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Questions Answered by William Tyler Melling
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Utah on
Q: Q: My dad passed away and had family heirlooms that were left on his property. Now my aunt thinks they should go to her.

Both my uncle and aunt have hired a lawyer to get my fathers heirlooms that have been in my parents house my entire life and a few things he inherited from my grandfather when my grandfather passed away. My father was still married so shouldn't the heirlooms automatically go to my mother and his... Read more »

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Mar 8, 2018

Assuming all of your father's children are also children of your mother, then the heirlooms are hers unless there is some other Will or instrument governing their ownership. Even if your father had children that weren't your mother's children, it would be divided between your mother and those other... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Utah on
Q: How do you administer a small estate?

First, if there is a small estate (less than $100,000 and no real property), does a personal representative need to be appointed and does the estate need to be summarily closed? Second, can a small estate affidavit be used to access money in a single-party account owned by the decedent?

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Feb 6, 2018

Usually, if the estate is exempt from probate (no real estate and value under $100k), then you should not need to have a personal representative appointed through the courts. Whoever is the designated personal representative in the decedent's Will (or, if none, the closest living relative) may... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Utah on
Q: Fathers will states his house to be left to my sister. if rented or sold money split between his children. she says No.

She is also the executor of his will and states after probate it is hers and she doesn't have to follow through with with his wishes. Is this legal? if not what can be done?

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Jan 31, 2018

I'm sorry for your loss. Much depends on the wording of the Will. Many properly-drafted Wills would contain language allowing your sister to occupy the home during her lifetime, but that the home be held in a Trust instead of in her name to avoid these types of problems. Even so, it is arguable... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Utah on
Q: question on my great grandmother's will.

my great grandmother's will left her house to my grandmother who died before her. My great grandmother's will said "if any of my children should pre decease me then their inheritance shall be had by my children's children" what I would like to know is does this mean that my great grandmother's... Read more »

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Jan 29, 2018

Generally, a Will is only effective for 3 years after death. After that point, a determination of heirs proceeding will be used instead of a probate proceeding. Either way, it appears to be the same distribution in this situation. When someone passes away without a Will in Utah, their estate is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Utah on
Q: My mother passed away 18 years ago. I was supposed to receive my trust money when I turned 33. I’m now 46 and haven’t.

My father claims the money was lost in the stock market. How do I go about getting what was left.

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Jan 29, 2018

This really depends on a lot of different factors. If the funds had vested to you (meaning they are not contingent on someone else like your father passing away), then the Trustee is responsible for those funds and was responsible for their appropriate investment. I would suggest contacting an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Probate for Utah on
Q: If a mom passes away and has a will for her kids to go to family will the courts go from her will. Or will dad?
William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Jan 29, 2018

It depends. Ultimately, child custody is determined by a judge. However, the nomination of someone in a deceased person's Will is taken into account. When another parent is still living, the children will usually go with that parent.

Finances, on the other hand, are 100% determined by the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Utah on
Q: Do I need to go through probate to sell my home after my husband's death

Husband died 7 years ago. I'm selling the house and was told they could not get a clear title without going through probate due to The laws being different in 1987 when the house was bought. We have one child together and he has two children from previous marriages.

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Jan 29, 2018

I'm sorry for your loss.

Probate is probably unavailable at this time, due to the length of time since his passing. Instead, you will need to obtain an order determining heirs. Most probate attorneys in the county where he passed would be qualified to help you with that process....
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Utah on
Q: Can a home be sold if living will states upon their death to sell home and split into 4s?

My mom has dementia, my older sister who lives out of state has power of attorney. My daughter who has lived with my mom the last 2 years taking care of her has also done her finances as my older sister would send them down for her to do. In my mothers living will i believe it states that upon her... Read more »

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Jan 29, 2018

I'll make a couple of assumptions here: 1) That her Last Will and Testament is validly executed; and 2) her Power of Attorney is validly executed.

Your mother's Last Will and Testament is only effective upon her death. Further, the agent under a Power of Attorney has a duty to act in your...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Probate for Utah on
Q: I cannot find my mother's will. I have a brother. He told me to handle things. Will we still go through probate?

