What is estate planning?
Planning for the preservation and transfer of a person’s property after their death is called “estate planning.” A good estate plan includes a will, powers of attorney, a living will (Utah Advance Health Care Directive) and usually a trust.
Who needs estate planning?
Essentially, if you own anything, you should have an estate plan — will, trust, health care directive, and power of attorney.
Proper estate planning usually involves more than just writing a will. While a last will and testament can be an important part of your estate plan, a personal consultation with an attorney can be the first step in understanding how other estate planning tools can be used to help you achieve your goals and ensure that your assets are used and distributed according to your intent.
Can I use estate planning forms from the Internet?
There are many free pre-printed and downloadable forms for wills and trusts. But cookie-cutter estate planning cannot replace competent legal advice. Your life and circumstances are unique, and your estate plan should be tailored to fit your situation. A set of documents that may work well in one set of circumstances may be completely inappropriate in another. We work work with you to create a personalized estate plan designed to meet your individual and family needs and goals.
Is a will enough?
A last will and testament is the most fundamental Utah estate planning document. It can serve as the foundation of and also as a starting point for your complete estate plan.
Regardless of how complex or simple your estate planning may be, there are important functions that only a will can accomplish. But most people will benefit from the use of additional estate planning tools such as a living trust, advance health care directive, and durable power of attorney. These common components of a good estate plan each serve different functions and can together help ensure that intentions are carried out.
Is estate planning expensive?
It is sometimes said that you get what you pay for. But creating a personalized estate plan can be more affordable than you might expect.
Trying to do estate planning on the cheap by using free online forms can backfire. Incorrect or inadequate documents can increase the chances that your estate will be subject to probate. Even if the documents are legally valid, stock forms may not accomplish what you really intend to do.
With the assistance of a skilled attorney, you can implement a personalized estate plan with tools and documents tailored to your individual needs and circumstances. Often, a well-crafted estate plan can save money in the long run. Many of our clients have been pleasantly surprised by how affordable our services can be.
What if probate becomes necessary?
A common goal in the estate planning process is to avoid probate. But in some situations, probate is unavoidable even with the best-made estate plans.
Although it is sometimes necessary, probate does nothing to add to the value of your estate. It can be time-consuming and costly. But in many cases where there is no dispute among the various heirs, an attorney can help move the probate process along more quickly and in a more cost-effective manner. In some cases where the decedent’s estate is relatively small, probate can also be avoided completely through the use of what is often referred to as a “small estates affidavit.”
Finding an Estate Planning Attorney in Utah
Estate planning is a way of helping to protect what matters most to you. For many people, this means ensuring that their children or grandchildren are provided for, preserving their estate, avoiding unnecessary taxes, or leaving a legacy of charitable giving. Utah attorney We work personally with clients to develop an estate plan tailored to fit each client’s individual circumstances and needs.
With offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties, we work to provide affordable estate planning services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation to learn how we can help you.