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Commonly asked questions
What happens if a person dies without a will?
What is the difference between a last will and a living will?
What are the benefits of a living trust vs a last will and testament?
What does a personal representative do?
What does a will do?
When should you use a last will?
Do I have to have a minimum number of assets to create a last will and testament?
Who can have a will?
What makes a will legal?
Can a will be changed or revoked?
Is my will valid in another state if I move?
What happens to my debts when I dies?
Do I need an attorney to create a last will?
A last will is a testamentary document, which specifies your final wishes, how you’d like to distribute your property after death, and who will care for your minor children. A living will is a medical directive that communicates your end-of-life wishes in the event you are incapacitated or unable to do so regarding things such as treatment options, life support, organ donation, and others.
A last will provides detailed instructions on how property and assets will be managed and distributed when an individual dies. It becomes effective only after the individual’s death and after the will has been accepted by the court in a probate proceeding. Upon acceptance by the court, an executor or representative is appointed and given authority to carry out an individual’s wishes as detailed in the last will.
A living trust bypasses probate and provides detailed instructions on how property and assets which are held in the trust are to be managed and distributed. A living trust becomes effective upon its creation and provides for the transfer of authority to a successor trustee or representative without court involvement in the event of disability or death.
A last will and testament allows you to communicate your final wishes regarding how your property and assets will be passed to your beneficiaries, appoint someone as your personal representative, and name a guardian for your minor children if you were to unexpectedly pass away.
You should use a last will and testament to specify your final wishes, determine how your property will be distributed to your beneficiaries after death, choose a personal representative (executor) to carry out your wishes, and name a guardian for your minor children.
In Utah, a will must be made by someone over the age of 18 that is “legally competent” and of sound mind. This person must be acting on their own free will without influence or duress from others. The will must be signed by the person creating the will and two witnesses who are not beneficiaries.
Yes. If you create a valid will in the state of Utah, the U.S. constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause requires all states to honor the laws of the other states. However, if you do move, it might be wise to speak with a lawyer in that state to see if any changes should be made.
No, although it is highly recommended. In the state of Utah you can prepare your own will. You must date and sign your own will. In addition, the will must be signed by two witnesses. The witnesses must watch you sign the will and must be people who won’t inherit anything under the will. You may prepare your own, handwritten will. This will is called a “holographic will”. A witness is not needed, but you must sign the will. This type of will is not recommended because they are often not properly written and cause more problems down the road.
If you have questions about a last will and testament, please schedule a free consultation with our attorneys. We will give you advice and direction for your own personal situation. All of our estate planning packages include a last will and testament.