In Utah, "estate planning" broadly refers to the process through which someone determines what is to be done with their assets after death.
The first step in any estate plan is to figure out what you really want to be done with your assets after your death. This is a very personal decision, and you should discuss it with your family, and others who might have a direct interest in your decisions. As for really implementing your goals, you should probably speak with a legal and/or financial professional to figure out the best way to accomplish these goals.
In addition to decisions regarding the disposition of your property, you should decide how you want to spend your final days. For instance, many people have a strong preference about whether and to what extent they'd like to be kept alive by artificial means. Whatever your sentiment on this matter is, you should make it clear to the people who will be positioned to make such choices for you, if you are unable.
A reliable estate planner in Utah may also help you maximize the percentage of your assets that go to your chosen beneficiaries, by minimizing the impact of taxes and court fees. Additionally, preventing a will or other estate plan from being litigated in court will save your survivors an incalculable amount of time, money, and energy - and the better an estate plan is, the lower its chances of ending up in court.
Common Elements of Estates in Utah
Estate plans in Utah almost always have these elements:
Will: A will is a written instrument stating what you want to be done with your assets after you die. There are many dilemmas that can come up in the drafting of a will. Nonetheless, because the will doesn't have any legal or practical effect until after the person who made it died, they can't exactly correct these problems when they become apparent. Thus, quality drafting, usually with the assistance of a seasoned attorney, is essential.
Power of Attorney: This is an arrangement that gives another person the power to make certain decisions, normally related to finances and medical care, on your behalf, if you become incapacitated or disabled, and thus unable to make or express your own decisions. You can choose who you give this authority to. For obvious reasons, it should be somebody you trust.
Funeral Arrangements: If you have any sentiment whatsoever on how your mortal remains should be handled, you should make it clear to your family, in writing. You should further make the necessary arrangements with a funeral home, in advance. If possible, you should try to pay in advance for your funeral expenses, to save your survivors the further burden of planning and paying for a funeral. These arrangements should be laid out somewhere other than in your will, because a will normally isn't read for days or weeks after the testator's death, by which point it is usually too late.
Do I Need an Utah Estate Planning Attorney?
These decisions are normally considered extremely significant. For that reason, you will likely find that the cost of hiring an Utah attorney to be well worth its cost.
Interesting Facts About Utah
Utah is located in the Western region of the U.S. It has over 2.7 million residents, with about 80% of the population living near Salt Lake City. Utah is an important state in terms of technology and research, heavy industry, and outdoor recreational tourism. Utah became a state on January 4, 1986.
Salt Lake City is Utah's state capital and is a center of economic and social life. The state's Capitol Building is located there. Utah's state Supreme Court used to meet in the Capitol Building. Now, the Utah Supreme Court convenes at the Scott M. Matheson courthouse, also located in Salt Lake City. The multi-million dollar Matheson courthouse has been nicknamed "The Taj Mahal" in reference to its extraordinary cost.
Other courts of law in Utah include the Justice Courts, District Courts, and the Courts of Appeals. The state judiciary also maintains an online media resource center that assists media representatives in covering trials. Utah's laws are among the most restrictive in the nation. For example, the state has many laws outlawing activities such as gambling and it places heavy restrictions on the sale of alcohol.
Recognizing the community's legal needs, the Utah State Bar has officially partnered with LegalMatch. The state of Utah currently uses LegalMatch as its official attorney-client matching service. You can find lawyers in Utah through LegalMatch by posting your case through our online system. Utah lawyers offer services in many fields in order to meet the legal needs of Utah residents.