Utah Wills, Trust, and Probate
You should create an estate plan to provide for your family after your incapacity or death. The estate plan may include a trust, will, advanced care directive, durable power of attorney, and/or healthcare surrogate designation. It does not matter what your circumstances or the state of your finances; it is crucial that you continuously update your will whenever your circumstances change, by, for example, marriage, birth, divorce, death, or retirement. Talk to a Utah estate planning attorney about constructing the correct estate plan for you.
Your will may not be acceptable under Utah law if you do not word the will correctly or follow the requisite will formalities. As a result, your money and property may not be disbursed exactly as you intended, or the disbursement might be held up. The formalities required for a will in Utah include:
Utah lawyers who focus on drafting wills can help you make sense of the legal requirements and formalities that must be followed in order to have a properly drafted will.
Changing a Will in Utah
To alter your will in Utah, you should revoke (cancel) your old will and write a new will. To revoke your will, physically destroy the will, or make it clear in writing that you are revoking the old will. Alternatively, you can change your will by using a codicil, which is basically a list of the changes to your old will that should be attached to your old will. Be careful, however, to meet all of the formalities and legal requirements necessary for a will when executing your new will, or your codicil. You should discuss any questions or concerns with a Utah will attorney.
Trusts provide an alternate method of property distribution after death. In Utah, a trust provides a confidential, flexible way to dispense with your assets, avoid probate, and pay fewer taxes. Trusts also come in many forms, including revocable, irrevocable, and inter vivos (living). In addition, a Utah trusts and estates lawyer can help you set up a trust for a variety of purposes, such as for charity, education, special needs, and/or life insurance. Contact a Utah trust lawyer for any questions you have about setting up a trust, and for aid in the trust construction process.
Utah laws of intestate succession determine the distribution of property not mentioned in the decedent’s will, and distribution of property when the decedent does not leave a will. Intestate succession provides that property should be disbursed based on a person’s proximity of blood relationship to the decedent. Property mentioned in a will passes through probate. If you have any questions or concerns about probate contact a Utah probate attorney.
If property passes by intestate succession or if a testator’s will is vague, interested parties may petition the probate court to make a determination about how the property should be distributed, and in what amount to each person.
If an estate in Utah is worth $100,000 or less, beneficiaries of the will may follow an affidavit process out of court instead of going through the formal probate process. The affidavit just has to say that the person is entitled to an asset in the estate.
Intestate succession considers the following familial relationships in determining estate distribution:
It is always possible for persons interested in an estate to contest a will. To ensure that your will withstands the test of time, discuss your will with a Utah probate lawyer.
Utah Code, Title 75 – Estates and Trusts