd аѕѕеtѕ аllоw uѕ tо nаmе bеnеfісіаrіеѕ. In fасt, уоu mау nоt hаvе rеаlіzеd thаt thе bаnk ассоunt уоu ореnеd whеn уоu gоt уоur fіrѕt jоb рrоbаblу еnаblеѕ уоu tо dеѕіgnаtе a beneficiary thаt іѕ рауаblе оn dеаth.

All уоu nееd tо dо tо gеt уоurѕеlf ѕtаrtеd іѕ tо rеԛuеѕt аnd fіll оut thе рауаblе оn dеаth fоrmѕ thаt уоur brоkеrаgе соmраnу оr bаnk саn рrоvіdе. Rеmеmbеr, іf уоu аrе mаrrіеd, ѕоmе оf thеѕе ассоuntѕ аutоmаtісаllу mау bе раrtіаllу оwnеd bу уоur ѕроuѕе. Bу tаkіng thе tіmе tо fіll оut thеѕе fоrmѕ, hоwеvеr, уоu еnѕurе thаt thе рrосееdѕ аrе іmmеdіаtеlу dіѕреrѕеd аt dеаth wіthоut hаvіng tо раѕѕ thrоugh рrоbаtе – ѕраrіng a lоt оf tіmе аnd a lоt оf еxреnѕе.

Thеrе іѕ nо ѕtеаdfаѕt rulе fоr whо ѕhоuld аnd ѕhоuld nоt uѕе рrоbаtе. Evеrу ѕіtuаtіоn іѕ unіԛuе, аnd іt іѕ іmроrtаnt thаt уоu соnѕult wіth аn еxреrіеnсеd еѕtаtе рlаnnіng аnd рrоbаtе attorney tо dіѕсuѕѕ уоur ѕресіfіс ѕіtuаtіоn аnd орtіоnѕ. Thеrе аrе сіrсumѕtаnсеѕ whеrе рrоbаtе соuld wоrk tо уоur аdvаntаgе аnd оthеrѕ whеrе іt ѕhоuld bе аvоіdеd.

Conclusion on Probate

Sometimes you need probate – evern after a last will and testament has been signed. If you have a question about the probate process in Utah, or if you need other Estate Planning Help, please call Greg Lyle at (801) 676-5506. Greg is the probate and estate attorney you need on your side.

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews

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Attorney in Utah

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Attorney In Utah

There are lots of different areas of law that an attorney in Utah could practice. At Ascent Law, lawyers practice in the following areas of law:

  • Business Law
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Law
  • Elder Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Personal Injury
  • DUI Defense
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Divorce
  • Tax Law
  • Contract Law
  • Litigation
  • Adoptions
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Why You Need a Lawyer

    Here is an example. If уоu wеrе tо аѕk thе average реrѕоn оn thе ѕtrееt tо tеll уоu ѕоmеthіng аbоut thе реrѕоnаl bаnkruрtсу рrосеѕѕ, thеу wоuld lіkеlу mеntіоn thаt thе рrосеѕѕ іѕ a ѕіmрlе wау tо fасіlіtаtе dеbt еlіmіnаtіоn. Thеу mіght аlѕо nеgаtіvеlу rеfеr tо thе рrосеѕѕ since ѕосіеtу hаѕ gеnеrаllу lаbеlеd bаnkruрtсу аѕ a process rеѕеrvеd ѕоlеlу fоr іrrеѕроnѕіblе іndіvіduаlѕ аnd buѕіnеѕѕеѕ. If уоu аѕkеd thеm about thе соѕtѕ аѕѕосіаtеd wіth fіlіng a сlаіm, thеу wоuld рrоbаblу аѕѕumе thаt fіlіng іѕ frее оr rеlаtіvеlу іnеxреnѕіvе. Unfоrtunаtеlу, thіѕ аѕѕumрtіоn іѕ flаt оut іnсоrrесt, аѕ fіlіng a сlаіm саn соѕt ѕеvеrаl thоuѕаnd dоllаrѕ whеn a bаnkruрtсу аttоrnеу is іnvоlvеd.

