Succession laws in Utah are complex. A will is just one of the many ways a person can distribute his assets amongst his relatives and other persons close to him. A will must go through probate. Seek the assistance of an experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer.
Never assume that a will is not for you and that you are better off using trusts for the purpose of estate planning. More often than not, a will may be the best option for you. It is important that you understand the entire probate process before you take a decision. Speak to an experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer.
Writing your own will
Although not advisable, you could write your own will if you expect few issues when you pass away regarding the distribution of your estate and merely want to pass your property in a clear and uncomplicated fashion. You can consider writing your will on your own if
• You aren’t too old – generally under the age of 50
• You have few assets or the value of your assets are negligible
• You have been married only once or you do not have any children from your previous marriages
• You are certain that no one will challenge your will on the grounds of lack of mental capacity, duress or fraud.
You could draft a simple will naming your beneficiaries and how your property should be distributed amongst the beneficiaries. You can also appoint a guardian for your minor children.
In all other circumstances, you should have a will prepared specifically for you by an experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer. Always seek the assistance of an experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer if:
• You have a child with special needs and you need to establish a trust for that child
• Your estate is valuable enough to be subject to estate tax
• You have been married more than once or you have children from prior marriages
• You want to set up a trust and vest your assets in that trust for the benefit of your children
• Your assets are likely to grow in the coming years
• You have your own business
• You and your spouse want to create a joint will
Whether your will is going to be a simple one or a complex once, an experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer is your best source of advice.
If any of your close relative is suffering from a terminal illness, speak to an experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer to understand what needs to be done to protect the person’s assets. It’s important for the person to start planning on how his estate should be distributed once he is no more. There are many ways to do this. A will is just one of them. An experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer can explain the other options to you.
A number of estate-planning devices are available to the patient and family with which to accomplish the various lifetime and postmortem estate-planning objectives. Speak to an experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer to know the options.
To know more about the will as a method of estate planning, you should understand the Utah intestacy laws. An experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer is your best source of information on Utah intestacy laws. Utah intestacy laws are complex. Certain general rules apply to the use and ownership of property. The laws of descent and distribution determine how the property interests and controls are distributed when there is no predetermined distribution plan. Basically, Utah intestacy laws are the default estate planning device for those Utah residents who die without an estate planning device in place. Practically speaking, there isn’t much of a choice for an individual. You either make your own plan or use the default plan – Utah intestacy laws.
Trusts can solve a lot of problems and ease the process of passing a person’s estates to his r children. Don’t allow yourself to be “scared” into living trusts by horror stories about the probate. In most cases, the process doesn’t pose such a big problem. Speak to an experienced Herriman Layton Utah probate lawyer to take an informed decision. A will must still be drafted even if a living trust is in place. The will provides for items that the grantor did not want to put into the trust, as well as property that the grantor would have liked to pass through the trust but never changed title to. For this reason, the term “pour over will” is frequently used, since it provides that any other assets within testator’s estate should simply be poured over into the trust.
To be sure, estate and financial planning is never easy. But for families with a disabled child, there are additional complications and uncertainties. It’s much more of an emotional issue than just dollars and cents. You’re talking about someone who can’t take care of themselves. If you’re a parent of a disabled child, contact an experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer to know how you can ensure that your disabled child is looked after when you are no more. It’s important to recognize that the child likely will continue to need assistance long after your death. You need an estate plan that spells out all of your wishes, but is flexible enough to accommodate any unforeseen developments. Start by deciding how you’ll want your child to be cared for after your death. As with traditional families, you’ll need to draw up a will.
But parents with a disabled child encounter an additional problem: government funding. Government programs such as Social Security are necessary for many disabled people because care is expensive and can rapidly deplete a family’s resources. There are a number of costs the government won’t cover, such as over-the-counter medicines, trips and entertainment. It is the parents who typically fill the financial gap. However, upon their death, parents just can’t just leave a lump sum of money for a disabled child. Inheriting just a few thousand dollars can put an end to government funding. A relative or friend, with the best intentions, could leave $5,000 to a disabled person and cause problems. Speak to an experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer to know how you can deal with this problem. The answer is a “special needs trust.” Such a trust not only protects access to government assistance, but it also includes a comprehensive plan spelling out how your disabled child will be cared for after your death. The proper wording of the trust is crucial. A special needs trust must also be very clear about the assignment of authority. A beneficiary, for example, can have no power over the trust or its assets. That role must go to a trustee, usually a sibling of the disabled person. The trust also must only provide for supplemental items not covered by the government assistance.
