A quick and dirty definition of probate.
Pro- What? I keep hearing about probate. What is that?Probate is a court process used to divvy out your estate after you pass away. If you don't leave any directions, the court will follow the laws of the state you live in to determine who inherits your estate.
How do I tell the court who should get my estate?Good question! Write a will. A will tells the probate court who should inherit from you and what they should inherit. In Utah, a will must be in writing, signed by you, and signed by two witnesses. Oh yeah, you need to be over eighteen and of "sound mind" for that will to be valid! But don't stop there - your will becomes stronger when it includes some specific words found in the Utah Code 75-2-504 and if it's signed in front of a notary. With a will in place, you've taken a step to simplify the probate process.
What else should I know about probate?Probate is a public process and can be lengthy and costly. Estate planning helps circumvent the time, cost, and confusion caused by the probate process during an already upsetting time for your family members.
*** Disclaimer: The materials provided here are for general information only and are not legal advice. Seek legal advice from licensed professionals before making decisions.