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St. George, UT Estate Planning Lawyers

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Thinking about the future can be hard. Most of us are too busy to figure out what’s for dinner, let alone who we want to raise our kids if we pass away in an accident – and anyway, who wants to think about those things? It can be downright depressing to plan for a future without ourselves in it, but the truth is that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. If we don’t take time to ask the hard questions now and get the right preparations in place, we may not get the chance to later, and we could leave our loved ones in a difficult position. Proven Law’s experienced and compassionate St. George estate planning lawyers can work with you to make planning for the future as pain-free as possible. Schedule a free 30 minute consultation today to learn more and get started!
What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of determining what will happen to your assets – your possessions and your money – both now and in the event of your passing or incapacitation. An estate plan is a collection of legal documents that accomplish that purpose and that makes your wishes both crystal clear and legally enforceable.

Who Needs An Estate Plan?

Some people think that making an official estate plan is only for “rich” people, but the truth is that everyone who owns property in their name or who has family members needs to have an estate plan. One could argue that it is especially important to create an estate plan if you have extensive wealth, because there is more at stake that you and your family have to lose, but our St. George estate planning lawyers could also argue that it is more important to create an estate plan if you have minimal assets because they will make even more of an impact on your surviving family members who may also have minimal assets.

Why Do You Need An Estate Plan?

Not having an estate plan has several potential, negative consequences for you and your relatives.

For one thing, it is extremely likely that most of your possessions and money will have to go through probate, a Utah court process, before they can be legally transferred to your beneficiaries. Probate is notorious for being extremely confusing, complicated, time-consuming, and expensive, and it involves a lot of paperwork; it’s the last thing that grieving family members want to be doing when they should be able to mourn in peace.

For another thing, it’s possible that the state will have more control over what happens to your possessions when you die than you or your family members do (if you don’t have an estate plan). If you don’t at least have a will, then Utah’s intestacy laws will govern how your assets should be distributed, and will likely end up giving them all to the closest living relative rather than dividing them the way you would have.

Not having an estate plan can cause conflict among your family members who disagree over what to do with you, your care, and your assets because your wishes aren’t plain. It’s not just your death that an estate plan deals with, but your life as well; for example, imagine that you are in a terrible car accident and go into a coma. Critical decisions need to be made about whether to keep you on a ventilator or let you go. You never talked with your family much about this possibility, and you don’t have any legal documents anywhere detailing what you would have wanted; your spouse may believe it’s best to let you go, but maybe your siblings or parents believe that you would have wanted to stay on the ventilator for longer. Who gets to choose, and what is the right choice? The doctors won’t know if you don’t have an estate plan, and your family could end up in a bitter court battle over the right to decide.

What Should An Estate Plan Include?

An estate plan should have more than just a simple last will and testament, which will have to go through probate and which only helps after your death. You should also have a trust – a fiduciary entity that owns your assets outside your name and can protect them from lawsuits and creditors and that can distribute them quickly and privately after your death. There are several types of trusts, with the two main categories being revocable (flexible terms) and irrevocable (inflexible terms). You should have an advance directive, detailing your wishes for health care, and also a power of attorney, which designates one party you trust to make financial, medical, and/or legal decisions on your behalf if you become unable to. What documents you should have depends in part on your unique goals and life circumstances, which is why it is always best to work with local attorneys, like our St. George estate planning lawyers, in order to ensure your estate plan is without mistakes and customized to your needs!

Why Choose Proven Law’s St. George Estate Planning Lawyers To Create Your Estate Plan?

At Proven Law, we only focus on trust, estate, and tax matters, and we are very good at what we do! Our attorneys have over 95 years of combined experience and have been voted the Best of Southern Utah for 4 years in a row. We will take the time to get to know you, answer your questions, explain your options, and give you all of the legal guidance you need to feel confident in your plan and gain peace of mind. Call today to schedule a free 30 minute consultation and learn more about what we can do to safeguard your legacy!

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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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