Probate & Trust Administration Lawyers in Cottonwood Heights | Serving Salt Lake City
Every state utilizes probate and administration proceedings to distribute the property of an individual following their death. The probate and trust administration processes vary from state to state, and Utah has its own set of laws that govern the proceedings. Understanding the necessary steps of the Utah probate and trust administration is key to distributing a loved one’s estate following their passing.
John Park Law is a leading Utah law firm that focuses on estate planning, probate, and trust administration. We help our clients avoid costly mistakes during estate distribution and help ensure that their assets are handled with respect. It is never too early to begin estate planning, especially if you own assets or property. Call our Salt Lake City probate lawyers today at 801-701-3330 to start the process today.
Cottonwood Heights Trust & Probate Attorneys
Broadly speaking, probate and trust administration refers to the estate distribution processes that occur following the death of an individual. Probate is the process of administering their estate, organizing their finances, and distributing assets and property as inheritance. The probate process can also include paying any debts or taxes. Trust administration operates similarly, and the trustee is responsible for managing trust assets until they can be distributed to beneficiaries.
It is important to acknowledge that even if an individual left a will at the time of their death, the will must still go through probate to determine its validity and settle any potential disputes. Some assets may not be subject to probate, including:
- Jointly held assets
- Bank accounts, investment accounts, or retirement accounts with a named beneficiary
- Life insurance policies with a named beneficiary
- Revocable living trusts
The person who files probate is named the personal representative of the estate, which is akin to an executor. The case must be filed within three years of the person’s death. Utah Code 75-3-201 states that Utah proceedings must occur:
- In the county where the deceased person lived
- If the deceased person did not live in Utah, the proceedings will occur in the county where they held property
Therefore, if the deceased individual lived in or held assets in Utah, the probate proceedings must be filed in the state. Utah law provides for different types of probate proceedings, depending on the size of the estate and the circumstances surrounding estate distribution.
Types Of Probate Proceedings
In Utah, estates must go through probate according to state law, but estates valued at less than $100,000 are eligible for a simplified probate procedure. These “small estates” can be handled by filing an affidavit with the court and distributing assets after a given amount of time. This is a much more streamlined process than traditional probate, which can include court hearings and other more formal proceedings.
Under Utah law, three types of probates can be utilized, depending on the situation. These three forms of Utah probate include:
- Informal Probate: This process can be used if there are no familial or creditor issues to resolve, and is initiated by filing an application with the probate court. When the application is approved, the personal representative will receive “Letters Testamentary” and the distribution process can begin.
- Unsupervised Formal Probate: Formal probate is used when there are disputes regarding the deceased person’s estate. Unsupervised formal probate allows a judge to oversee and approve some aspects of the process.
- Supervised Formal Probate: Here, the court will oversee all steps of the probate process and must approve the distribution of all property and assets.
The length of the Utah probate and trust administration processes depend on many circumstances. On average, Utah probate will take between four to five months, with most proceedings finishing in less than a year. If disputes arise, this process can take much longer. Seeking legal counsel from an experienced probate attorney can help reduce the probate time frame.
What Are The Utah Personal Representative And Attorney Fees?
Utah law does not clearly specify personal representative and attorney fees, but rather states that both parties must be “reasonably” compensated. According to Utah Code 75-3-718, the court will determine the compensation of personal representatives and attorneys based on “quality, quantity, and value of services rendered” and the circumstances under which those services were rendered.
Navigating Utah Probate And Trust Administration With John Park Law
In some situations, the probate and trust administration processes can be streamlined and straightforward. Handling large estates and tumultuous family matters can complicate the proceedings, however. For this reason, involving objective legal professionals can greatly benefit the process.
At John Park Law, we work with family members and loved ones to quickly and successfully navigate the processes of probate and trust administration. Leveraging expertise in estate planning and probate law, we can get your loved one’s estate out of probate and the assets into the hands of the rightful beneficiaries. Call us today at 801-701-3330 to learn more about how we can help.