Asked in Estate Planning for Utah

Q: Father passed away with no will, He has 5 children 3 oldest kids with his first wife who he had divorced later and 2

3 oldest kids with his first wife who he had divorced later and 2 outside of marrige. who legally has the rights over property? Youngest child is saying he has the right to say who gets what because he is the benifacary for life insurance plan from fathers work

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3 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: The child who is the beneficiary of the life insurance will take that life insurance. However that beneficiary status has absolutely no effect on who inherits the rest of the deceased parent's estate. That will be determined by the laws of intestate succession. Most likely his five children will inherit the rest of his estate in equal shares.

Kenneth Prigmore and Wesley Winsor agree with this answer

Wesley Winsor
Wesley Winsor
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Yes, the life insurance beneficiary will get whatever it says in the contract and will pass outside of probate or the laws of intestacy.

All five children have an equal right to be the person in charge (personal representative), and also will inherit equally under the laws of intestacy.

It is likely that whomever initiates a probate case first will get it as the others will probably not object. It depends though and if there is enough contention, the Court might appoint an independent personal representative. IF the estate is small enough maybe it won't even make it to the Court.

I hope this helps.

Wes

Kenneth Prigmore
Kenneth Prigmore
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Spanish Fork, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: In Utah, when someone dies without a will, anything with a stated beneficiary, like life insurance, or a pay on death bank account, will go to the person stated as a beneficiary. Everything else, including a house, first goes to the spouse of the decedent, if all of the decedent's children were children of the spouse as well. If this is a second spouse and decedent had children with their first spouse, then the last spouse gets a large share, as defined in state code, and the remainder is divided equally among the children of the decedent. If the house is still on county records in the name of the decedent, you won't be able to sell it until a probate is started. Even without a will, you can start an informal probate. This may be necessary if someone with access to the assets is refusing to distribute the property according to state law.

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