Wills and Trusts in Utah Estates

Stephen Howard — Stone River Law

Real People. Real Solutions.

Wills and Trusts in Utah Estates

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

If you are married without any children and die without a will, Utah intestate succession laws dictate that your entire estate will pass to your spouse. Even if this outcome matches your intent, it may create a need to file a probate for the estate. Understanding your legal options and how various estate planning tools may benefit you is just part of what a good estate planning attorney can do for you.

Alternatives to Intestacy

Utah’s intestacy laws can create complicated distribution patterns for the estate of a person who dies without a will. For a married couple with no children, simply passing the entire estate to the surviving spouse may be an adequate initial outcome. However, upon the passing of the second spouse, application of intestacy laws can become problematic.

A last will and testament allows a person to formally establish their intent regarding distribution of their assets and property following death. A living trust is an important part of many estate plans, and can play a critical role in avoiding the necessity of filing for probate.

Sometimes a surviving spouse may not be able to manage his or her own affairs due to age-related health problems. Using a living trust in combination with a last will and testament, a trustee can be designated who will be responsible for managing property and assets on behalf of the surviving spouse.

Some people may choose to leave a portion of their estate to other family members or charitable organizations. In cases involving large estates, it may be beneficial to utilize more complex estate planning tools to avoid unnecessary taxes.

For some married couples, 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 estate plan under Utah law can help avoid the troubles and costs associated with filing a probate action in Utah.

Contacting a Utah Estate Planning Lawyer

Regardless of the size of your estate, understanding your options is key to creating a personal estate plan that will accomplish your goals.

Contact us today to see how the right estate planning attorney can help you.