How long can I wait to file a probate action in Utah?

Stephen Howard — Stone River Law

Real People. Real Solutions.

How long can I wait to file a probate action in Utah?

A probate action in Utah is typically required to be filed within three years of the date of death. If probate is required, then a decedent’s will must be probated within that three-year period or Utah probate law (UCA 75-3-107) requires a presumption of intestacy that is mandatory and final. If a probate action is filed after the three-year period, then any property in decedent’s estate that is subject to probate will be distributed according to Utah’s intestate succession rules.

There are some potential exceptions to the three-year rule. But these typically will involve cases where there was some uncertainty as to whether the decedent had in fact died, or cases where there was a prior probate action filed in another state. But as a general rule, any required probate action should be filed promptly, and definitely within the three-year period to avoid triggering the presumption of intestacy.

Probate is not always required under Utah law. With proper planning, your attorney can help you create an estate plan that can allocate and distribute your assets and estate without the intervention of a probate court. While a last will and testament is a fundamental estate planning tool, even a simple revocable living trust can do much more to help avoid probate.