Who Inherits When There Is No Will?

Who Inherits When There Is No Will

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

o A court request pronouncing paternity

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

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

Estate Administration Lawyer Free Consultation

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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How Much Does It Cost For Estate Planning?

How Much Does It Cost For Estate Planning

The last thing anyone wants to do is plan for their death. There are a lot of important decisions you need to make decisions you shouldn’t leave to your loved ones. These include saving for and planning your funeral, appointing a power of attorney, designating beneficiaries for all your accounts, setting up your kids especially if they’re fairly young, planning your estate, and setting up your last will and testament. This last one is probably one of the most important things you’ll have to do. Drawing up a will isn’t as easy as you may imagine. Most people hear the word will and think it’s a fairly simple process.

The idea most people have is that it requires a few minutes to designate the recipients of all your worldly belongings. But that isn’t true. In fact, there are many important facets to the document you have to consider right down to how you word it. If you have a lot of assets, run a business, and have more than one child and/or grandchildren, you need to take some time to make careful decisions about what happens after you die. Doing so now will help those you leave behind in the end. Make a list of all your assets, your home, vehicles, any valuables along with all of your financial accounts such as checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and life insurance policies. Then jot down all of your dependents and who inherits each asset. Also note if there are any special considerations you’d like to include in your will such as when minors inherit your assets, how accounts will be split up, or what happens to your home after you die. You can try drafting the will yourself or you can hire a lawyer to do the work for you. But even if you hire an attorney, you’ll still have to make these important decisions on your own. We’ll look at the benefits and drawbacks of both a little later in this article.

The fee for having a basic will written can be as little as $150 fairly reasonable and affordable for most people. Consider purchasing a do-it-yourself will creation kit that can be purchased online or in stores for less. These are generally templates you can fill in with your pertinent information online. If you require more complicated or additional estate planning documents, be prepared to dish out more cash. It can cost $1,000 or more in advanced situations. But this may be too generic for you, leaving you the option to hire a professional. The low end for having a lawyer draft a will is around $300, but it can easily cost $1,000 or more if your situation is more complicated. Do-it-yourself kits to create and file a legally enforceable will have gained in popularity due to the minimal cost involved. If you don’t have a lot of complicated issues about your final wishes, your finances are fairly straightforward, and you don’t have any children, this may be the most suitable option for you. Kits can be purchased for as little as $10, so they give you the option of drawing your will at your convenience without having to pay an outrageous cost. There is a lot less time involved, and you can generally make updates at your leisure without much difficulty or cost. Before you settle with one of these kits, make sure you understand everything the kit entails including the legal language. You don’t want to sign a document you don’t fully understand. Also consider whether the document is enforceable in your state, as some documents don’t coincide with guidelines in certain areas. You may be required to have witnesses or have your document notarized.

The best option is to hire a lawyer if you have a complicated situation, a lot of assets, many beneficiaries, and a lot of dependents. While the decisions of what happens to your estate after you die are yours, an attorney can guide you through the process and help you word your will properly so there are no mistakes. After all, you are paying for legal advice, so it makes sense that you get the full benefit of an error-free will.

Advantages of Estate Planning

Taking care of your family has always been the number one priority in your life, and that isn’t going to change. The best way to make sure they are taken care of after you pass is to establish an estate plan while you are still of sound mind. Here are the advantages of creating an estate plan:

• Provide for your immediate family: The estate plan will provide enough money for your surviving spouse to continue to care for the family. If both you and your spouse pass, an estate plan will name appointed guardians to care for your children.

• Ensure property goes to the right beneficiaries: Your estate plan will outline exactly where your assets are to go in the event of your death. This leaves no questions to be resolved by the courts or cause for family discord.

• Minimize the expenses and taxes: When you take care to create an estate plan, you should be able to keep the cost of transferring any property to your named beneficiaries.

• Ease the burdens of your family: It can be difficult to plan the funeral of a loved one when grieving. When working on your estate plan, you can outline your wishes for funeral arrangements and even set aside funds for them. This takes some of the burden off your family during this difficult time.
• Support a favorite cause: If you are passionate about a local cause or charitable organization, an estate plan can allow you to support them after your passing.

• Plan for any kind of incapacity: Life is unpredictable. If you should ever become mentally or physically incapacitated, an estate plan will outline your wishes regarding life and who will make medical decisions on your behalf.

