Fundamentals of a good estate plan in Utah

Articles related to Utah Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning:  ■ Fundamentals of a good estate plan in Utah,  Utah Trusts.

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What should a good estate plan accomplish?

Your "estate" is all of the money and property you own. A good plan for your estate will:

Senior couple making their estate plan

  • Preserve your money and property to care for you and your family so long as you live. 
  • Provide for someone you trust to manage your property if you should become disabled.
  • Appoint someone you trust to manage your property after you die.
  • Declare your heirs – those people and entities who will inherit your estate after you die.
  • Tell your heirs what property you own, which property to sell and which property they should inherit.
  • Describe a plan for management of the money and property you leave for heirs who cannot manage it well themselves.
  • Avoid estate and income taxes as much as possible.
  • Appoint someone to make your medical decisions and give them direction on your end of life decisions
  • Promote peace in your family.

What documents make up a good estate plan in Utah?

We recommend these documents in your estate plan:

1.   Last Will and Testament.   A Will names the person(s) who will wrap up your affairs after you pass on, names your heirs, and names the guardian(s) of your rminor children. Every Utahn who owns property or has minor children should have a Will.

2.   Utah Advance Health Care Directive.  This document combines a health care power of attorney (telling who will make your medical decisions if you cannot), and a living will (telling what should be done if you are close to death, cannot make your own decisions, and are unlikely to recover). Every adult in Utah should have an Advance Health Care Directive,

3.  A Durable Power of Attorney. This document names your agent(s) to sign your name on financial, government, business and personal matters. A "durable" power is one which continues in effect even you become disabled and cannot make your own decisions. Fo this reason, a durable power of attorney is a critical protection in the event you become disabled. Every adult Utahn who has property to manage should have a Utah Durable Power of Attorney.

4.  A Revocable Living Trust.  A trust is a an arrangement which allows you to give your property in trust tp someone who will manage your property according to your wishes if you are disabled or pass on. A trust has strong benefits in probate avoidance and protection in the event of your disability. We recommend a trust to most people over the age of forty, and many others.

These four documents make a good estate plan for most Utahns.

Helgesen, Houtz & Jones $$(801) 544-5306