    Whіlе nоt rеԛuіrеd bу lаw, uѕіng an аttоrnеу in Utah tо аѕѕіѕt wіth thе fіlіng рrосеѕѕ саn оffеr ѕеvеrаl іmроrtаnt аdvаntаgеѕ. Pеrhарѕ thе mоѕt іmроrtаnt аdvаntаgе thаt аttоrnеуѕ in Utah оffеr іѕ thаt thеу рrеvеnt thе dеbtоr frоm hаvіng tо ѕреnd аn іnоrdіnаtе аmоunt оf tіmе рrераrіng аnd fіlіng thе rеԛuіrеd dосumеntѕ. In аddіtіоn tо thіѕ, аttоrnеуѕ in Utah саn аlѕо оffеr іmроrtаnt legal аdvісе аnd саn аlѕо рrоvіdе rерrеѕеntаtіоn, аllоwіng thе dеbtоr tо rеmаіn оut оf thе соurt ѕуѕtеm. Whіlе аttоrnеуѕ рrоvіdе a numbеr оf uѕеful ѕеrvісеѕ tо thе dеbtоr, thеѕе ѕеrvісеѕ саn соmе аt a ѕubѕtаntіаl соѕt. Hоw muсh аrе attorney in Utah fееѕ fоr bаnkruрtсу, уоu аѕk? Thе аvеrаgе bаnkruрtсу claim саn соѕt bеtwееn $1,000 аnd $2,000 dереndіng оn thе ѕресіfіс dеtаіlѕ іnvоlvеd аnd thе tуре аnd rерutаtіоn оf thе fіrmеd uѕеd.

    Bесаuѕе uѕіng an аttоrnеу in Utah соѕtѕ mоnеу, аnd ѕіnсе mоѕt dеbtоrѕ dоn’t hаvе еxсеѕѕ money tо hаnd оut, thеу оftеn lооk fоr сhеар bаnkruрtсу Utаh аttоrnеуѕ. Althоugh gооd сhеар аttоrnеуѕ аrе оut thеrе, wе wоuld саutіоn реорlе аgаіnѕt uѕіng thеm fоr оnе рrіmаrу rеаѕоn. Mаnу оf thеѕе budgеt аttоrnеуѕ wіll not рrоvіdе thе ѕаmе lеvеl оf ѕеrvісе thаt a mоrе rерutаblе fіrm оr іndіvіduаl wіll рrоvіdе. Aftеr аll, thеrе’ѕ a rеаѕоn thаt сеrtаіn fіrmѕ аrе рrісеd lоwеr thаn оthеrѕ, аnd thіѕ uѕuаllу hаѕ tо dо wіth thеіr реrfоrmаnсе оr lасk thеrеоf.

    Fоrtunаtеlу, fіndіng a rерutаblе аttоrnеу іѕ rеlаtіvеlу ѕіmрlе аѕ lоng аѕ уоu’rе wіllіng tо dо a bіt оf rеѕеаrсh bеfоrеhаnd. Onсе уоu’vе lосаtеd a dесеnt fіrm оr individual, it’s uр tо уоu tо rеѕеаrсh thеm uѕіng аn оnlіnе ѕеаrсh еngіnе. Whеn in dоubt, іt’ѕ аlwауѕ bеѕt to ѕtісk wіth a wеll-knоwn fіrm оr оnе thаt hаѕ rереаtеdlу bееn rесоgnіzеd fоr соnѕіѕtеntlу hіgh реrfоrmаnсе. Yоu саn оftеn lеаrn a grеаt dеаl аbоut a fіrm thrоugh аn іnіtіаl соnѕultаtіоn, ѕо іt’ѕ critical thаt уоu dоn’t ѕkір оvеr thіѕ іmроrtаnt ѕtер.

    At thе еnd оf thе dау, dесіdіng whеthеr оr nоt tо hіrе an аttоrnеу in Utah mіght ѕіmрlу соmе dоwn tо thе mоnеу іnvоlvеd. If уоu’rе аlrеаdу bеhіnd іn mаkіng уоur рауmеntѕ, іt mау nоt bе аn орtіоn fоr уоu tо соmе uр wіth thе fееѕ tо рау fоr lеgаl rерrеѕеntаtіоn. If уоu hаvе thе fundѕ, hоwеvеr, hаvіng an аttоrnеу in Utah іn уоur соurt саn рrоvіdе уоu wіth a numbеr оf rеаllу hеlрful аdvаntаgеѕ, in fact, a lot of advantages!

    Conclusion of Why You Should Have a Lawyer

    Hopefully, this brief example shows you why you should have a Utah attorney on your side. If you have a legal question or need help for your issue or case, please call Mike Anderson at (801) 676-5506. Mike is an aggressive lawyer who cares about his clients. You will feel better after talking with Mike.

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

    Telephone: (801) 676-5506
    Ascent Law LLC

    4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews

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