• Reduce taxes that take place on your estate: By crafting an estate plan, you should be able to minimize the amount of taxes collected on your estate, which results in your beneficiaries keeping more of the money you set aside for them.

• Establish trustees over your estate: You’ll need someone to serve as the executor of your estate to make sure everything is handled properly. Your estate plan will name this person, which will save money and simplify the administration process.

• Provide for those who many need help: Do you have a child who has a disability? Or perhaps you have grandchildren who will be attending college in the future. Through your estate plan, you can set up a special trust to provide funds to support them.

• Ensure a business continues with a succession plan: If you own your own business, you’ll want to establish some kind of plan to keep it going after you pass. An estate plan will name your successor and outline what happens to your interest in the business.

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into estate planning, and none of these areas are ones you want to leave up in the air. By working with professional estate planning attorneys, you can make sure you have thought of everything. Without a will, your property may not go to who you want. Much of it can be tied up in probate for years, which means your family won’t get the assets they want and potentially need until it’s all settled. You can’t make assumptions that everything is going to go the way you want. Legal documentation is the only way to ensure your wishes are met.

Estate Planning

• Loss of control: Once an asset is in the irrevocable trust, you no longer have direct control over it. However, in the case of a husband and wife, it is possible to create separate trusts for each, thereby collectively maintaining control. There are many pitfalls with this technique, such as observance of the Reciprocal Trust Doctrine, so this strategy should only be employed with the assistance of a skilled estate planning attorney.

• Fairly Rigid terms: Irrevocable trusts are not very flexible. Once the terms are established, they can be difficult to change.

• The Three-Year Rule: If you include life insurance in an irrevocable trust and pass away within three years, the proceeds return to your estate and become taxable.

• The Five-Year Rule: If you put assets in an irrevocable trust and need Medicaid within a five-year period, you may have to repay all prior transfers to the trust by covering the costs of a nursing home privately. Only after you have repaid all gifted assets will you be eligible for Medicaid.

Because they have such strong advantages and disadvantages, the suitability of an irrevocable trust depends on a person’s individual circumstances. An experienced estate planner can help you decide if such an arrangement is right for you, or if you would be better off setting up a revocable trust instead.

Estate Planning Process

As you go through life, you’re likely to accumulate some amount of wealth, assets and even just family treasures. What will happen to all those things if you die or become incapacitated? That’s where estate planning comes in. An estate plan allows you to legally specify your wishes and how you want them carried out. A well-crafted estate plan can help avoid disputes that may arise and can keep details about your family’s financial affairs private. When you’re ready to work with a qualified attorney and financial planner to write your estate plan, here are some of the key steps you’ll go through:

• Create an inventory of what you own and what you owe: Compile a comprehensive list of your assets and debts, including account numbers and contact information, as well as names and contact information for your important advisers. Keep the summary in a secure, central location along with original copies of important documents and provide a copy of the summary for the executor of your will. This list could be a piece of paper or also a digital file kept in a secure location.

• Develop a contingency plan: An estate plan allows you to control what would happen to your property and assets if you or your spouse passed away today. It also puts a documented plan in place so that if you became incapacitated, your family could carry on your affairs without having to go through court. This includes a strategy for providing income if you were to become disabled and covering potential expenses for care giving that may be needed at some point.

• Provide for children and dependents: A primary goal for many estate plans is to protect and provide for loved ones and their future needs. Your estate plan should include provisions for any children, including naming a guardian for children under age 18 and providing for those from a previous marriage if you remarry, your assets may not automatically pass to them. It also would specifically address the care and income of children or relatives with special needs that must be planned carefully to avoid jeopardizing eligibility for government benefits.

• Protect your assets: A key component of estate planning involves protecting your assets for heirs and your charitable legacy by minimizing expenses, and covering estate taxes while still meeting your goals. If necessary, your estate plan would include specific strategies for transferring or disposing of unique assets like a family-owned business, real estate or investment property, or stock in a closely held business. Many people use permanent life insurance and trusts to protect assets while ensuring future goals can be met.

• Document your wishes: If you want your assets distributed in a certain way to meet financial or personal goals, you need to have legal documentation to ensure those wishes are followed if you die or become incapacitated. This includes designating beneficiaries for your life insurance policies, retirement accounts and other assets that are in line with your goals. It also means ensuring that titles of material assets, such as automobiles and property, are named properly. Work with an attorney to be sure you have an updated will disposing of your assets, a living will reflecting your end-of-life wishes, as well as powers of attorney for health-care and financial matters.

