What is a Deathbed Will?

The approaching specter of death is something people often avoid, either by not making an estate plan or not updating their estate plan. Then, when it is near, it suddenly becomes necessary to make updates or changes to the plan. Often, these changes are due to family circumstances (those kids your last will left in…

Trusts, Estates, and Capacity Issues

When someone comes into our office to start or update their estate plan, one important item that our attorneys are considering is whether they are mentally competent to make these decisions. Someone must have testamentary capacity in order to make a valid will, meaning that they are of sound mind and have an understanding of…

Managing a Business in an Estate

For business owners, estate planning is an important part of succession planning to ensure that your business will survive to benefit your heirs, your employees will have stable employment, and your business will continue to honor its contracts and meet the needs of its customers. Further, a significant portion of your wealth is likely tied…

Costs of Estate Administration

Administering an estate, especially a large or complex estate, is not an easy task and there are certain fees and costs associated with the process. Most of these fees are straightforward and all come out of the estate itself so the heirs do not have to come out of pocket to obtain their inheritance. At…

Naming Secondary Beneficiaries

Secondary or contingent beneficiaries are those who will inherit assets if the primary beneficiary is no longer able to inherit, generally because they died before or simultaneously with, the estate’s grantor. A secondary beneficiary can be an individual or an entity. For example, the primary beneficiaries of an estate can be the children of the…

Who Handles an Estate Sale?

Driving down the road you see the sign, “Estate sale” and turn in. You’re greeted at a house with a jumble of items, a yard sale but with far better treasures all being sold off by a family who just doesn’t have any more space. Elvis records mixed in with Chopin, delightfully dated furniture needing…

How an Estate Handles End-of-Life Bills

Few people plan and expect to pass away and even those that know it’s imminent leave behind the final set of bills covering their care, utilities, and other expenses. These final bills, along with funeral expenses, fall to the personal representative to handle. Estate Accounting The first step for most estates is to make an…

Estates and Common Law Marriage

Utah is one of a handful of states that still allows couples to petition the court to recognize them as married even though they never had a ceremony or obtained a marriage license. This requires a showing that the parties were of an age to consent, that the lived together, that they treated each other…