Utah Estate Planning Attorney – Wills and Trusts

Stephen Howard — Stone River Law

Real People. Real Solutions.

Utah Estate Planning Attorney – Wills and Trusts

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What is the spousal share under intestate succession in Utah?

When a person dies without a will, Utah law considers that person to have died “intestate.” This means that the distribution of the person’s property will be determined by statutes enacted by the state legislature, rather than according to what the person may have desired.

Under Utah’s intestate succession laws, a surviving spouse is entitled to the deceased spouse’s entire estate IF the deceased spouse had no descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) or IF all of the deceased spouse’s descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse (in other words, the deceased spouse did not have any children from another relationship).

In the event that the deceased spouse had children, grandchildren, etc., from another relationship, then the surviving spouse is entitled to receive the first $75,000 plus 50% of the remaining balance of the deceased spouse’s intestate estate.

Avoiding Intestate Succession in Utah

In order to ensure that your estate will be divided according to your wishes, rather than as the state legislature determines under intestate succession law, it is important to create a valid last will and testament. A living trust or family trust may play an important role in a personal estate plan. In many situations, the costs involved in creating a trust as part of an appropriate estate plan are more than made up by the money and time saved by avoiding probate.