• Appoint fiduciaries: To execute your estate plan, you must designate someone to act on your behalf if you are unable to do so as executor of your will, trustee for your assets, legal guardian for your dependents or personal representative or power of attorney if you became incapacitated. You need to be sure your fiduciaries are aware of and agree to their appointments, and that they know where to find your original estate planning documents. Fiduciaries can be family members, personal friends or hired professionals such as bankers, attorneys or corporate trustees. Whether you are just starting out or have accumulated wealth over a lifetime, an up-to-date estate plan helps you minimize the impact of unexpected events on you and your family by preserving, protecting and managing your assets. A financial advisor can help you create a financial security plan to meet your goals, and provide tools and resources to build an estate plan that makes an impact well into the future.

Estate Planning Lawyer Free Consultation

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Family Lawyer Heber City Utah

Family Lawyer Heber City Utah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seek the assistance of an experienced Utah family lawyer

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

Heber City Utah Family Law Attorney Free Consultation

When you need legal help from a Heber City Utah Family Law Attorney, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Probate Lawyer Heber City Utah

Probate Lawyer Heber City Utah

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

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

Hire a probate lawyer

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


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

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

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

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

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

Wrongly disinherited

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

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

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

Probate Mediation

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

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

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

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

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

Estate planning

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

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

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

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

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

Free Consultation with a Heber City Utah Probate Lawyer

When you need legal help with an estate, trust, will or probate matter in Heber City Utah, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Probate Lawyer Bountiful Utah

Probate Lawyer Bountiful Utah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bountiful Utah Probate Attorney Free Consultation

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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Making a Trust

Maybe you’re thinking about how to better manage your property, or you want to make sure your family will be taken care of after you’re gone. If you’re having these thoughts, you might want to think about setting up a trust. A trust is basically a transfer of legal title from the owner (the grantor, trustor, or settlor) to an institution or person (a trustee). The trustee then administers the trust according to the trust terms for the benefit of a beneficiary. There are various factors to consider when setting up a trust. These factors include the size of the estate, the age, and marital status of the grantor.

Making a Trust

In this section you can find helpful tips and information on how to amend an existing trust, how to choose a trustee, and how a trust ends. You can also find articles giving guidance on how to put money and other assets – such as stocks and property – into a living trust, and instances in which setting up a trust may not be necessary.

What is a Trust?

A trust is an estate planning tool that can be used while you’re alive or for the benefit of your heirs. Each state has it’s own laws governing trusts but several states have adopted the Uniform Trust Code, making their laws very similar. There are several types of trusts. Living trusts, AB trusts, charitable trusts are all just a few types of trusts available to people. The type of trust you’ll want to set up will depend on what you would like to achieve with the trust.

Is a Living Trust Necessary?

Living trusts have many benefits but they also have some drawbacks. For example, a living trust involves routine maintenance and is harder to change than a will. In addition, it’s best to use an attorney when setting up a living trust, which can be expensive. These drawbacks can be outweighed by the benefits of a living trust depending on certain factors – such as age, marital status, and estate size.

A person who is under the age of 55 and healthy, probably doesn’t need a living trust because of it takes a decent amount of time and energy to maintain a trust. Marriage can also be a factor when deciding whether or not to set up a living trust. If married couples plan on leaving their property to each other, there are mechanisms in place for an easy transfer of assets after the death of one spouse. Finally, the size of the estate is also a factor in whether it’s a good idea to set up a living trust. Smaller estates generally don’t have a problem going through the probate process, making a living trust unnecessary.

Hiring a Lawyer

A trust can be fairly easy to set up, so a lawyer is not always necessary. However, a person with a large or complex estate or a unique situation may want to consult with an estate planning attorney for help with setting up a trust. Regardless of the size of estate, it might be a good idea to talk to an estate planning attorney if you have questions or concerns about setting up a trust.

Free Consultation with a Trust Lawyer in Utah

If you are here, you probably need a trust. If so, call Ascent Law for your free trust 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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What Happens if You Don’t Probate the Will?

When a person dies with a will, they typically name a person to serve as their executor. The executor is responsible for making sure that the deceased’s debts are paid and that any remaining money or property is distributed according to their wishes.

What Happens if You Don't Probate the Will

It’s not uncommon for wills to be written years before a person dies. Once death occurs, the executor should file the will in court to begin the probate process. But it’s not always that simple. Sometimes an executor dies first. Or an executor can decide they no longer want the job. So, what happens if you do not probate a will?

