When a family member, friend or loved one passes away, his or her estate may have to go through a court process referred to as probate. This is the process whereby the Court appoints an individual, or sometimes multiple individuals, to gather, manage, and ultimately distribute the assets of the one who passed away. Probate may be necessary if the deceased individual had a will or if the person passed away intestate, meaning they had no formal estate plan in place at their death. Without a properly probated estate contention fighting may ensue amongst family and friends and assets may be unaccessible (i.e. insurance policies, bank funds, real estate) to be distributed. The time involved in, and the complexity of, a Utah probate case depends on the family, heirs, size of the estate, and type of assets involved and may determine whether the matter may be probated formally or informally.
Although each estate and probate is different in size, assets and heirs, the Utah probate process typically involves the following:
- A petition is filed with the court, requesting the Court appoint a personal representative to determine the validity of a will or to that a person has passed away intestate (without a will).
- The court sends notice of the probate proceedings to each heir listed in the petition.
- Depending on whether the probate is filed formally or informally, a hearing may be held to appoint the personal representative.
- The personal representative prepares an inventory and/or accounting and takes appropriate steps to notify possible creditors Whether the case has been formally or informally filed may determine whether or not the personal representative will need to provide an accounting to the Court.
- The assets of the estate are distributed by the personal representative.
Trust your probate case to attorneys with experience. Burton Attorneys at Law handles only matters related to the family. Because family law is all we do, we better understand the complexities and challenges you face in handling your family’s legal matters, such as probate. If your loved one has passed on and you have questions regarding the management and distribution of his or her estate, have one of our attorneys talk to you about the probate process.