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St. George, UT Probate Lawyers

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If you have recently lost someone in your family, and are searching for information about what to do next in terms of settling their affairs, let us first express how very sorry we are for your loss. Death is always hard emotionally, no matter how expected or how close the person was to you. It can also be difficult to navigate legally and financially, especially if your loved one didn’t leave an estate plan behind; you may have to go through a Utah court process known as probate before you and the other beneficiaries can receive an inheritance and move forward. Our compassionate St. George probate lawyers can take care of everything for you and guide you every step of the way through probate to the quickest, most efficient resolution. Call today to schedule a free 30 minute consultation.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the process by which a deceased person’s assets/possessions are transferred to the possession of their beneficiaries/heirs. A court will distribute the assets either according to the terms of the will (if one existed) or according to Utah intestate laws. Someone – perhaps you, or another one of your family members –  will be named as the estate’s executor or personal representative. The estate executor/pesonal representative is responsible for overseeing the process and for carrying out the many tasks associated with probate, which may include:

  • Submitting the will to the court for validation
  • Filing a petition to begin probate 
  • Formally notifying heirs and creditors
  • Gather, inventory, and appraise assets 
  • Provide for the care of assets (such as real estate) while probate is pending
  • File tax returns and pay taxes owed
  • Settle outstanding debts with creditors
  • Distribute remaining assets to heirs
  • Communicate with the courts
  • Pay court fees
  • And more. 

Can Probate Be Avoided?

Unfortunately, probate is known for being time-consuming and burdensome for grieving families; it can also be expensive. Sometimes it may result in lawsuits from creditors or conflict among family members who disagree on their loved one’s wishes or with the estate executor’s actions. It involves a lot of paperwork and red tape, and it’s probably the last thing that you and your loved ones want to be doing at a time when you should be able to mourn peacefully (which is one of the reasons why it is in your best interests to work with our St. George probate lawyers). 

Probate is not usually able to be avoided after someone has already passed away (it can be prevented with the creation of an attorney-drafted trust or estate plan during their lifetime, however). If your loved one owned property in joint tenancy, that property will automatically pass to the surviving owner without having to pass through probate. Their retirement accounts and other accounts where they made “payable on death” or “transfer on death” designations will also likely not have to pass through probate. 

If the value of all of the assets subject to probate is less than $100,000, an affidavit can be prepared instead of probate; if the value of all of the assets subject to probate doesn’t exceed the amount of exempt assets, funeral expenses, final medical expenses, homestead allowance, family allowance, and costs of administration, then a simplified probate procedure may be able to be requested. If none of the above situations apply, traditional probate may have to occur. 

How Our St. George Probate Lawyers Can Help You

At Proven Law, we only focus on estate, trust, and tax matters, which means we are well-versed in Utah probate law. We understand how confusing and overwhelming probate can seem during this difficult time; we are here to simplify the process, protect your loved one’s legacy, and help you find peace of mind. Our St. George probate lawyers will take the time to explain all of your options and communicate with you frequently so you stay in the loop. Our 95+ years of collective experience can give you an advantage. Probate can take months or even years to resolve, so call today to schedule a free 30 minute consultation and get started. 

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St. George, UT Practice Areas

Tom and his staff were very helpful and patient in explaining everything to me because I had no idea what I was needing or doing. Very timely and extremely helpful. I have already recommended them to friends who knew I was going through the process.

Shawn J.

Tom and his staff were very helpful and patient in explaining everything to me because I had no idea what I was needing or doing. Very timely and extremely helpful. I have already recommended them to friends who knew I was going through the process.

Shawn J.

Proven Law

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We Only Focus On Estate, Trust, And Tax Matters

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(435) 688-9231