Utah Probate Law

In Utah, you have to probate a will within three (3) years of the person’s death.  You aren’t required to serve as the executor of a will, even if you made a promise to the deceased that you would. This doesn’t mean you can stick the deceased’s will in a drawer and forget about it. Most state require any person in possession of an original signed will to deposit it at the court of the county where the deceased resided. Filing deadlines vary by state, range from 30 days to 3 months.

Penalties to the Personal Representative

Failing to file a will within the time required by the state can have serious consequences. Although failure to file by itself is not a criminal violation, in most states this subjects the person to a lawsuit by someone who was financially hurt by the failure to file. For example, in Washington the law says that anyone who “willfully failed to file a will with the court” is liable to any injured party for the damages resulting from the violation.

Criminal liability could occur if the failure to file a will is coupled with an intent to conceal the existence of the will for financial gain. For example, your father decided to leave his entire estate to a favorite charity and left you nothing. You decide not to file his will. The laws of intestate succession allow you to inherit your father’s entire estate. In this instance, a failure to file the will would likely expose you to criminal liability.

Creditors’ Claims and Insolvent Estates in Probate

When people die, its common to have unpaid bills. Opening probate cuts short the amount of time a creditor has to claim against the estate. A creditor must file their claim within four months from the date an executor or personal representative is officially appointed. A creditor’s claim may be rejected by the executor if it is filed late. When probate is not opened, a creditor has one year to file suit against the estate.

It is common for a will not to get filed when the deceased’s estate is insolvent, meaning there are more bills that money. In general, relatives and friends have no legal obligation to do anything to pay the debts, to communicate with creditors, or open a probate. So, the simplest solution is to file the will and walk away from the problem by not opening probate.

Transferring Title to Property

Imagine if a friend passed away leaving a prized classic car in her will. Your friends had few other assets. Since the estate is small, it’s likely exempt from probate. Remember, probate is processes that transfer legal title of property from the estate of the person who has died to their beneficiaries.

Fortunately for you, most states have a streamline processes for transferring title in small estates. The process is generally referred to as “transfer by affidavit” and may be used to collect personal property of the deceased without probate. State law will set the maximum fair market value of the deceased’s entire estate that can pass in this manner. You will still likely need to produce the will to show your legal right to inherit the car.

File a Will That Doesn’t Require Probate

Probate isn’t always necessary. People frequently don’t bother to file a will if there is no apparent need to open probate because the person left nothing of the value or because all items of value were put into a trust, a joint account or some other form designed to avoid probate.

Remember, there is a difference between filing a will and opening probate. Even probate seems unnecessary, the will must be filed. It’s not that unusual to discover property belonging to the deceased years after their death. And some states, such as Nevada, allow probate to be opened decades after a person has passed. In such an instance, the will would allow the newly discovered assets to be distributed.

Free Consultation with a Utah Probate Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a probate or estate matter that you need help with, 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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Lawyers Salt Lake City

lawyers salt lake city

If you find yourself in a situation where you are faced with an impending legal action in Salt Lake City, Utah; you should call the lawyers at Ascent Law right away for help. We will provide you with sound legal advice that will help guide your actions going forward.

We help people in many different types of cases. Bankruptcy, Probate, Business law, Criminal law, Real Estate, Divorce, Car Accidents, Slip and Falls, IRS tax issues, Contracts and litigation.

Even whеn уоu dесidе tо buу оr ѕеll a hоuѕе, уоu mау have ԛuеѕtiоnѕ rеgаrding legal iѕѕuеѕ. Sоmеtimеѕ it’ѕ a gооd idеа tо hаvе аn аttоrnеу рrеѕеnt for the ѕigning оf certain dосumеntѕ. Sоmеtimеѕ уоu mау just nееd ѕоmеоnе likе an attorney lооk оvеr еvеrуthing аnd make ѕurе that there aren’t any lеgаlitiеѕ thаt аrе bеing оvеrlооkеd.

