Estate planning helps people make sure that their final property and health care wishes are honored, and that loved ones are provided for in their absence. This is usually done through the preparation and execution of different types of Wills. In some cases, a Trust may be necessary, though this is not common. Our office can help you determine if you may need a special Trust set up during your Will consultation.
Probate is the process by which the affairs of the deceased are settled. Probate courts also handle issues such as name changes and guardianship proceedings.
Our office offers a comprehensive “Will Package” that includes the following three Wills:
- Last Will and Testament. This Will disposes of your assets upon your death. Utah Advance Health Care Directive. This Will applies if you are not terminally ill but are unable to give medical instructions. It appoints a person to make medical decisions for you. This document also gives instructions to your physician regarding heroic measures if you are terminally ill. Springing Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Decision Making. This Will is activated upon your doctor’s determination that you are no longer able to manage your own financial affairs. This document appoints a person to handle all of your financial affairs.
- The flat rate for our “Will Package” is $700.00.
- That flat rate includes an intake appointment to discuss your wishes and needs, preparation of all necessary documents, witnesses and a notary for execution of your documents, the original documents with a special “Legal Documents” envelope, and two (2) extra copies of all documents prepared. An electronic version of your documents is available upon request.
The three Wills listed above are also available on an individual “à la carte” basis for Seventy-Five Dollars ($250.00) each.
If it is determined that a “Trust” is necessary for your Estate, we can provide you a quote for that additional document at the time of your consultation.
You will need to complete our Will Intake Form to bring with you to your appointment. After you have completed the Will Intake Form, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Basic Utah Will Information
What is a Will?
A Will is formal, written instructions of a person’s desire as to giving his or her property upon death to specific people, businesses or charities. To be effective, your Will must be in writing and it must be signed by you. In addition to being in writing and being signed, a will must be signed by two (2) witnesses. These witnesses must have seen you sign the Will. It is important that these formalities be carefully observed.
WARNING: If you make a will and later get divorced or get married, part or all of your Will may not be any good. It is vital to talk with your attorney about your Will before getting married or divorced.
Can a Will be changed?
You can change a Will at any time as long as you are of sound mind, that is, you know what you are doing. You may want to change your Will for many reasons, such as marriage, divorce, or birth of children or grandchildren. However, specific legal requirements must be met for a revocation or changes to be effective.
An amendment to the Will is normally referred to as a “codicil,” and must be completed with the same legal formalities as the Will.
What does a Will do?
First, a Will indicates who should get a person’s assets when he or she dies. If you want your stock in General Motors and your grandfather clock to be given to your niece Priscilla, you put that specific instruction into a Will.
Second, Wills can include instructions as to a person’s wishes for a funeral and final disposition.
Lastly, a Will can name the person you want to care for your children in the event you and your spouse both die before your children reach age 18.
What are the benefits of a Will?
A Will enables you to plan the distribution of your estate to provide for the welfare of your spouse, children, relatives, friends, and charities. This type of planning prevents later disputes among heirs and usually guarantees that your property will pass in the manner you desire.
A Will can determine when a gift is to be made, how and when money is to be released, and under what circumstances.
Who should write a Will?
Any person over 18 can sign a Will. In most instances, if you want to direct the distribution of your assets upon your death, you should write a Will. If children or other heirs are at all likely to argue over your property after your death, it is even more important to have a Will or an estate plan.
Probate proceedings are needed to ensure an orderly transfer of property after a person’s death. It is also necessary to:
- Safeguard the deceased’s estate
- Pay all debts and taxes
- Resolve who is entitled to what assets and to disburse the property accordingly.
Our office has extensive experience working with the Probate court, whether representing the designated Personal Representative, petitioning the Court for appointment of a Personal Representative, or contesting the appointment of a Personal Representative by a third party. A consultation appointment is required to discuss any Probate matter with the attorney prior to an agreement of representation.