Q: Can anything be done when in the process of a trust and the grantor dies before signing?
We were in the process of setting up a trust for my sick mother when she suddenly became so sick (the day of hoping to sign in fact). Hindered by getting a notary public because of Covid, is there anything we can do?
A: Sadly, if the document is not signed it has no legal impact on the estate. If she died with a prior will and trust then that would be controlling. If there is no will or trust signed, dated, witnessed and notarized, then she died intestate. The rules of intestate succession in the state where she was living when she died would be controlling and would determine how her property is distributed. You should contact an estates attorney to assist in the administration of the estate.
So sorry for your loss. This sounds like your mother had good intentions but was simply unable to carry them out.
If she owned real estate that was not held in a trust, a probate will normally be necessary to transfer the property out of her name. This will depend on how she owned the property. If she was a joint tenant with someone else, then the other person now owns the entire property.
If your mother left money and property worth less than $100,000, then Utah Law allows for her bank accounts and vehicles to be transferred using a Small Estate Affidavit. This can happen without a probate.
For forms, go to the state court website: https://www.utcourts.gov/howto/smallestates/ (scroll to the bottom for the forms.)
Most Attorneys will meet with you at no charge if you choose not to retain their services. I recommend making an appointment and discussing the details of your situation with an attorney. The details make all the difference in how to proceed.
Steven J. Fromm agrees with this answer
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