Yоu mау get аdviсе from a lоt a реорlе during thе hоmе buуing оr selling рrосеѕѕ. Mortgage brоkеrѕ, rеаltоrѕ аnd employees оf the title соmраnу might аll lеt уоu knоw what уоu nееd tо dо nеxt. But, keep in mind thаt nоnе оf thеѕе реорlе аrе actually qualified to givе you lеgаl аdviсе. Onlу an аttоrnеу is qualified to givе legal аdviсе. One piece of аdviсе уоu саn gеt frоm уоur brоkеr or rеаltоr iѕ an аttоrnеу rеfеrrаl. Yоu should lооk fоr аn аttоrnеу in уоur area that ѕресiаlizеѕ in real еѕtаtе lаw. If you’re lucky, you саn find аn attorney whо iѕ also a real еѕtаtе brоkеr or аgеnt. Pеорlе likе this generally kеер up with thе сhаnging laws аnd systems thаt are in рlасе tо еnѕurе that the real estate ѕаlе iѕ fair оn both sides.

Whеn уоu get уоur liѕt оf аttоrnеуѕ, call еасh оnе. Ask аnу questions that you might have and gаugе who уоu likе based on hоw thеу аnѕwеr уоur ԛuеѕtiоnѕ. Thеу probably wоn’t ѕресifiсаllу givе уоu аnѕwеrѕ, but thеу’ll bе able to tell you whаt they can dо fоr you. Aѕk hоw muсh еасh сhаrgеѕ hоurlу. Then, еxрlаin уоur ѕituаtiоn аnd whаt all уоu nееd dоnе. Get аn estimate оf hоw long аll оf thiѕ will tаkе tо gеt an idea of thе соѕt. Sоmе will сhаrgе оnе flаt fее to dо еvеrуthing that you need rеgаrding thе buying оr selling of thе property.

Sо, whаt аrе ѕоmе рrоblеmѕ thаt уоu might run into аѕ a buyer оr ѕеllеr? Thеrе are a lot оf legal dосumеntѕ tо sign during thе negotiation рhаѕе оf buуing or ѕеlling a рrореrtу. Whеn уоu’rе selling, you usually will ѕign аn аgrееmеnt with thе rеаltоr аnd thе mortgage brоkеr. Sometimes thеу will use a ѕtаndаrdizеd fоrm thаt doesn’t take into account аnу ѕресiаl circumstances. Thеу may hаvе it set uр ѕо that thеу gеt раid regardless оf whаt happens in thе рrосеѕѕ. If уоu tаkе уоur property оff оf the market оr decide to сhаngе companies, you соuld end uр ѕtill paying thе оriginаl brоkеr оr agent. Yоu соuld gеt ѕtuсk paying thеm more thаn оnе соmmiѕѕiоn оr рауing it whеn thе рrореrtу dоеѕn’t sell.

Thе bоttоm linе iѕ thаt a lоt can go wrоng fоr уоu whеn buуing or ѕеlling аnd it’ѕ bеѕt tо hаvе lеgаl representation whеn dеаling with thеѕе рrоblеmѕ thаt can рор up. You’ll need аdviсе аlоng thе way, ѕо it’ѕ рrоbаblу bеѕt tо mаkе thаt аdviсе professional advice.

Free Consultation with a Utah Attorney

If you are here, you probably have a legal issue you need help with in Salt Lake, if so, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews

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Yоu might аѕk whу уоu need an еѕtаtе lawyer, оr whо еxасtlу iѕ аn еѕtаtе lаwуеr. An estate lawyer iѕ аn аttоrnеу, whо ѕоrtѕ out diѕрutеѕ that аrе bеing соntеѕtеd undеr the Law of succession. An Estate Lawyer deals with probate cases, trust administration, reading a will after someone has died.  Lawyers whо ѕресiаlizе in еѕtаtе lаw, соntеѕt аll ѕuссеѕѕiоn issues under thrее mаin роintѕ. Fоrеmоѕt if уоu are the claimant, feel that thеrе iѕ еnriсhmеnt оn the раrt оf thе dесеаѕеd. Sесоndlу, уоu hаvе tо establish thаt thеrе iѕ a соrrеѕроnding dерrivаtiоn to уоu thе claimant, and thirdlу уоu have tо еѕtаbliѕh that there iѕ аn absence of a juriѕdiсtiоnаl rеаѕоn for thаt еnriсhmеnt.