Otherwise, it could jeopardize Supplemental Security Income, or government health benefits. Age is another factor. Until the child is 18, the Social Security Administration determines financial need based on the parents’ assets and income. After 18, financial need is determined by the income and assets of the disabled person. The document outlining the special needs trust also should contain a clause that would allow the trust to distribute the assets in the event the government attempted to break the trust. A family must also decide who will take care of a disabled child after the death of the parents. Ideally parents should name one individual as the guardian and another as the trustee. The guardian would have responsibility for seeing to the personal needs of the disabled person. The trustee would oversee the finances. Family members usually are preferable choices. You should try to match up individuals with responsibilities that are best suited to their strengths and weaknesses. One sibling may be better at managing investments, while another is more attentive to the disabled child’s emotional needs. Naming several backup guardians is a very good idea. The next big issue is the allocation of family assets, which can be a touchy subject. More than likely, a disabled child is going to need more support and therefore may require a greater share of any inheritance. Deciding how much money is enough to sufficiently cover the costs of caring for a disabled child after the death of parents depends on the severity of the disability.
As with any financial planning, families with disabled children should begin planning for their child’s future care sooner rather than later.
Planning for the future
What would happen if you die or become disabled and can no longer care for a child with a disability? Here’s checklist to help you prepare.
• Have a written plan to let others know what you want in the future.
• Let friends and relatives know about your plan.
• Review the plan at least once a year.
• Name an advocate or guardian for your child.
• Make sure you understand all of the government benefit programs that are available for basic care and supervision.
• Set aside sufficient funds so the disabled person will continue to have a comfortable lifestyle.
• Make sure you and your spouse have current wills that include your child.
• Develop a “special needs trust” to manage current and future resources.
Hire the services of an Experienced Probate Attorney
Everyone should have their own will. The size and value of their asset is not an issue. Just because your estate is small, it does not mean that you don’t need a will. It is through your will that you let the world know how you want your assets to be distributed after your death. In the absence of a will, the State of Utah will distribute your assets. This is done under a set of rules know as Utah intestacy law. However, Utah intestacy law will not know anything about you wishes. All that is consider is your relationship. So, someone close to you but not related to you could end up not getting a rightful share in your estate although you wanted that person to get a share in your estate. Speak to an experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer to know how you can ensure your estate is distributed to the ones you love.
Once you have found an experienced Layton Utah probate lawyer, you have to meet the lawyer face to face. Seek an appointment with him. Generally, the first meeting will be held at the lawyer’s office. However, in exceptional circumstances wherein the testator is ill and cannot visit the lawyer’s office, the lawyer may agree for a home visit. During the first meeting the lawyer will want to know about you – your personal information, information about your assets, your previous marriages and children from previous marriages, the intended beneficiaries of your will. Provide the lawyer with the answers. If you want to provide other information which the lawyer has not asked for but you believe is important for the lawyer to know, don’t hold back. Provide the information. He will decide if it is relevant. Don’t conceal any information from the lawyer. Remember the lawyer needs all the information to make a valid will that will pass through probate. Holding back information can result in a will that is challenged in probate. Nothing stops a disgruntled relative from challenging a will but a will drafted by a well informed lawyer will be able to successfully deal with the challenge during the probate process. Remember when your will is going through probate or when it is being challenged, you will not be there to provide the information. When you are selecting the executor of your will, speak to the person before naming him as the executor. Let your Layton Utah probate lawyer speak to him. The lawyer will inform him of his responsibilities as the executor and if the person is willing to act as the executor, the lawyer will go ahead and draft your will naming him as the executor. A valid will must need to be witnessed by two persons. The two witness must have witnessed the testator sign the will.
Layton Utah Probate Lawyer Free Consultation
When you need legal help with probate in Layton Utah, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506