Estate planning and administration are subjects that can surface painful realities. Few people want to consider how to handle issues that will arise when they or a loved one dies. Careful preparation, sound advice and a commitment to work through issues beforehand can save you significant stress, family turmoil and pain later on. Following are some general information that individuals and families particularly those in Park City Utah should know about estate planning and administration.
Estate planning is not only for the wealthy. Many people wrongly assume that only those who are very wealthy need estate planning. This is not true. Without a will and other necessary elements of estate planning the government often makes key decisions about your assets like homes, bank accounts, vehicles as well as who cares for your minor children and how you are treated when you are unable to decide for yourself. After an individual dies there are formal procedures to settle, or administer, the estate. If the individual resided in Park City Utah, the estate will be subject to requirements from both federal and state law. Personal representatives are charged with administering an estate, and he or she will work with attorneys to make sure all legal requirements are met. If estate planning included a will, that document will identify the personal representative – or executor.
If the deceased has no will, an administrator will be appointed according to the guidelines set by state law. Typically, the estate will be administered by a spouse or a child over 18 years of age.
How is an estate administered? Before doing anything, personal representatives or administrators need documentation to allow them to act on behalf of the deceased. In Park City Utah these documents are obtained through the Register of Wills in the county where the deceased person lived when they died. Once they obtain legal right to administer the estate the representative must resolve several issues including:
• Locating the will and having it established as valid (also known as Probating)
• Notifying heirs
• Protecting assets (whether they be cash, property, etc)
• Paying any debts, taxes, etc owed by the estate
• Assuring that all state and federal laws are complied with
After all of these steps are followed, then a personal representative may distribute the assets to heirs.
Do you need a lawyer? As you can see, the process is complex. Not only are there federal and state laws to consider, but personal administrators often struggle with grief felt both personally and by other family members. In some unfortunate situations, heirs may dispute distribution of assets. For all these reasons, it is usually wise to consult an attorney for these matters. Working with an attorney experienced in Park City Utah estate planning can help you draft a will, a power of attorney, trusts and other documents that will protect your assets and make your wishes clear to those who survive you. Likewise, using an attorney for estate administration can assure that all legal requirements are met and that issues are resolved fairly and effectively.
Protecting Estate Assets With a Revocable Trust
Setting up a revocable trust is an easy and affordable estate planning strategy that offers multiple benefits. Along with safeguarding assets, the estate is exempt from probate; allowing inheritance gifts to easily transfer to heirs. People often prefer using a revocable trust because the document can be modified when needed. For example, modifications could occur when a person buys or sells titled property or if death or divorce from a spouse occurs.
Trusts are an ideal way to pass along titled property to heirs. However, it’s advisable to get help from an estate attorney as different strategies are used for different life situations. One tactic that married couples often use to ensure their spouse receives titled property is establishing Joint Tenants of Survivorship. The downside of bequeathing real estate or motor vehicles with joint titles is the property could be subject to probate if other estate planning methods aren’t incorporated.
All property which is not transferred to a trust or via assignment of beneficiaries has to pass through probate. The process typically takes several months as it involves settling every aspect of decedents’ estates. Not only does probate make heirs wait several months to acquire ownership of inheritance property, the estate is subject to probate costs, court and document recording fees, and legal expenses.
One major concern associated with probate is there is potential for court-ordered sale of assets. Creditors can file claims against the estate to collect outstanding debts. Or, relatives might contest the Will and suspend estate settlement until the court makes a ruling. Whenever a Will is contested the estate pays for defense legal fees. This often causes serious financial harm to small estates. On the flip side, property that is protected by trusts can avoid all the complications and potential pitfalls of probate.
In addition to making estate settlement proceedings simpler, revocable trusts provide benefits to the individual who creates it. As part of their estate plan, individuals will include power of attorney forms which authorize an agent to act on their behalf if emergencies arise.