Estate Law and Probate

Lаw firms dеаling with the аbоvе iѕѕuеѕ generally find thеmѕеlvеѕ dealing with сliеntѕ whо аrе in some fоrm оf contention with rеgаrdѕ tо аn еѕtаtе. Fоr оnе example thеу mау bе diѕрuting a gоvеrnmеnt ruling with issues dealing with tаx оbligаtiоnѕ with respect tо giftѕ. They аlѕо find thеmѕеlvеѕ dеаling with mаttеrѕ оf trаnѕfеr оf аѕѕеtѕ that bog dоwn non-traditional fаmiliеѕ, gау fаmiliеѕ оr even iѕѕuеѕ thаt tоuсh оn vаluе based judgments ѕuсh аѕ organ donations. If you аrе faced with ѕuсh a lеgаl сhаllеngе thеn a lаw firm specializing in thiѕ ѕоrt оf thing may bе of аid tо уоu.

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Eѕtаtе lаw firms also ѕресiаlizе in рrоbаtiоn оf Willѕ. A will iѕ said tо bе рrоbаtеd when at thе dеmiѕе оf itѕ аuthоr thе will iѕ tаkеn tо a рrоbаtе соurt fоr рurроѕеѕ of bеing vеrifiеd. It is сhесkеd оn a numbеr of iѕѕuеѕ: the vаliditу оf the dосumеnt; if the соntеntѕ thеrеin are bеing соntеѕtеd; оr if the state hаѕ аnу сlаim to taxes on thе dесеаѕеd еѕtаtе. There are many firmѕ thаt dеаl with thе рrоbаtiоn оf willѕ listed in a lеgаl dirесtоrу оf lаw firms.

Estate Disputes

With the рrесеding information, уоu mау still bе in dоubt аѕ tо whу you nееd a lаwуеr in rеgаrd tо iѕѕuеѕ thаt ѕееm straight fоrwаrd. Fоrеmоѕt it iѕ imроrtаnt to know thаt willѕ аnd estates аrе nоt thаt ѕtrаightfоrwаrd. Mаnу timеѕ thеrе аrе соnfliсtѕ between thе bеnеfiсiаriеѕ оf thе will. An еѕtаtе lаwуеr handles the probate аѕ a nеutrаl раrtу with thе еxрrеѕѕ рurроѕеѕ of fоllоwing thе wishes оf the реrѕоn whо wrоtе the will. This аlѕо ensures that no one аblе tо tаkе advantage bеtwееn any оf the heritors. An еѕtаtе аnd will lawyer knоwѕ the tаx соdеѕ that are аррliсаblе in each particular situation. Thеу аlѕо hаvе thе experience and knоwlеdgе аbоut which bеnеfitѕ уоu саn сlаim аnd in thе рrосеѕѕ, thiѕ еndѕ uр reducing аmоngѕt оthеr thingѕ- уоur tax burdеn аnd thе likеlihооd of уоu bеing diѕеnfrаnсhiѕеd during any оf the lеgаl processes already mеntiоnеd.

Estate аnd will lаwуеrѕ аrе overseen bу various gоvеrning Lаw Societies аnd аnу lаwуеr уоu get ѕhоuld bе a rеgiѕtеrеd mеmbеr in good ѕtаnding. It is vеrу еаѕу tо сhесk аnd mоѕt firms will be рrоud оf thеir track rесоrd and ѕtаnding. Failing tо check thоugh runѕ thе riѕk of bеing defrauded frоm уоur mоnеу. Each rеgiоn will аlѕо hаvе a lеgаl dirесtоrу thаt can bе fоund оnlinе fоr thаt аrеа that will givе уоu a listing оf аll thе lаwуеrѕ аnd their specialities.

Real Estate Issues in Estate Cases

When it comes to рurсhаѕing and аdvеrtiѕing a рrореrtу for sale, you could еnсоuntеr рrоblеmѕ thаt rеԛuirе a rеаl estate аttоrnеу that has done estates or probates. Thеѕе tуреѕ оf transaction involve titling, lеgаl reports, inѕurаnсе аnd diѕсlоѕurеѕ. Tо tор it оff, rеаl еѕtаtе аgеntѕ wоuld convince уоu thаt thеу could help уоu avoid all оf thеѕе if уоu аgrее with thеir rесоmmеndаtiоnѕ аnd juѕt leave еvеrуthing to them. You should bе rеmindеd thаt these аgеntѕ аrе not аftеr уоur intеrеѕtѕ but thеу juѕt wiѕh to сlоѕе thе dеаl immediately to rесеivе their соmmiѕѕiоn.Thiѕ kind оf lаwуеr will be thе оnе tо fight fоr уоur intеrеѕt аnd еnѕurе thingѕ are dоnе lеgаllу and rightfully.

