The decisions that you make about your assets now can have a profound effect on your family later. Potentially for generations both financially and emotionally and that is why you have to carefully select your estate planning lawyer. Weighed your options and thought hard about the consequences. That’s also why, when Estate planning attorneys in Provo, Utah serves as your executor, they take great care to get it right and ease the burden on your loved ones. And help ensure that your wealth ends up right where you want it, the way you want it to. Nearly everyone is surprised by how arduous settling an estate can be. And what it takes to handle all the assets properly. It’s not a job you want to leave to loved ones when they’re also burdened by grief. It’s best left to professionals who have the experience, knowledge and resources to support your family.
Keeping all the plates spinning any executor would probably agree that’s a good description of what’s involved in administering an estate. Even if it’s a relatively simple estate and when estates are larger, the stakes only get higher. Picking the right executor and the right team of supporting professionals—can make a meaningful difference in how easily and efficiently your loved ones will receive their inheritance and how well your plans are carried out.
What Does An Executor Do?
Though it’s a complicated and meticulous task by definition, we can narrow it down to three main activities:
• Identifying, collecting, securing and valuing an estate’s assets and liabilities.
• Preserving the value of the estate until distributions are made to beneficiaries.
• Managing estate assets to satisfy ongoing expenses and distributions. For example, to pay debts, expenses, taxes and for professional services.
How they can work with your estate
• As sole executor: They take complete responsibility for settlement, administration and estate disposition.
• As co-executor: They share responsibility for oversight and administration with other individuals.
• As an agent for the executor: An executor hires them to perform administrative duties, but retains final responsibility.
What they do
In whatever way you and your family choose to work with them, they can take care of all or any part of your estate administration needs from probate to final distribution of assets.
• Coordinate probate of your will.
• Inventory all estate assets and value the assets for estate tax purposes.
• Secure estate assets—cancel credit cards, review insurance coverage, transfer vehicle registrations, etc.
• Collect all financial assets, and pay debts and expenses of estate.
• Perform complete recordkeeping in compliance with accounting and tax law standards.
• Evaluate and determine reserves to meet future distributions, debts, expenses, taxes and other payments.
• Monitor non-financial assets, such as real estate, closely held business interests, and oil, gas and mineral holdings.
Accounting and tax management
• Collect and examine documentation, including personal bank statements, income tax returns and gift tax returns, if any, for the prior three years.
• File and pay income tax returns for the estate. Includes preparation of estate, inheritance, income and transfer tax returns, and responding to tax inquiries and audits.
• Coordinate preparation and approval of final accounting.
• Analyze and secure closely held business assets, assist with business succession, and make recommendations and decisions as a shareholder or partner.
• Market and execute the sale of real estate and other non-financial specialty assets—such as artwork, collectibles and other esoteric holdings—to meet estate objectives.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to own a huge house for it to be considered an estate. Your “estate” consists of everything you own when you die. This will include all but not limited to your home, personal property, investments, bank accounts, retirement plans and any ownership or interest in a business or partnership.
Probate is the legal process of settling the affairs of a person who has died (decedent), including asking the court to determine if the decedent had a valid will, or if there is no will (intestate) to determine the heirs of the decedent, and to appoint a personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The decedent’s estate is all real property and personal property owned to the decedent as of the date of death, along with any debts or obligations owed by the decedent. The probate process may include gathering assets, paying debts, notifying heirs and creditors, filing and paying taxes, selling estate assets, preparing and providing accountings, petitioning the court to close the estate, and distributing property to the decedent’s successors. Because of the complexity that can arise in even a small estate, we recommend you hire an attorney experienced with Utah probate law.
When Is Probate Required In Provo, Utah?
In Utah, probate is necessary when either of these statements is true:
• The decedent’s estate has any real property (land, house, condominium, mineral rights) regardless of value.
• The decedent’s estate has assets (other than land, and not including cars) exceeding $100,000 in value.
Benefits that are paid directly to beneficiaries (like life insurance or retirement benefits) are not included in the $100,000 amount. If property (regardless of total value) is owned by a trust or owned in joint tenancy, probate is not necessary. Even if probate is unnecessary, there are some circumstances when it may be advantageous to file a probate, such as to more effectively deal with creditors or in certain family situations.
How Much Does Probate Cost?
The costs and complexity of probate in Provo were dramatically reduced when Utah adopted the Uniform Probate Code. Ultimately, the cost of probate depends on the size and complexity of the estate. Most attorneys charge on an hourly basis. Attorneys who specialize in probate and estate settlement have the expertise to assist your family in a cost efficient and timely manner and can help avoid costly mistakes that can have seriously adverse tax consequences.
The estate settlement process may involve the following:
• Informal probate
• Formal probate
• Notice to creditors
• Trust administration
• Preparation and filing of a federal estate tax return – IRS Form 706
• Small estate proceeding
• Affidavits for collection of personal property
• Estate valuation and collection of benefits
• Estate and trust asset transfers
• Estate and trust accounting
• Real estate transfers
• Handling closely-held business interests
• Preparation and filing of estate or trust income tax returns – IRS Form 1041
• Collection of retirement benefits (IRAs, 401(k) plans, pension plans, etc.)