Power of attorney is a valuable component of estate planning. These documents let agents assume a wide range of duties such as handling personal finances or taking control of a family owned business. While preparing power of attorney forms is important for everyone, it is especially vital for small business owners. Small companies can quickly fall apart if owners are unable to handle daily operations. The easiest way to avoid loss of business is to designate a successor to take over business operations if the owner is unable to be there. Individuals ought to also prepare a healthcare proxy and designate a personal agent to make decisions on their behalf if they cannot communicate. Healthcare proxies let people oppose or accept lifesaving treatments and procedures such as life support and artificial nutrition.
Last, but not least, individuals need to prepare a last will and testament. Wills provide instructions regarding property which is not included in trusts or assigned to beneficiaries. Putting together a comprehensive estate plan ensures that property can be passed along to heirs upon death without complication. Power of attorney privileges become ineffective after death, but offer many advantages during a person’s lifetime.
These are just of the advantages of revocable trusts. Since everyone has unique circumstances it is best to seek advice from an estate attorney. Doing so can make settlement proceedings easier for loved ones and can aid in reducing inheritance and estate taxes.
What Estate Planning Covers
Estate planning accounts for the administration of various matters after death, including but not limited to:
• Distribution of personal property to beneficiaries
• Allocation of real property interests
• Choosing and identifying specific beneficiaries
• Directions regarding health care benefits and life insurance
• Provision for the care and guardianship of any minor children
• Organ donations if any
• Power of attorney delegations
• Instructions for addressing debt, if any
• Arrangements for funeral proceedings
The plan for an estate is documented in a will. Again, this is much more preferable than leaving the decisions up to the regulations of probate law, which vary from state to state.
Planning your Estate According to your Age
As time passes, a person tends to accumulate property as well as responsibilities during life. Your estate may be constantly changing, and therefore estate planning will be different according to the various stages of life that you pass through.
For example, if you plan an estate before you are married, you will need to adjust the plan if you become married and have children. The addition of a spouse and children will change the way that your estate will be administered.
Here are some guidelines for estate planning during the major life periods:
• Under 25 years old and unmarried: At this stage most people do not engage in estate planning. It is likely unnecessary unless you are particularly wealthy or are in possession of unique or valuable property. Estate planning may also be necessary if you are critically ill.
• Unmarried with a life partner: In this instance a will is absolutely needed. State laws usually do not include unmarried partners in the distribution of assets, and so your partner will receive nothing if you do not have a will at death. You should specifically provide for your partner in a written document.
• Married Couples and Couples with Minor Children: You should compose a will providing for the allocation of property to your children, and, if necessary, to your spouse. The will should also appoint a legal guardian for the children who have not yet reached the age of majority (usually 18 years old). Regardless of what major life period you’re enduring, it’s a good idea to protect your assets and interests in case something were to happen. Consult a certified lawyer today who can begin drafting your will or trust.
The Many Responsibilities That Are Included in the Key Job Roles of an Estate Settlement Lawyer
Estate settlement and estate planning are important parts of planning for the future and the security of one’s near and dear ones. These are part of an individual’s last will and testament. And in the preparation of all these, the role of a probate lawyer is important who are generally experts in executing the last will and testament of an individual as per his or her wishes. To help with estate administration duties, it is important to record and draft legal papers through the court and for this, the estate executors have full independence to hire lawyers who are experts in these documentation processes. There are generally two kinds of probate lawyers and they are probate litigators or transactional litigators. It is typically the transactional lawyers that handle duties which are related to the estate. On the other hand, when the heirs challenge the will or there are family disputes regarding the same the probate litigators are responsible for looking into the matter and coming up with an agreeable solution.
Transactional lawyers are sought out when there is a need for submitting the death certificate and the last will and testament. If there is no will and there is confusion regarding the last wishes of the deceased, generally the estate settlement lawyers are required by the transactional attorneys to assist in the estate settlement procedures. There are some common estate duties like obtaining affidavits for real estate transfers; sending creditor notification letters; filing final tax returns, and drafting ‘consent to transfer’ forms for financial accounts. If and when the heirs contest the will or if there are any lawsuits regarding the same then probate litigators are hired to defend the estate during the probate process.
