Probate Process

Probate Process - Proving the Validity of a Will

Probates are filed for a variety of reasons, most often by an executor, beneficiary, or creditor.  The Probate must be filed within 3-years.  Probate is a court process which authorizes an executor, called the Personal Representative ("PR") or Administrator and issues letters testamentary or letters of administration.  The "PR" is then entrusted and authorized to take all necessary actions on behalf of the estate.  Whether initiating the probate process and beginning the cut-off to achieve estate asset protection, limiting creditor remedies by filing and publishing, negotiating settlement of debts, navigating disposition of assets, resolving beneficiary disputes, or handling litigation the PR's responsibilities throughout the probate process are considerable and important.  Start with a basic process roadmap for your Guidance:

Choosing Between Formal or Informal Probate

Within 3-years of a person's death, probate can be conducted informally or informally depending on a variety of factors.  Informal probate is appropriate in cases where the beneficiaries are generally in agreement and there are a limited number of creditors.  Formal probate is more appropriate where safeguards against future beneficiary claims are desirable.

Additional Utah Probate Resources

The Utah Courts publish several banks of forms for self-help in filing simple, informal probates.  The resources are available at the Utah Courts Website.  As with all self-help, be sure you fully understand the probate process and are certain how to proceed before filing the forms as mistakes can be quite costly and detrimental.  If you want to be certain that you appropriately file your probate, consult with an attorney first.

Executor Appointment and Removal

Appoint an Executor

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Often a court-appointed executor is necessary in order to marshal and gather assets, sell estate property, deal with creditors, and make distributions to beneficiaries.

Appoint a Co-Executor

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When an executor is unable to fulfill all responsibilities necessary to administer the estate, a co-executor can be appointed to serve concurrently.  The process for appointing a co-executor depends on the terms of the will, preferences of beneficiaries, and requirements of the courts.

Remove an Executor

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If an executor is unable to serve or controversies are arising pursuant to an executor's service, it can become necessary to appoint an alternative executor.

Probate Dispute Consultations

Beneficiary or Fiduciary Litigation

Claims against a trustee are vigorously pursued and defended.  Ensure that you have counsel in your case

Litigation Cost Consultation & Matter Analysis

The cost of litigation can be considerable.  Consult with an attorney to get candid analysis on the strength of your cases and an estimate of efforts and costs required to take your litigation matter through to disposition in probate court.

Litigation on Behalf of Deceased

Wrongful Death Claims, Medical Malpractice, Unresolved Litigation, Business Litigation and many other issues can go on after the life of the original litigants.  Consult with our attorneys about support with your estate or trust's litigation matters.

Probate Process Flow

Note that this general process flow only outlines the general phases of probate and may not reflect the process in your specific case.