• Receipt and release forms from estate or trust beneficiaries
• Formal estate closing and accounting with the probate court
It seems like many people devote more time to planning a vacation, choosing a car to buy, or even selecting a spot to eat dinner than they do to estate planning deciding who will inherit their assets after they’re gone. It may not be as fun to think about as booking a trip or checking out restaurant reviews, but without estate planning, you can’t choose who gets everything that you worked so hard for. Estate planning isn’t only for the rich. Without a plan in place, settling your affairs after you go could have a long-lasting and costly impact on your loved ones, even if you don’t have a pricey home, large IRA, or valuable art to pass on. Not convinced that an estate plan is necessary? Consider these four reasons why you should have one and avoid potentially devastating consequences for your heirs.
1. An Estate Plan Protects Beneficiaries
If estate planning was once considered something that only high net worth individuals needed, that’s changed. Nowadays many middle-class families need to plan for when something happens to a family’s breadwinner (or breadwinners). After all, you don’t have to be super-rich to do well in the stock market or real estate, both of which produce assets that you’ll want to pass on to your heirs. Even if you’re only leaving behind a second home, if you don’t decide who receives the property when you pass away you won’t have any control over what happens to it. That’s because the main component of estate planning is designating heirs for your assets, whether it’s a summer house or a stock portfolio. Without an estate plan, the courts will often decide who gets your assets, a process that can take years, rack up fees, and get ugly. After all, a court doesn’t know which sibling has been responsible and which one shouldn’t have free access to cash. Nor will the courts automatically rule that the surviving spouse gets everything.
2. An Estate Plan Protects Young Children
Nobody thinks of dying young, but if you’re the parent of small children, you need to prepare for the unthinkable. This is where the will portion of an estate plan comes in.
To ensure that your children are cared for in a manner of which you approve, you’ll want to name their guardians in the event that both parents die before the kids turn 18. Without a will that names these guardians, the courts will step in to decide who will raise your children.
3. An Estate Plan Spares Heirs a Big Tax Bite
Estate planning is all about protecting your loved ones, which means in part giving them protection from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Essential to estate planning is transferring assets to heirs with an eye toward creating the smallest possible tax burden for them. Even just a bit of estate planning can enable couples to reduce much or even all of their federal and state estate taxes and state inheritance taxes. There are also ways to decrease the income tax beneficiaries might have to pay. Without a plan, the amount that your heirs will owe Uncle Sam could be quite a lot.
4. An Estate Plan Eliminates Family Messes
We’ve all heard the horror stories. Someone with money dies and the war between family members begins. One sibling may think they deserve more than another, or one sibling may think they should be in charge of the finances even though they’re notorious for racking up debt. Such squabbling can get ugly and end up in court, with family members pitted against one another. Stopping fights before they start is yet another reason why an estate plan is necessary. This will enable you to choose who controls your finances and assets if you become mentally incapacitated or after you die and will go a long way toward quelling any family strife and ensuring that your assets are handled in the way that you intended. It also will help you make individualized plans, if necessary—to arrange for a child with health problems or to set up a trust for one who might be better off not inheriting a lump sum. It can also help you give more to the child who did most of the work of caring for you in your later years or less to the one whose extensive education you funded while paying far less for their siblings.
Deciding whether to divide your estate exactly equally is one of the key tasks you need to think through. And, of course, if you’ve had more than one spouse—or have children from more than one family—an estate plan is urgent. If you want your assets and your loved ones protected when you can no longer do it, you will need a Provo estate attorney.
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Estate Planning Attorney West Valley City Utah
Estate Planning Attorney White City Utah
Estate Planning Attorney Woods Cross Utah
Divorce Lawyer and Family Law Attorneys
Ascent Law St. George Utah Office
Ascent Law Ogden Utah Office
|City of Provo|
|Coordinates: 40°14′40″N 111°39′39″WCoordinates: 40°14′40″N 111°39′39″W|
|Named for||Étienne Provost|
|• Type||Strong mayor|
|• Mayor||Michelle Kaufusi (R)|
|• Council Chair||David Harding|
|• City||44.19 sq mi (114.44 km2)|
|• Land||41.69 sq mi (107.97 km2)|
|• Water||2.50 sq mi (6.47 km2)|
||4,551 ft (1,387 m)|
|• Density||2,762.34/sq mi (1,066.61/km2)|
| • Metro
|Time zone||UTC−7 (Mountain (MST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−6 (MDT)|
|Area codes||385, 801|
Provo (/ˈproʊvoʊ/ PROH-voh) is the fourth-largest city in Utah, United States. It is 43 miles (69 km) south of Salt Lake City along the Wasatch Front. Provo is the largest city and county seat of Utah County and is home to Brigham Young University (BYU).
Provo lies between the cities of Orem to the north and Springville to the south. With a population at the 2020 census of 115,162. Provo is the principal city in the Provo-Orem metropolitan area, which had a population of 526,810 at the 2010 census. It is Utah’s second-largest metropolitan area after Salt Lake City.
Provo is the home to Brigham Young University, a private higher education institution operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Provo also has the LDS Church’s largest Missionary Training Center (MTC). The city is a focus area for technology development in Utah, with several billion-dollar startups. The city’s Peaks Ice Arena was a venue for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. Sundance Resort is 13 miles (21 km) northeast, up Provo Canyon.
In 2015, Forbes cited Provo among the “Best Small And Medium-Size Cities For Jobs,” and the Bureau of Labor Statistics found Utah County had the year’s highest job growth. In 2013, Forbes ranked Provo the No. 2 city on its list of Best Places for Business and Careers. Provo was ranked first for community optimism (2012) and first in health/well-being (2014).