She still owes on her house. We are going to pay it off. What about other bills? I was told to start sending the death certificate to bill collectors. She was taken to the hospital from work where she passed. Are they responsible for any of the bills? She was working for the local 99 union. She... Read more »

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Oct 9, 2017

I am sorry for your loss. Usually, if the estate has any real estate that was in her name and not held in a Trust, a probate will be required to transfer the home to the names of her heirs or to give you authority to sell her home. However, if you find that the back taxes owed, medical debts, and... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Utah on
Q: In probate do you have to declare a vehicle that was used, totaled, cashed out, and monies disbursed to heirs when debts

are more than assets? Death occured in 2011, not probated to date.

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Feb 3, 2017

Thank you for your question. One thing to keep in mind is that a probate will not be allowed in Utah if more than 3 years have passed since the deceased passed away. If you need to determine the heirs of certain property, a local attorney can help you with a court order determining heirs, but... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Utah on
Q: Selling a Salt Lake home remotely?

My longtime partner and I want to sell a home in Salt Lake. She lives out of state. Only her name is on the title, but both our names are on the second mortgage. The first mortgage is paid. How can we sell without her having to travel to Salt Lake? Should I be added to the title? Can't a Salt Lake... Read more »

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Dec 3, 2016

You shouldn't have a problem working remotely so long as you have a team of professionals working for you in salt lake. A realtor and a title company should easily be able to do everything for you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Utah on
Q: How long is the creditors period in the state of Utah

We are a Fiduciary Trustee and our client is deceased, I would like to know how long is the creditors period in Utah and does the Trustee have a duty to send a Notice to creditors? We are not Personal Representatives, but there are no estate assets so there will not be a formal probate.

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Oct 19, 2016

Good question. Usually, creditor claims to an estate expire 12 months after death. That being said, best practice is to notify before distributions are made to beneficiaries. Requirements of fiduciary trustees may be higher, so I would suggest retaining counsel regarding your legal obligations.

1 Answer | Asked in Products Liability for Utah on
Q: Could I be sued for a board game I created that doesn't have a choking hazard warning if I sold the business?

Board game is 20 years old. Has small pieces, doesn't have choking hazard warning label. My license is expired, all rights I had are gone. I'm selling 2000 games to someone else who wants to sell them individually. Am I responsible in case of worst case scenario "a child chokes" and there is no... Read more »

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Oct 18, 2016

It's hard to answer your question completely without more information. That being said, if the game is no longer yours to license, and you are merely selling the game wholesale to another seller, then I would suggest an indemnity clause in the purchase contract requiring the seller to assume that... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: Can I somehow get copy of will and trust from document writer. Is he obligated?

Copies of a recorded will and trust from Probate Court of my late father have recently became known to me. All siblings and I are named as beneficiaries. The recorded documents are deliberately incomplete, pages missing, leaving only the trustee in charge. as no one else is never mentioned again.,

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Jun 3, 2015

It seems like there is either some inappropriate conduct, or someone did not prepare the estate documents effectively. Either way, you should probably hire a trusts specialist in your area.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Arizona on
Q: okay my father recently died February 10,15 and he left my step brother as his executor of his trust, he recently sent m

he recen tly sent me a copy of his pour over will and a copy of his living trust, my step brother is acting very suspicious if u know what I mean, please help me I don't know what to do, I was told that I need a pro bono attorney

William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Jun 3, 2015

You may not be able to find a pro bono attorney to handle probate litigation in your area, but many will be willing to consult with you for free or for a small fixed fee to look over your documents and steer you in the right direction.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Rhode Island on
Q: If my sisters name is on my mothers house, can she keep the house when mom passes no matter what the will says?
William Tyler Melling
William Tyler Melling answered on Jun 3, 2015

You should clarify how the name is on the house. If your sister is listed as a joint tenant with survivorship rights (never recommended, but common because it's a cheap way to bypass the probate process), then the deed will control over a Will.

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