Although retaining a Vernal Utah probate attorney for estate settlement isn’t a legal requirement, it is a wise idea. Most people find it nearly impossible to endure estate settlement proceedings without legal counsel; particularly when heirs contest the Will. People can also hire a Vernal Utah probate attorney to establish estate planning strategies to ease burdens of the settlement process. Several methods are used to keep assets out of probate court so they can be transferred quickly to heirs and beneficiaries. Vernal Utah Probate lawyers are especially helpful in handling estates of people that pass away without writing a Will. This kind of estate is referred to as ‘intestate’ and is more involved because it has to be settled in accordance with Vernal Utah probate laws.
When a person writes a Will they can bequeath their property to whomever they desire. Wills can also be used to disinherit direct lineage heirs or to provide a no-contest statement prohibiting heirs from contesting the document. Without one, estate assets are given to the surviving spouse and other relatives that are entitled under state law. Nearly all property can avoid probate through proper estate planning. Titled property, such as motor vehicles and real estate, can be gifted to beneficiaries by setting up a joint title. Funds kept in bank accounts can be transferred by establishing payable on death beneficiaries. Financial investments, retirement accounts, and life insurance proceeds can be gifted using transfer on death beneficiary forms.
Estate planning strategies have to comply with Vernal Utah probate code which consists of eleven divisions.
Each division includes chapters and parts which are further categorized into over 21,000 sections. Few people have the legal knowledge to understand the vast amount of information, let alone know if they are in compliance. Working with probate lawyers is the only way to make certain estates are legally settled. As long as estate planning methods were established prior to the decedent’s death, estate settlement is relatively simple. Lawyers might only be needed to help the estate executor file documents through the court; negotiate with creditors to pay off outstanding debts owed by the decedent; or assist with transferring inheritance property to beneficiaries.
Vernal Utah Probate attorneys are especially helpful when family disputes over inheritance arise. Any time a person contests a Will all assets are suspended in probate until the case is resolved. Contesting a Will is particularly harmful to small estates because the estate pays for legal defense fees. If there isn’t enough money to cover costs, a judge can order assets sold which means that no one gets any inheritance. Vernal Utah exempts estates from probate when the value is less than $100,000. However, estate executors have to engage in estate settlement proceedings before inheritance property can be transferred to heirs. Common duties include: notifying creditors of the decedent’s death; settling outstanding creditor accounts; acquiring property appraisals for estate and inheritance tax purposes; and filing a final tax return.
People tend to put off writing a Will for a rainy day, but this can be a tragic mistake. Settling an intestate estate in Vernal Utah often results in complications that suspend inheritance property in probate for several months or even years. Estate planning isn’t hard and can usually be completed in a few hours. The only way to safeguard inheritance property and expedite the probate process is to write a Will and engage in methods that keep assets out of the courts. A good source for locating qualified Vernal Utah probate attorneys is the American Bar Association.
Using an Estate Trust to Avoid Probate
A trust is used to protect valuable inheritance assets and quickly settle the estate. Property placed inside the trust can be distributed to designated heirs within a short period of time. Depending on the type of assets, inheritance property placed into the trust may be exempt from inheritance taxation. Placing estate assets into a trust is the only way to avoid probate. The duration of probate can extend for a few months or a few years, depending on if decedents engage in estate planning strategies prior to death. Several reasons exist for placing inheritance property into a trust. The first is ease of distribution to heirs. The second is exempting items from taxation. The third is to avoid probate and the fourth is to keep estate matters private.
Decedents’ last will and testament is a matter of public record when the estate must endure the probate process. The information contained in the Will can be used by investors who buy probate property. Those who prefer to retain their privacy should consider placing inheritance property into a trust. Establishing a trust is a relatively easy process. However, ensuring the trust is properly executed requires assistance from a professional estate planner or attorney. A variety of trusts are available, but the most common include life insurance trusts, testamentary, revocable and irrevocable trusts. Most people can establish their trust within a day. The first step involves choosing an estate planner to assist through the process. A good place to start is by asking family or friends for a referral. Banks and credit unions often offer estate planning services at discounted rates for customers. Estate planners can also be located in phone directories.
Establishing a trust can also help prevent family disputes surrounding distribution of inheritance property. Death can cause people to become emotionally distraught and act in inappropriate ways. Family members who feel they have been cheated out of valuable property, or those who have been disinherited, often go to extreme lengths to acquire items they feel entitled to. Although placing items into a trust does not provide an ironclad guarantee that prevents heirs from contesting the Will, it does minimize the risk.
When scouting out estate planners, it’s best to work with someone you feel compatible with. Estate planning is a personal task that can sometimes be emotional. After all, you are planning for arrangements of your death and making important decisions regarding who will receive everything you have worked your entire life to acquire. Estate planners and probate attorneys often offer complimentary consultations to evaluate needs and discuss fees. It’s smart to consult with at least three professionals to determine which is best suited for your needs.
