What does Intestate mean?
A person who dies without a will dies “intestate.”
The deceased’s heirs are determined by the Utah laws of intestacy, statutes enacted by the Utah Legislature found in sections 75-2-101, 75-2-102 and 75-2-103 of the Utah Probate Code.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process of proving wills, i.e. whether an individual died with a will or not.
Utah Probate is the court process of wrapping up the affairs of a person who has died, paying the debts, and transferring his or her property to others.
Purpose of a Probate
Generally, a Utah probate is required whenever a person dies leaving property which needs a court order to transfer the property to heirs.
Is Probate needed for someone who passed away without a will?
Yes, under the condition the deceased left property which needs to pass to his or her heirs. A probate will be required whether or not the dying person left a will. The heirs of a person who left no will are determined by the Utah laws of intestacy, found in sections 75-2-101, 75-2-102 and 75-2-103 of the Utah Probate Code.
Circumstances Requiring Probate
Including but not limited to the following:
- To identify the heirs and beneficiaries of a deceased person.
- To notify all interested persons of their rights in wrapping up the affairs of the decedent under the Utah Probate Code.
- To appoint someone as “Executor” of the estate to make decisions, sign documents, and act as directed by law and the court to wrap up the deceased person’s personal and financial affairs.
- To gather all records concerning the affairs of the decedent.
- To find and gain control of all the property owned by the deceased at the time of death.
- To find, verify and pay all of the outstanding debts owed by the deceased.
- To determine if the dying person, or deceased, left a valid last will describing his or her desires regarding the estate.
- To sell property of the decedent so the debts can be paid and the inheritances can be distributed.
- To nominate and appoint a guardian for minor children of the deceased if the children have no other living parent.
- To distribute all of the remainder of the deceased’s property to the proper heirs and beneficiaries.
How to Determine if Probate is Needed
The best way to know if you need a probate is to ask an experienced Utah probate lawyer. Under Utah law, such legal advice can be given only by a licensed Utah lawyer.
Our firm offers complimentary consultations to help answer this important question for you and your family.