What are some important rules to know about probate courts in Utah?

Salt Lake City, UTProbate is the process of executing a will, as well as administering and distributing an estate according to the terms within the document. However, each state has its own system of probate courts with their own substantive and procedural rules. Legal advice should always be obtained if there are any doubts about how an estate should be handled. 

A quick process for estates within a certain value range

Utah has a unique law where an estate of less than $100,000 may pass to heirs without having to go through the formalities of probate court. The estate is also eligible if the value of all property combined is less than various exemptions for property and medical expenses. Anyone who thinks that the value of their inheritance or estate is within these limits can contact a probate attorney for more information about a simplified process that only requires an affidavit to be presented to a bank or property holder. 

Utah allows holographic wills

While many states do not allow the testator to write their own will, Utah law does allow this with some requirements. The document should be entirely in the testator’s own handwriting. Witnesses and notarization are normally required for formal wills, and they can be added to a holographic will if the person chooses to do so. The language should also be clear enough to avoid disputes between relatives or issues in probate court later. There are also a few basic pieces of information that need to be included, such as the testator’s full legal name and address, a statement that identifies the document as a valid will, whether the person is married or not, and a signature and date.  

While it may be tempting for a person to write their own will, as a general rule it is best to have legal help making a will to ensure it meets all of the state’s requirements and will be executed as a valid document in probate court

What if someone dies without a will?

Utah has an intestacy statute that governs which family members or next of kin will receive an estate in the event of the person’s death. A spouse or child is usually the first in line for most people, but if they are not available other relatives listed in the statute will receive the estate in order of preference. 

Advice about the probate process

Anyone who needs help with probate issues in the Salt Lake City area can get in touch with Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law. His firm provides professional assistance and guidance throughout the process of preparing and distributing an estate.  

Firm contact info:

Stephen J. Buhler – Attorney at Law

The Harmon Building

3540 South 4000 West, Suite 245, West Valley City, UT 84120


[email protected]


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