Utah Wills and Estates Attorney

Stephen Howard — Stone River Law

Real People. Real Solutions.

Author: Stephen Howard

  • Utah Wills and Estates Attorney

    Last Updated

    Does a will make the probate process more complicated in Utah? No. Some people mistakenly believe that making a last will and testament will require or will complicate the probate process in Utah. Executing a valid will does not make probate necessary. And if probate does become necessary, a valid last will and testament can…

  • Should I use a quitclaim or warranty deed to transfer property to a living trust in Utah?

    Last Updated

    Whether to use a quitclaim deed or a warranty deed to transfer property into a living trust in Utah depends in part on who holds the property, how it is held, and who the beneficiaries and grantors of the trust are. Under Utah law, a quitclaim deed only transfers whatever rights the grantor has to…

  • Do I need a will in Utah if I am married but have no children?

    Last Updated

    If you are married without any children and die without a will, Utah intestate succession laws may dictate that your entire estate will pass to your spouse. For some couples, this may be an adequate outcome. But even if this is what you want done with your property and assets, often creating even a basic…

  • Do I need a will in Utah if I am married and have children?

    Last Updated

    If you are married, and if all of your children are also children of your spouse, and if you your spouse does not predecease you, then Utah intestate succession laws provide that your entire estate will pass to your spouse if you die without a will.  For many people, this outcome may suit their needs.…

  • Do I need a will in Utah if I am not married and have no children?

    Last Updated

    If a person who is unmarried and has no children dies without a will, Utah’s intestate succession laws dictate that his entire estate will pass to his closest heirs.  The estate will pass first to the person’s parents.  If the person’s parents have already died, then the estate will pass next to siblings.  In most cases,…

  • Will – Living Trust – Both

    If I have a living trust in Utah, do I still need a will? A living trust (sometimes referred to as a “family trust” or “revocable trust”) can be a powerful and versatile estate planning tool. But a living trust is not a substitute for a will. Both a will and a trust can serve…

  • How many witnesses are required for a will in Utah?

    Last Updated

    A last will and testament will be considered valid if it is signed by the testator as well as two witnesses. The witness need only be generally competent to act as a witness (see Utah Code 75-2-505). While a last will and testament traditionally could not be witnessed by a person who had an interest…

  • Is an ex-spouse entitled to inherit in Utah if there is no will?

    Last Updated

    When a person dies in Utah without a will, then the person is considered to have died “intestate” and the person’s distribution of that person’s assets is determined under the provisions of the Utah probate code dealing with intestate succession.  Utah’s intestate succession laws provide that a surviving spouse is entitled to a significant portion of…

  • Special Needs Trusts Lawyer in Utah

    Last Updated

    A special needs trust can be created through a living trust or as a testamentary trust created through a last will and testament. When established and managed correctly, a special needs trust can significantly improve the quality of life for someone with special needs. This page is intended only to provide general information regarding special…

  • Utah Estate Planning Attorney

    Last Updated

    Last Will and Testament Considerations One of the foundational documents in any good Utah estate plan is a last will and testament (commonly referred to simply as a “will”). It is a common misconception that a living trust can be used as a substitute for a last will and testament. Whether or not you have…

  • Davis County Living Trusts Lawyer

    Last Updated

    A living trust and a last will and testament can form the foundation of a complete estate plan in Utah. A living trust is not a substitute for a will. Instead, these two important estate planning documents can work together to help avoid probate and to help ensure that your estate will be distributed according…

  • Special Needs Trusts – Disability Definitions

    Last Updated

    Following are brief definitions or descriptions of key terms relating to Social Security SSI and other government benefit programs that should be understood in creating or administering a special needs trust in Utah. This page is not intended to be taken as legal advice. If you or someone you care about is disabled or has…