Probate, Estate and Trust Administration
Comprehensive estate planning practice includes services necessary to administer and settle estates and trusts and defend or contest the administration of estates and trusts as needed.
Joint Tenancy & Tenancy by the Entirety: Adding someone else to your assets as a joint owner (i.e. husband and wife,) or “with rights of survivorship,” this will avoid probate when you pass. The negative benefits to this strategy is, when alive making someone a co-owner to your assets, it allows vulnerability in the event of lawsuits or creditors’ claims against you, or your joint owner.
Beneficiary Designations: Utah allows Transfer on Death (TOD) or Pay on Death (POD) beneficiary designations to be added to bank accounts. Adding a beneficiary like this to your bank accounts can allow you to transfer your assets without giving away your ownership in such assets. The negative benefit to this strategy is, you have no way to ensure your assets will be distributed evenly or the way you would have liked, between your beneficiaries upon your passing, even if your Last Will and Testament states differently.
Revocable Living Trust: A revocable living trust is frequently recommended as the centerpiece of many of our clients’ estate plans. Our clients’ trusts typically help them avoid probate, plan for taxes, and pass their wealth to their heirs when they want and how they want. Revocable living trusts are superb tools to facilitate a smooth administration of an estate.
Settlement of Estates
The loss of a loved one is life changing. We assist clients in settling estates, including the preparation and filing of pleadings and other documents in the appropriate probate court, preparation of inventories and appraisals, settlement of claims, preparation of decedents’ final income tax returns, preparation of fiduciary income tax returns, preparation of estate and inheritance tax returns, participation in any audit of such returns, preparation and review of accounting's, interpretation of wills (including allocation of assets to marital dispositions) and distribution of assets to beneficiary.
Administration of Trusts
We provide advice to trustees with regard to the performance of their duties as trustees and their investment, tax, and accounting responsibilities. We assist with the preparation of fiduciary income tax returns and, in the case of revocable living trusts, the preparation of estate and inheritance tax returns upon the death of the trustor. As with estates, we participate in any audit of such returns. We represent trustees with respect to the interpretation of trust provisions and, upon termination of the trust, the distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
We represent professional and individual fiduciaries and beneficiaries in a wide range of litigation involving trusts and estates. These matters include breach of fiduciary duty litigation, will and trust contests, and claims disputes. We also advise clients on best practices to avoid litigation.