Utah Probate Attorneys
The Pacific Legal Group is here to help you with the probate process when a loved one dies. Probate is the court-supervised procedure that takes place after someone dies without a Trust. It includes proving in court that a deceased person’s will is valid, inventorying and appraising the deceased person’s property, paying debts and taxes, and transferring ownership of property, assets and personal effects to beneficiaries listed in the Will (or by Utah state law, if there is no will). Probate attorney and court fees are paid from the estate. The Personal Representative of the Estate, usually a family member, may also receive a fee.
The Pacific Legal Group can provide you with advice regarding the terms of the decedent’s will, prepare and file all of the necessary Court papers, provide guidance to the Executor regarding his or her duties, and represent the estate in all Court proceedings.
We can also assist you in preparing your own will or trust. Please feel free to call one of the experienced Utah probate attorneys if you have any questions about the probate process or wish to prepare for such eventualities.
Common Probate Mistakes to Avoid
The probate process has a reputation of being long and complicated. Although probate can be stressful at times, it doesn’t have to be unbearable. If you prepare ahead of time and work with a qualified attorney, you can simplify the process. Here are some common mistakes to avoid to make the process run as smoothly as possible.
- Waiting too long to start the process. While nobody expects you to start the probate process days after your loved one died, you should not wait too long. The longer you wait, the more complicated the process may become. Creditors may become pushier and taxes will continue to accrue. Once you have had a chance to process your grief, hire qualified Utah probate attorneys and begin the probate process.
- Not managing assets properly. If you’re the executor of an estate, it’s your responsibility to secure all the assets promptly. While you may just need to close financial accounts, you will have to lock up real property and maintain it on a regular basis. If the roof or something else needs fixed, you need to have a professional take care of it as soon as possible.
- Distributing assets too soon. As an executor, you might feel pressure from heirs to distribute their assets promptly. Although you’d like to give them their inheritances as soon as possible, you don’t want to do it too soon. Creditors must be paid before heirs receive their inheritances. If you don’t distribute assets accordingly, you could be held liable.
- Failing to maintain communication with beneficiaries. Most beneficiaries understand that the probate process takes time, but they still appreciate regular updates. If you go weeks without communicating with beneficiaries or don’t return their phone calls, they may become suspicious or upset. To avoid any issue, try to communicate with beneficiaries on a weekly basis.
- Forgetting to pick up mail from the decedent’s property. It’s important to get the decedent’s mail regularly to avoid missing notices and claims from creditors. Consider having all the mail forwarded to your address.
- Not hiring an attorney. The probate process can be complex, so it’s wise to have someone with knowledge and experience on your side. A probate attorney can guide you through the entire process and address all of your questions and concerns. Your attorney will keep you from making errors that could slow down the process.