St. George, UT Will And Trust Lawyers
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What Is A Will?
A will is a legal document that clearly lays out all of your wishes for how your assets and possessions will be distributed upon your death – basically, it spells out “who gets what”, whether that is family members or charitable causes or something/someone else.
What Is A Trust?
A trust is a legal/financial entity that owns and manages assets both during your lifetime and upon your death. The grantor/creator (you) sets the terms of the trust and names a trustee to oversee the trust for the benefit of beneficiaries. The trustee and beneficiary can also be you, though you will need to designate others as backups in the event of your death or incapacitation.
Why Do You Need A Will And Trust?
A will and a trust have many positive benefits. They also prevent many negative consequences that would otherwise occur without them present.
Let’s start with a will – the best function of a will is that the courts will honor it when you pass away and it comes time to determine what will happen to your possessions. It will also provide your family with a sense of clarity and closure as to what your final wishes were.
If you do not have a will, the courts will use Utah’s “intestacy” laws to distribute your assets. The state doesn’t know your unique family dynamics or how your relationships may grow and change, and will likely distribute the entirety of your estate to your closest living family member, which may be someone you would not have chosen or even someone who is estranged from you, or who doesn’t have a good relationship with another family member that you would have liked to inherit as well. Having a will can prevent family conflict and guarantee that the right people receive the money that you worked hard to leave them.
However, a will does have drawbacks – it can’t avoid probate court, which is extremely expensive and time-consuming, and because it only goes into effect upon your death, it can’t help your family if you are alive but unable to make independent decisions.
That’s where a trust comes in. A trust can bypass probate, and pass your assets onto your beneficiaries privately, efficiently, and immediately upon your death, but it can also provide for the management of your assets in any unexpected life circumstance. If you are sued or need to enter a nursing home, for example, a trust can shield your assets so they are not in danger of being depleted. If you are incapacitated, a trust ensures that your estate will be properly managed during the time which you are incapacitated by a person you designate. A trust can also reduce taxes!
Different Types Of Common Wills And Trusts
There are many different types of wills and trusts available to choose from depending on your specific needs. Here are some of the most popular types:
- A last will and testament (likely what you think of when you think of a traditional will)
- A joint will (for two people, typically married couples)
- A pour-over will (converts to a trust at time of death)
- A living will (also known as an advance directive, makes wishes for medical care known)
- A revocable trust (flexible terms)
- An irrevocable trust (inflexible terms)
- A charitable trust (leaves assets to a charity)
- A special needs trust (protects assets for family members with disabilities)
What Our St. George Will And Trust Lawyers Can Do For You
Our attorneys can explain your options and help you pick the right will and trust based on your goals. We will take the time to get to know you so we can tailor your documents to your life – your life isn’t exactly like anyone else’s, and your documents shouldn’t be either!
Why Choose Proven Law
At Proven Law, we only focus on trust, estate, and tax matters, including the preparation of wills and trusts, and we strive to be the best at what we do! Our St. George will and trust lawyers have over 95 years of combined experience and have been voted the Best of Southern Utah for 4 years in a row. You can rely on us to give you all of the legal guidance and education you need to feel empowered to choose a will and trust, confident in your documents’ effectiveness, and at peace about the future. Call today to schedule a free 30 minute consultation and learn more about what we can do to serve you!
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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.
Why Choose Us?
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We Only Focus On Estate, Trust, And Tax Matters