Salt Lake Estate Planning Attorneys - Serving All of Utah
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Utah Last Will and Testament Attorney

A will is perhaps the most fundamental estate planning document.  A will allows you to designate how your property will be distributed after your death.  If you die without a will, you are considered to have died "intestate" and decisions about who will inherit your property will be made according to state law through the probate process, even if you have expressed different wishes during your life.

A will can also allow you to make provisions for the care and custody of any minor children you leave behind.  If you have minor children, you will want to designate both a guardian and a trustee for your children.  The guardian will normally have custody of the children and will make decisions regarding their care, education, health treatment, etc.  The trustee is the person designated to manage financial matters relating to the children and to hold any property on their behalf until they reach a certain age.  You can designate the same person to be both guardian and trustee, or you can have a separate person serve in each position.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.

A will typically will not avoid the necessity of probate.  While a will does do away with the problems associated with intestacy proceedings, your estate may still have to go through probate so that a personal representative can be appointed and letters testamentary can be issued.  The probate process can be required so that the personal representative can sell or dispose of a home or other real property and otherwise distribute the estate to your heirs.  If you are interested in avoiding probate, other estate planning tools such as a revocable living trust may be appropriate.

Contact us to learn more about wills, trusts, and other estate planning tools in Utah.



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