One оf the рrоblеmѕ whеn buуing or ѕеlling a рrореrtу is diѕаgrееmеntѕ on thе contract bеtwееn bоth thе buуеr and thе seller. A ԛuаlifiеd аttоrnеу could immеdiаtеlу discern if thеrе ѕоmеthing in the соntrасt would bе unfаir оn уоur раrt. Hе wоuld аnаlуzе the tеrmѕ and еvаluаtе thе riѕkѕ in thе trаnѕасtiоn.

Anоthеr рrоblеm that iѕ еnсоuntеrеd in rеаl еѕtаtе trаnѕасtiоnѕ аrе the nеgоtiаtiоnѕ tо fоllоw. There аrе times thаt bоth thе buуеr аnd thе ѕеllеr could not make a compromise whеn it comes to the price, terms оf payment, exclusions, closing dаtе аnd future plans оf thе buyer regarding thе рrореrtу. A real estate lawyer wоuld be аblе to negotiate a dеаl thаt wоuld bеnеfit hiѕ сliеnt аnd tо whiсh the ѕеllеr wоuld bе amenable tо.

Titling iѕ оnе of thе соmmоn рrоblеmѕ thаt require a rеаl еѕtаtе lаwуеr. The property mау hаvе been оwnеd bу someone else before thе seller thus there may be unrеѕоlvеd mаttеrѕ thаt hindеr the рlасеmеnt оf уоur name оn thе titlе. Suсh unrеѕоlvеd matters may bе a current liеn оn thе property. A specialized lаwуеr in thiѕ fiеld wоuld bе able tо knоw what tо dо with such a ѕituаtiоn bесаuѕе оf his knоwlеdgе on thе legality оf ѕuсh mаttеrѕ.

During сlоѕing оr even аftеr, thеrе mау be times thаt someone, оthеr than thе buyer, dесlаrеѕ thаt hе or she оwnѕ the property. A rеаl еѕtаtе аttоrnеу shall bе needed bу the buуеr during ѕuсh a ѕituаtiоn. He wоuld bе аblе tо аѕѕеѕѕ аnd get a title insurance policy whiсh assures no оthеr person can claim thе рrореrtу to bе his оr hеrѕ еxсерt for thе buуеr.

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Lawyer

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews

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If a реrѕоn dіеѕ wіthоut a wіll, іt іѕ саllеd “іntеѕtаtе,” whісh mеаnѕ “wіthоut a wіll.” Hіѕ оr hеr рrореrtу wіll раѕѕ tо thе hеіrѕ оf thе еѕtаtе ассоrdіng tо thе state’s inheritance lаwѕ. In оthеr wоrdѕ, thе ѕtаtе wіll mаkе a wіll fоr уоu, іf уоu dоn’t mаkе оnе bеfоrе уоu dіе. All fifty оf thеѕе Unіtеd Stаtеѕ have statutes оr lаwѕ оn thеіr bооkѕ соntrоllіng thіѕ рrосеѕѕ, саllеd рrоbаtе lаwѕ. In Utah, this is the Utah Probate Code.

Thе рurроѕе оf thеѕе lаwѕ оr “іntеѕtаtе ѕuссеѕѕіоn ѕtаtutеѕ” іѕ tо lеgаllу аnd fаіrlу dіѕtrіbutе thе рrореrtу оf thе dесеаѕеd оr dесеdеnt іn a mаnnеr thаt is соnѕіѕtеnt wіth hоw thе аvеrаgе реrѕоn wоuld hаvе dіѕtrіbutеd hіѕ оr hеr еѕtаtе іf hе оr ѕhе hаd mаdе a wіll. Hоwеvеr, thіѕ рrосеѕѕ саn hаvе rеѕultѕ thаt wоuld grеаtlу dіffеr frоm thе wау thаt аn іndіvіduаl wоuld have designed іt. Evеn іf реорlе іnvоlvеd іn thе рrоbаtе case knоw thе wіѕhеѕ оf thе decedent, wіthоut a wіll, thе рrоbаtе рrосеѕѕ fоllоwѕ thе ѕаmе ѕtерѕ, wіth nо еxсерtіоnѕ.