When it comes to the distribution of assets or properties and mediating the disagreements or disputes that might arise in the process the probate litigators can come in handy to solve all of it in an amicable manner. There are even some probate lawyers who have the skills and the qualifications of handling both the litigation and transactional cases. But it is always wise to check out at least three or more attorneys when someone is thinking of seeking the services of an attorney. There is no point in hiring the first one that comes along if ultimately he or she is not suited to do the duties which are best suited for the interests of the estate.
When a near one expires the whole family goes into mourning and it is a difficult time for them to say the least. It becomes a torture to think about estate planning and settlement when one is going through the process of grieving. Therefore, it is wise to seek the assistance of the estate lawyer who was involved in executing the will of the departed soul. But, it is also important that the estate settlement lawyer has the necessary attitude and personality for the proper administration of the estate. It is a sensitive matter and therefore the lawyer should be empathetic and should understand the dimensions of the family relationships so that the process is handled in a compassionate and gentle way, or otherwise the entire settlement process becomes a harassing experience. By engaging in estate planning strategies previous to death, individuals can avoid probate and all the disputes that result when there is no will and testament. It is a complex matter, to say the least when it comes to handing over the ownership of assets and properties and therefore all the documentation should be done in a proper manner so that there are no gaps while they are required to be filed at the court of law. Hence while appointing a lawyer many factors should be considered and then only the right attorney should be employed who can do justice to their roles.
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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
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Park City, Utah
Park City, Utah
|Named for||Parley’s Park|
|• Mayor||Nann Worel|
|• Total||19.99 sq mi (51.77 km2)|
|• Land||19.99 sq mi (51.76 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)|
||7,000 ft (2,100 m)|
|• Density||420.1/sq mi (162.21/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−7 (Mountain)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−6 (Mountain)|
84060, 84068, 84098
|GNIS feature ID||1444206|
Park City is a city in Summit County, Utah, United States. It is considered to be part of the Wasatch Back. The city is 32 miles (51 km) southeast of downtown Salt Lake City and 20 miles (32 km) from Salt Lake City’s east edge of Sugar House along Interstate 80. The population was 8,396 at the 2020 census. On average, the tourist population greatly exceeds the number of permanent residents.
After a population decline following the shutdown of the area’s mining industry, the city rebounded during the 1980s and 1990s through an expansion of its tourism business. The city currently brings in a yearly average of $529.8 million to the Utah Economy as a tourist hot spot, $80 million of which is attributed to the Sundance Film Festival. The city has two major ski resorts: Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort (combined with Canyons Village at Park City) and one minor resort: Woodward Park City (an action sports training and fun center). Both Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resorts were the major locations for ski and snowboarding events at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Although they receive less snow and have a shorter ski season than do their counterparts in Salt Lake County, such as Snowbird resort, they are much easier to access.
In 2015, Park City Ski Resort and Canyons resorts merged, creating the largest ski area in the U.S. In all, the resort boasts 17 slopes, 14 bowls, 300 trails and 22 miles of lifts.
The city is the main location of the United States’ largest independent film festival, the Sundance Film Festival; home of the United States Ski Team; training center for members of the Australian Freestyle Ski Team; the largest collection of factory outlet stores in northern Utah; the 2002 Olympic bobsled/skeleton/luge track at the Utah Olympic Park; and golf courses. Some scenes from the 1994 film Dumb and Dumber were shot in the city. Outdoor-oriented businesses such as backcountry.com, Rossignol USA, and Skullcandy have their headquarters in Park City. The city has many retailers, clubs, bars, and restaurants, and has nearby reservoirs, hot springs, forests, and hiking and biking trails.
In the summertime, many valley residents of the Wasatch Front visit the town to escape high temperatures. Park City is usually cooler than Salt Lake City as it lies mostly higher than 7,000 feet (2,100 m) above sea level, while Salt Lake City is situated at an elevation of about 4,300 feet (1,300 m).
In 2008, Park City was named by Forbes Traveler Magazine as one of the “20 prettiest towns” in the United States. In 2011, the town was awarded a Gold-level Ride Center designation from the International Mountain Bicycling Association for its mountain bike trails, amenities and community.