T. R. Spencer, Ph.D., is a probate attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah. He can help you and your family to navigate end-of-life laws and manage the probate process.
If you are facing probate after a loved one’s death, you may have questions:
- Will you need to go to probate court?
- Will the probate process be difficult?
- Will your loved one's wishes be contested?
- Will you face extra taxes on the inheritance assets or property left to you or your loved one’s other heirs?
At the time when your grief is fresh, you must make important legal and financial decisions. This is a stressful time. The probate court in Utah is required to transfer assets from your deceased’s estate. It is necessary in many cases, even if the deceased left a last will and testament.
Probate in Utah
Probate is usually an uneventful process. It doesn’t result in the state or the federal government taking your property. It also doesn’t involve the assessment of extra or excess taxes.
In most cases, there is a hearing in probate court. An experienced probate lawyer will work with you and your family during the probate process.
Here’s what happens in most Utah probate cases:
- The Utah court authenticates the deceased person’s will.
- The individual picked to administer the will by the decedent must submit the document to the court for validation.
- The will is formally validated and the executor (the personal representative of the deceased person) is selected.
- The executor notifies creditors of the death, pays taxes owed on the estate, and distributes the assets according to the terms of the will.
What if the Deceased Didn’t Have a Will?
The probate court is required to make some decisions if the deceased failed to leave a valid will. A personal representative is also selected to administer the estate. If your loved one died without a will, you may need an experienced Utah probate lawyer at your side. Consult with a knowledgeable Utah probate attorney now. Once the court appoints the personal representative, he or she must communicate with any entity or individual with a claim on the deceased’s estate. The representative must contact creditors, tax authorities as well as heirs and beneficiaries.
What if Someone Contests the Decedent’s Will?
The presence of the deceased's will doesn’t guarantee a smooth passage in probate court. It’s possible for a family member to question the deceased’s will or the way in which it’s being administered. Contact a probate attorney now if a loved one’s will is being contested for any reason. Perhaps one or more members of the family or other beneficiaries dispute the will’s signature. The presence of another valid will create a legal dispute, especially if the deceased updated the document before death. In this scenario, the probate court in Utah may hear the dispute or argument and render a decision about the next steps. If this happens, probate may become more complicated.
Northern Utah Probate Lawyer
Attorney Terry R. Spencer, Ph.D. of TR Spencer & Associates offers guidance to clients throughout the probate process. Regardless of your loved one’s will status, TR Spencer & Associates will support your rights in Utah probate court. Call 801-566-1884 now to request a complimentary evaluation of your probate matter.