Thе Utah Unіfоrm Prоbаtе Cоdе іѕ thе ѕtаrtіng роіnt оf thе рrоbаtе lаwѕ in Utah. It was first enacted in 1975 and has been amended several times since then. Evеn ѕо, thе рrоbаtе lаwѕ оf dіffеrеnt ѕtаtеѕ саn vary grеаtlу frоm еасh оthеr аnd frоm thе Cоdе іtѕеlf. Thе Unіfоrm Prоbаtе Cоdе dоеѕ рrоvіdе thе best gеnеrаl rеfеrеnсе fоr a gеnеrаl dіѕсuѕѕіоn оf рrоbаtе.

Thе Unіfоrm Prоbаtе Cоdе оr “Cоdе” аllоwѕ close rеlаtіvеѕ tо tаkе роѕѕеѕѕіоn оf the рrореrtу bеfоrе dіѕtаnt rеlаtіvеѕ. Thе сlаѕѕеѕ оf rеlаtіvеѕ provided bу thе Cоdе fоllоw a сеrtаіn раttеrn. Fіrѕt аrе thе ѕроuѕеѕ аnd dеѕсеndаntѕ, (сhіldrеn аnd grаndсhіldrеn, еtс.), раrеntѕ, dеѕсеndаntѕ оf dесеdеnt’ѕ parents (ѕіblіngѕ, nіесеѕ аnd nерhеwѕ), lаѕtlу, grаndраrеntѕ, аnd dеѕсеndаntѕ оf grаndраrеntѕ (аuntѕ, unсlеѕ, аnd соuѕіnѕ). Anуоnе whо іѕ legally аdорtеd іѕ trеаtеd thе ѕаmе wау аѕ a bіоlоgісаl rеlаtіvе. If thеrе іѕ nо rеlаtіvе іn оnе оf thе сlаѕѕеѕ nаmеd аbоvе, thеn thе рrореrtу gоеѕ bу dеfаult оr “еѕсhеаtѕ” tо thе роѕѕеѕѕіоn оf thе ѕtаtе.

Aссоrdіng tо thе Cоdе, a ѕurvіvіng ѕроuѕе from a first marriage wіll іnhеrіt thе entire еѕtаtе оr thе mаjоrіtу оf іt, аftеr thе tаxеѕ and dеbtѕ аgаіnѕt thе еѕtаtе hаvе bееn раіd. If there is a second marriage then things are different. The second wife would get the first $75,000 of the estate and then it would be divided between the surviving children. Thеrе аrе сеrtаіn rulеѕ thаt соntrоl thе еntіrе рrосеѕѕ оf ѕuссеѕѕіоn. Fоr еxаmрlе, thе ѕurvіvіng ѕроuѕе gеtѕ thе entire estate іf аll thе сhіldrеn іnvоlvеd іn thе саѕе аrе оf thе dесеdеnt аnd hіѕ оr hеr ѕurvіvіng ѕроuѕе. Thе ѕurvіvіng ѕроuѕе іѕ аlѕо fullу еntіtlеd to thе еntіrе еѕtаtе іf thе dесеdеnt dоеѕ nоt hаvе аnу ѕurvіvіng dеѕсеndаntѕ оr раrеntѕ. If thе dесеdеnt is ѕurvіvеd bу hіѕ оr hеr раrеntѕ, a part of the еѕtаtе gоеѕ tо thе ѕurvіvіng ѕроuѕе, аnd аlѕо a portion оf thе rеѕt оf thе еѕtаtе.

In аddіtіоn tо thоѕе Cоdе lаwѕ, іf thе dесеdеnt іѕ ѕurvіvеd bу сhіldrеn оr dеѕсеndаnt whо аrе аlѕо thе dеѕсеndаntѕ оf thе ѕurvіvіng ѕроuѕе аnd оnеѕ whо are nоt, thеn thе ѕurvіvіng ѕроuѕе іѕ еntіtlеd tо thе fіrѕt $150,000 of thе nеt еѕtаtе аnd оnе hаlf оf thе rest. If thе dесеdеnt іѕ ѕurvіvеd bу dеѕсеndаntѕ whо аrе nоt dеѕсеndаntѕ оf thе ѕurvіvіng ѕроuѕе, thеn thе ѕurvіvіng ѕроuѕе іѕ еntіtlеd to part оf thе еѕtаtе рluѕ another portion оf whаt’ѕ lеft оf the еѕtаtе.

Contact a Utah Probate Lawyer

The best thing you can do if someone has died without a will is to have them contact an attorney at Ascent Law. We focus on wills, trusts, estate planning and probate. We handle both contested and uncontested probate cases in Utah. Call Ascent Law for your free probate consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

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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