Trusts can be customized to suit your needs. Each type of trust has its own set of unique features, but all are comprised of four basic elements.
1. The person establishing the trust is known as the Grantor
2. Trusts are managed by a Trustee
3. Trusts have a Principal
4. Trusts have Beneficiaries
In order to transfer inheritance assets into a trust, Grantors must create a detailed list of property, along with property appraisals and legal titles for automobiles, real estate, and other titled property. The principal refers to money used to generate income for heirs. Trustees are allowed to use principal funds for estate-related expenses or investment purposes. If investment products are used to generate dividends, the proceeds must be used for future investments. Beneficiaries refer to individuals designated to receive inheritance property. Grantors can bequeath property to whomever they desire, but most gift assets to their spouse, children, parents, or siblings.
Trusts are normally reserved for estates valued at $100,000 or more. Individuals whose estates are valued at less can engage in estate planning strategies which allow them to avoid probate. Estate planning is one of the best gifts anyone can leave their loved ones. Working with an estate planner or probate lawyers can ensure you develop an ironclad trust and prevent family disputes.
Importance of Special Needs Planning
Having a child with special needs makes estate planning especially important and provides an extra layer of protection for your child. Special needs planning can give you peace of mind and confidence about the future of your child or other family member with special needs. Too often, families put off the task of planning because it seems overwhelming and confusing. However, it is not as difficult as you might expect, and is the only way to ensure your child with special needs will receive the best care when you can no longer provide that care yourself.
A Letter of Intent or Special Letter of Instruction is an important component of a special needs plan. It functions like a roadmap for any individuals involved with your child’s future care. The Letter of Intent is a working document which enables a future caregiver to carry out your wishes and manage the needs of your special child. A last will is also an essential component in a special needs plan. Your last will has instructions, including a special needs trust, for the management of assets passing to your child with special needs. Without a will, state laws will determine how your assets will be distributed. By preparing a will, you determine how you want your estate to be distributed and you also identify the person(s) you wish to name as the guardian of your child or children.
A common tools used in special needs planning is a special needs trust. The purpose of the special needs trust is to protect inherited assets so that the beneficiary will remain eligible for needs based government benefits. An outright distribution to a special needs beneficiary may result in a loss of benefits; potentially a tragic result. A special needs trust can give you peace of mind knowing your special person will continue to receive the benefits to which they are entitled while preserving a higher quality of life. Your planning should contemplate both, who will be the guardian for your minor children and child with special needs, as well as who will be named as the trustee to oversee the investment, administration and distribution of special needs trust assets. Each of these individuals plays a separate and distinct role, so you will want to carefully consider your choices and alternates. Planning for the future requires thinking about the kind of life you want your child to have when you are no longer able to provide care. Special needs planning should only be undertaken under the counsel and guidance of an experienced attorney. This is one area of planning that should never be a do-it-yourself project.
Important Tips For The Successful Real Estate Agent
Because of a declining economy, homeownership decreased. Many chose to sell or lost their homes. As the economic situation begins to right itself, housing affordability is at an all time high, and as a side effect, this is a great time to pursue a career as a real estate agent. This is a potentially lucrative field as long as the agent is willing to put in the time and effort to make the business a success. Becoming a successful real estate agent has many rewards. Besides being financially beneficial, there is the satisfaction of knowing that you have placed an individual or family in a home that will bring them many years of happy memories.
Making the business a success goes beyond training and certification as an agent, it requires not only someone who is knowledgeable of their field, but also a great speaker and communicator. A good real estate agent will have good speaking abilities. They must be able to inspire people to envision a life inside the house; in short, they must be able to sell. Taking courses as a motivational speaker may help. This is a business, so treat it as such. Create a business plan. This may seem like a daunting task, but there are several resources online to help people create a goal and financial plan, and if this is not an option, than hiring someone to help is always another way to go. Advertising is a must. The successful agents will market themselves well. This means creating flyers and signs. It means placing ads in newspapers and creating newsletters that state your skills and why people should trust you to find them their next home. Make sure to educate yourself.
Research the brokerages in your area. It does not have to be a big name company in order for you to be a success, but make sure the staff is knowledgeable and motivated to make their business as competitive as the big named companies are. Find a mentor who knows the ins and outs of the business and attach yourself to them. Soak up their knowledge and ask for advice.
Finally, a happy client means good word of mouth. Make sure to keep in touch with potential clients, and those who have already purchased a home. Make sure they are satisfied with your service, and they will be sure to recommend you to others. Becoming a successful real estate agent requires education, good speaking and time management skills, and the dedication to be a great agent that people can trust. For those looking for a great profession, this is a rewarding career financially and personally.
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