Cottonwood Heights Estate Planning Attorney | Serving Salt Lake City
Having an estate plan in place serves as a safety net for your assets, ensuring that your property is divided according to your wishes after you pass and administered by those you choose. While this can be a sensitive topic, estate planning can help ease the distribution and inheritance process for the loved one that you leave behind. Setting up a comprehensive estate plan can be highly complicated, however, and requires professional legal assistance to ensure that all documents are executed properly. Because of this, finding the proper Utah estate planning attorney for you is key.
At John Park Law, we work alongside our clients to ensure that their loved ones are cared for every step of the way. By leveraging Utah estate law, we help individuals and families alike create clear, well-organized estate plans that specify exactly how their assets will be allocated and who will handle the distribution of your assets. A major part of this is getting to know our clients and their wishes. Call us today at 801-701-3330 to get the conversation started and learn more about how we can tailor an estate plan for you.
What Is Estate Planning?
In essence, estate planning is the collection of legal documents that are used to protect and distribute assets following your death. These documents detail precisely how you would like your remaining property to be passed down and who shall guard these wishes in your absence. A good estate plan will accomplish three functions:
- Protects the value of your assets
- Specifies who will receive your belongings after you pass away
- Allows you to decide who will make decisions on your behalf
Having an estate plan in place can lessen the burden on your loved ones following your passing by removing the guessing. It can help minimize wait time for distribution of your assets, name your beneficiaries, specify who can make financial and medical decisions on your behalf, and ensure that the legacy you envision is executed.
What Is Included in a Utah Estate Plan?
A proper estate plan is tailored to your unique needs, depending entirely on circumstances and the value of your assets. Generally, however, there are a handful of documents that are commonly included in an estate plan, including:
- Last will and testament
- Power of attorney for finances
- Advance Healthcare directives
All of these documents govern different aspects of life and property, and work together to explicitly state how affairs will be handled if you are incapacitated or pass away. To fully understand how these documents operate in an estate plan, consider contacting an experienced Utah estate planning attorney at John Park Law.
Last Will And Testament
A will specifies who will take over your assets following your death and how you would like your property to be distributed. It can also discuss guardianship of minor children and name an executor to oversee the estate plan process.
While there are different types of trusts, these documents are broadly used to safeguard assets for a beneficiary or beneficiaries. They can be used to avoid probate or limit exposure to taxes, two major legal burdens on families following the death of a loved one.
Power Of Attorney
A power of attorney allows you to name the individual who will manage your finances if you become incapacitated. This is crucial even if you are married, because without this document the court is able to step in and select an individual to serve as your guardian, who you may not see as the ideal candidate.
Similar to a power of attorney, the healthcare directive allows you to specify who can make medical decisions for you by naming a healthcare proxy and executing a living will. Here, you are able to ensure that your wishes are upheld regarding your healthcare, for example the use of ventilators or feeding tubes.
Do I Need a Utah Estate Planning Attorney?
Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to craft a legally enforceable estate plan without the help of an attorney. Errored documents or the absence of an estate plan altogether can result in a long probate process, guardianship or conservatorship court proceedings, or exorbitant estate taxes. The aftermath of a loved one’s death is stressful for everyone involved and it is not uncommon for conflict to arise in these situations. Having a comprehensive estate plan in place is key to avoiding such trouble.
At John Park Law, we believe that estate planning is an ongoing process. Our Salt Lake City estate planning lawyers listen to our clients’ wishes and reflect their vision in an estate plan that benefits both them and their loved ones. Call us today at 801-701-3330 to get started.