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Utah Guardianship Proceeding

A Guardianship Proceeding in Utah must be commenced in accordance with the provisions contained in the Utah Code Annotated. The fundamental document, called a petition for guardianship, must be prepared – it is also called a “Guardianship Petition”. The Code provides the details as to the information to be contained in the petition. A Utah guardianship proceeding lawyer can explain its nuances.

guardianship lawyer

The statute states that the petition must be verified. This means that the person asking the Court to have a Guardian appointed must sign the petition and also assert as to the accuracy of the information in the petition and this assertion must be notarized. Among the basic information that is to be set forth in the petition is the age, address, name and telephone number of the alleged incapacitated person (“AIP”).

The location or address of the AIP is important since the Court will use this information to determine where the Guardianship case is to be filed. Section 81.05 of the MHL states that the proceeding is to be filed in the county where the AIP “resides, or is physically present”. Interestingly, the statues makes clear that if the AIP is being cared for in a facility, his residence is considered to be the county where the facility is located.

One of the most essential requirements of a petition is to describe the AIP’s functional level and his ability to care for his activities of daily living. Typically, the petition will describe the particular circumstances relating to the AIP’s incapacity. For example, the petition may describe in detail facts relating to the AIP’s illness and the limitations that have resulted in the AIP’s abilities such as lack of mobility, psychological impairments and the inability to attend to personal chores or hygiene. Each petition will have a different story to tell about the AIP. A guardianship proceeding lawyer can help Utah residents tell the full story.

The petition also must list the various powers that the petitioner is seeking regarding the AIP’s property management and personal needs. Also, it is necessary to provide the Court with the names and addresses of the AIP’s next of kin. There are provisions in Section 81.07 of the MHL that require that a Notice of Guardianship Proceeding be given to an AIP’s spouse, parent, children, siblings and other relatives.

There is also a need to include in the petition a description of the assets and income that are available to the AIP as well as his debts and obligations. This information will assist the Court in determining to what extent a Guardian is needed to handle the AIP’s property management. This information is also needed by the Court Evaluator so that a review can be commenced regarding the status of the AIP’s financial situation.

Utah Probate Court Lawyer

Experienced With the Utah Probate Court

Probate of an estate is usually handled by a court located in the same county and state where the deceased was domiciled at the time of his or her death.  Every state has some court that has the jurisdiction to handle probate matters, but not every state calls this court the same thing. For example, in Utah, the probate court is known as the District Court on the Probate Court Calendar – in Salt Lake City, they rotate the probate judge about every 6 months. A Utah probate lawyer can help handle these matters for you.

The domicile of a decedent is important in estate administration.  Domicile is the place where a person maintains his primary home.  A person can have many residences but only one domicile.  It is where a person typically files local taxes, votes and has a driver’s license.  A person’s state or country of domicile determines which laws and rules control his estate and certain tax matters.  It is important to know a person’s domicile since the laws of various jurisdictions may differ as to such items as intestate distribution and taxation.  Some states, such as Utah, have an estate tax while others do not.

The Probate Court Utah or District Court has the jurisdiction to handle matters relating to a decedent’s estate.  Proceedings that are handled in the probate court Utah include probate proceedings where the person has a last will and Administration proceedings where a person dies intestate or without a last will.  Other proceedings handled in the probate court Utah include accounting proceedings where the Executor or Administrator provides a record of all financial transactions involved in a decedent’s estate.  These proceedings can be amicable or can involve disputes and litigation. To handle their complexities, you should retain a probate lawyer in Utah.

There are many other types of proceedings that occur in the probate court relating to a decedent’s estate settlement.  For example, if the language in a Last Will or Trust is unclear or ambiguous, there may be the need for a construction proceeding to determine the meaning of the document.  Also, if an estate executor or administrator believes that a third party is withholding assets that rightfully belong to the estate, the fiduciary can file a discovery or turnover proceeding to force the third party to deliver the assets to the estate.  The jurisdiction of the Surrogate’s Court such as the Court can be quite broad.  The Court is authorized to deal with many different matters that relate to a decedent.  For example, it may be necessary to determine whether a lifetime gift by a decedent was valid or the result of undue influence or fraud.  Also, the Court may need to determine the extent of the estate’s interest in a business such as a partnership or small business corporation.  It is possible that the decedent’s estate can be involved in a dispute concerning a partnership agreement or shareholder agreement.  In some cases questions may arise as to the validity or interpretation of a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement or a divorce settlement.

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a probate or guardianship issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506