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Utah Estate Planning Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Utah on

Q: My mother and father kept their finances separate from each other

he bought the house, she bought everything in it. When she died, in her will she left me all of her personal belongings (a handwritten list included with the will) which shows the furniture, etc. I've left everything in place since my father is still alive and don't want him living with just a... Read more »

Wesley Winsor answered on Apr 23, 2019

You can't disinherit your spouse. So regardless of what the will says, your father has a right to the first $75,000 + half of whatever is left over. Do you know if they had a prenuptial agreement? Probably not right?

So yes there is a marital interest. All personal property is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Utah on

Q: My mother left me all of possessions which include basically everything in the house. I'm leaving everything in place

until my father dies. My problem is that my brothers and their wives and children are stealing things from my father's house and they are the things my mother left me. I would like to charge them the replacement value of the item from the trust since I can't seem to get them to stop their... Read more »

Wesley Winsor answered on Apr 23, 2019

Hi,

I am sorry for your predicament. Who is the trustee of the trust? It is the trustee's job to safeguard the property. If they are not doing their job, then your action would be against the trustee. He or she has a fiduciary duty to possess and safeguard the property.

Wes

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Utah on

Q: If a trust specifies a yearly distribution to beneficiaries until all money is gone,

legally speaking isn't the money in the trust still considered the trustor's held in trust after their death until all money is gone.

the trustor had specific burial wishes and noted that there would be "plenty of money" for those wishes. Can't the money in the trust be used to fulfill... Read more »

Wesley Winsor answered on Apr 23, 2019

Hello, Good Question

The Trustor/Grantor/person who funded the trust is separate and apart from the trust itself. Depending on the form of the trust whether revocable or irrevocable the Trustor can retain some or all of the rights to direct the disposition of the property while they are...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Utah on

Q: Can the executor of a Utah estate be the sole beneficiary also (disinheriting children)?

Mother refused to make will. Her sister, who she very much disliked, decided Mom was mentally incompetent and had herself named Legal Guardian. Mom is then sent into assisted living and quickly passes away. Now her sister is saying the estate is completely bankrupt, mom made a will naming sister... Read more »

Wesley Winsor answered on Mar 13, 2019

The answer to your questions is, "yes" an executor can be the only named beneficiary of an estate. It happens all the time when there is only one child remaining or there are two children and one of them has become estranged.

You stated that your aunt, whom your mom disliked, became your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Utah on

Q: Power of Attorney Question about an Elderly Person.

My mother is in an assisted living center and I put her there because she is not able to function at home. Her husband has health and mental issues and threatens to leave, so I had no choice but to move her because she cannot be there by herself.

But he got his own Lawyer and they are... Read more »

Wesley Winsor answered on Feb 1, 2019

There is nothing illegal about it, unless your mom has truly lost her capacity. The fact that it is her legal husband that is doing this will probably hold more weight as well.

If you want to stop this, you will need to file for a guardianship or conservatorship with the Court so that no...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Utah on

Q: What can I expect to pay for an hourly fee for updating a will and trust?

Wesley Winsor answered on Jan 10, 2019

It is hard to say. Most estate planning will do this at a flat rate if they do it all. The reason they may not want to update (meaning drafting an amendment or a codicil) is that they believe that they will be held responsible for the rest of the contents of of the document even if you they are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Utah on

Q: My mom is number 2 trustee on my grandpa's and step grandmas will,what say does my mom have in it.

My grandpa passed away first. My step grandmas daughter is number 1 trustee

Wesley Winsor answered on Jan 10, 2019

Your mom is a contingent agent to carry out the terms of the trust. Until your step-grandma either resigns, becomes incapacitated or dies, your mom has no authority over the trust property by virtue of the trust agreement.

I hope this helps.

Wes

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Utah on

Q: In my house I have my deceased boyfriend guns in my gun safe can I keep them until I get my stuff he had at his property

This is in wyoming

Wesley Winsor answered on Dec 12, 2018

Hi,

I am sorry for the loss of your boyfriend.

The personal representative of your boyfriend's estate has the job of collecting and securing all property of the estate. The guns are part of the estate. In addition, Utah Law (which would be applied and respected in Wyoming) will...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Utah on

Q: In Wyoming can a partner or friend be administrator of estate if no will

Wesley Winsor answered on Dec 10, 2018

According to Wyoming law,

2-4-201

https://law.justia.com/codes/wyoming/2014/title-2/chapter-4/article-2/section-2-4-201/

A competent person has the lowest priority of anyone. So yes, the answer is yes, but if a relative, or creditor, or anyone who has a beneficial interest...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Utah on

Q: is it ethical for lawyer to communicate with court visitor and not share with opposing counsel this was done?

Judge ordered a court visitor for competency evaluation. The proposed ward hired a lawyer to halt the proceedings. The lawyer bringing the case then met for two hours with the court visitor before the evaluation while the counsel hired to halt these proceedings was not informed. The evaluation was... Read more »

Wesley Winsor answered on May 14, 2018

Hello,

Court visitors are charged with providing an independent assessment. The fact that the Court Visitor met with the attorney is not alarming and even not that unusual. Remember that the attorney is an agent for the person petitioning for the guardianship/conservatorship and the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Utah on

Q: 88 year old father's wife is ill and wants to sell their house (in her name) and put money in a trust, daughter Excec

We are concerned that our father is being cut out of things and will be left with nothing to care for himself. He is in good health. What can we do legally to protect our father.

Wesley Winsor answered on Apr 19, 2018

I am glad that you are concerned about your father. It sounds like they are dealing with some of the common issues that come with aging.

When I hear this, it doesn't make me too concerned. They may be trying to do some sort of Medicaid planning or VA planning. The first questions you...
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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 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 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 »

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 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 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 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....
Read more »

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 »

Wesley Winsor answered on Jan 29, 2018

The short answer is "yes". Will's are only valid after the testator (the person who makes the will) dies. Up until that point, they lie dormant. A power of attorney creates an agency powers that can be effective immediately. So if your sister's agency powers are effective, then she has the... Read more »

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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 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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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Utah on

Q: If a car dealership is to tear down a neighborhood, would the seller be required to disclose before selling?

Just found out, AFTER purchasing the home that a dealership is scheduled to tear down homes around mine. This will bring the value of my home down tremendously, and it was not disclosed prior to me purchasing the home.

Wesley Winsor answered on Aug 2, 2017

Unfortunately for you, no. Although, sellers will typically provide a "seller's disclosures" they are not legally obligated to do so. If they did provide a "seller's disclosures" and proactively said that they were not aware of any major changes to the neighborhood when if fact they did know... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Utah on

Q: My mother died 7 years ago my sister has been living in the home now the remaining sisters want to sell how do I remove

The sister and her property that's living there. The will states the house to be sold and divided equally, however we have allowed my sister to live there for 7 years and now she won't leave????

Wesley Winsor answered on Jun 27, 2017

Who has title the house? Is it still in your mom's name? If so then you will need to file an action in probate called a determination of heirs (probably as the normal time to probate an estate has probably lapsed) in order to get a personal representative appointed who will then have the authority... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Utah on

Q: Curious if I am a Beneficiary and receiving home with small Mortgage through a Trust will I be Responsible for

Her Unsecured Debt after She dies when I receive the Home?

Wesley Winsor answered on Jun 27, 2017

I am assuming you understand that secured debts are those debts that are not attached to something that the bank/creditor can repossess and unsecured debts are debts such as credit cards, personal loans, etc. where there is nothing physical that the creditor can reclaim if the debt is in default.... Read more »

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