How Probate Works in St George, Utah
Imagine that you’ve been working hard all your life, making a decent living for yourself and your family. Then suddenly, you pass away. Who cares for your family? What happens to your assets? That’s where estate planning comes in. A good St George estate planning attorney and probate lawyer can make sure your loved ones are cared for after death. One of the ways to help your loved ones get their inheritance in full is to avoid probate.
Call our experienced St George Utah attorneys at Boyack Christiansen Legal Solutions by calling 435-674-2564 to get started with your estate plan today.
Utah Probate Process
Probate is the process of transferring the assets of someone who has passed away to those who would be entitled to receive them under the law. In short, probate legally gives away your assets to your heirs. Probate is done through the courts, and can either be formal or informal.
Informal probate is when the personal representative designated under the will carries out the terms of the will without extensive court supervision. They do this unless an heir feels that they are not following the provisions of the will and decides to take the matter to court.
Informal probate is the easiest and cheapest method to administer probate because it doesn’t involve the court. Your loved ones can open the estate via an application, and can expect it to be opened within a few days, sometimes even the same day of filing the application!
Informal probate is most appropriate when:
- There is no contest or conflict over the will’s validity; and
- The original will is there.
However, if you die with no will or estate plan, your loved ones can still go through with informal probate if there’s no dispute about who the heirs are.
Even if there’s minimal court involvement, it’s still recommended to talk to an experienced St George estate planning lawyer. They’ve got the know-how to decipher the legalese to make sure that your loved ones get the assets you want to give them.
Formal probate is very closely supervised by the courts. Regular reports need to be made to the courts, and at times approval of actions brought before the court before the action being taken.
Unlike an informal probate, you need to file a petition for a court hearing before probate court. Once your loved ones have filed a petition, the court will schedule the hearing about two weeks to a month after submission.
You need to go through formal probate if:
- There are competing wills; or
- The decedent’s original will can’t be found.
If there’s a dispute about the identity of the heirs and you don’t leave a will, then there needs to be a formal probate to settle who the heirs are.
Excellent legal representation is important when going through formal probate. Our St George Utah estate planning attorney and probate lawyer can provide you with the best chance at getting your inheritance before the probate courts. Call us now to get started!
Why You Should Avoid Probate in Utah
Probate Records Take Away Your Family’s Privacy
If you go through probate, everything about your beneficiaries, assets, and liabilities becomes available in the public record. If anyone wants to, they can dig through the probate files to find out what they want to know about you.
In fact, people don’t even have to go to the court office to get your file! Utah keeps court records online, where anyone can access them.
Get a St George Utah probate lawyer to help you avoid probate and keep all your financial information and family matters private.
Probate Can Be Expensive
Court fees are one of the ways that courts get their revenue from. That includes probate fees. There are plenty of legal fees involved when you’re going through probate, even for just a modest estate. Imagine spending thousands of dollars on probate, money that could have gone directly to your heirs, instead of the courts.
If you hire an experienced St George estate planning lawyer to avoid probate, your loved ones get much more of the money that’s intended for them. Call our law office now to get estate planning help!
A Probate Judge Can Get in the Way
Once the court gets involved, your family will need approval for every single step in the probate process. This includes:
- Letting go of assets with no value;
- Selling or repairing real estate; or
- Deciding to sell or continue the deceased person’s business.
There are many complicated rules, tedious paperwork, and appraisals to be submitted. If you bypass probate, you bypass all the judge’s interference in your family’s financial affairs. Call our St George probate attorney now to know how you can bypass probate!
Your Family Won’t Get The Cash Immediately
Probate is a long and tedious process. It can take weeks, maybe even months, for your family to gain access to your cash. If you’ve just passed away, your heirs will be stuck paying for the bill for their daily needs and your funeral expenses while your money lays untouched in your accounts.
They will also have to pay taxes, maintain property insurance, and all that until probate is opened, which is not happening without a court order. If your partner does not have access to her own funds, she may have trouble paying for all of these as well as their basic living expenses.
If you avoid probate, your family can get the cash ASAP, which makes it so that you’re able to care for them even after you pass away. Get in touch with our skilled St George estate planning attorney today to get help avoiding probate!
Avoid Probate by Hiring Our St. George Probate Lawyer!
Probate can be a lengthy and costly process, and proper estate planning can greatly benefit people in handling this process or avoiding it altogether.
Some states permit probate through what is sometimes referred to as a small estate affidavit. In this process, your designated personal representative signs an affidavit, or sworn statement on a state-approved form indicating that the person who has passed away had a small estate as defined by the law.
This will allow some assets to be transferred without probate. I recently had a client successfully use this to recover some money from a bank account owned by her husband that she did not know about when he died.
However, you should keep in mind that real estate generally must be probated unless it is planned for through a trust.
Some assets can pass without probate, such as a pay-on-death bank account, or through a beneficiary designation on an IRA, annuity, or life insurance policy.
Our trusted estate planning lawyers at Boyack Christiansen Legal Solutions can help you avoid probate and make life a thousand times easier for your heirs. Call our St George estate planning law firm today to get the legal solutions for your estate.