Utah Estate Planning & Probate
Southern Utah Estate Planning & Probate
Estate planning arranges for the transfer of an individual’s estate at the time of death. An estate consists of all property owned at death before it is distributed by will, trust, or intestacy laws. An estate may contain both real property such as real estate, including houses and investment properties and personal property such as all other property, including bank accounts, securities, jewelry and automobiles.
Estate planning benefits those with large estates, as well as those with modest assets. Creating an estate plan ensures that all property will be distributed according to the personal wishes of the deceased, and that those who are benefiting from the estate receive the largest distribution possible with a minimum amount of delay. Specifically, estate planning allows an individual to decide exactly who will benefit from their estate, and to what extent. Estate planning also ensures that the estate will not be destroyed by taxes imposed on the transfer of assets at death. In addition to providing financial security, estate planning encourages individuals to make important decisions, such as appointing a guardian for minor children, choosing healthcare preferences, and securing funeral arrangements.
At Ruesch and Reeve we work to understand your estate planning goals and develop the strategy to implement those to protect your family’s success. We provide standard estate planning for smaller estates, including preparation of simple wills and trusts always providing expert advice. We also specialize in estate planning for large more complex estates including preparation of complex wills and trust agreements, tax planning advice, implementing probate avoidance techniques, initiating gifting programs and rearrangement of property ownership and beneficiary designations to achieve estate planning goals. For more information see the article “Are You a Candidate for a Trust?“.
What is a Will?
A Will is formal, written instructions of a person’s desire as to giving his or her property upon death to specific people, businesses or charities. To be effective, your Will must be in writing and it must be signed by you. In addition to being in writing and being signed, a will must be signed by two (2) witnesses. These witnesses must have seen you sign the Will. It is important that these formalities be carefully observed. WARNING: If you make a will and later get divorced or get married, part or all of your Will may not be any good.It is vital to talk with your attorney about your Will before getting married or divorced.
Can a Will be changed?
You can change a Will at any time as long as you are of sound mind, that is, you know what you are doing. You may want to change your Will for many reasons, such as marriage, divorce, or birth of children or grandchildren. However, specific legal requirements must be met for a revocation or changes to be effective.
An amendment to the Will is normally referred to as a “codicil,” and must be completed with the same legal formalities as the Will.
What does a Will do?
First, a Will indicates who should get a person’s assets when he or she dies. If you want your stock in General Motors and your grandfather clock to be given to your niece Priscilla, you put that specific instruction into a Will. Second, Wills can include instructions as to a person’s wishes for a funeral and final disposition. Lastly, a Will can name the person you want to care for your children in the event you and your spouse both die before your children reach age 18.
What are the benefits of a Will?
A Will enables you to plan the distribution of your estate to provide for the welfare of your spouse, children, relatives, friends, and charities. This type of planning prevents later disputes among heirs and usually guarantees that your property will pass in the manner you desire. A Will can determine when a gift is to be made, how and when money is to be released, and under what circumstances.
Who should write a Will?
Any person over 18 can sign a Will. In most instances, if you want to direct the distribution of your assets upon your death, you should write a Will. If children or other heirs are at all likely to argue over your property after your death, it is even more important to have a Will or an estate plan.
By far, Attorney Ben Ruesch has been the best law experience I’ve had in Southern Utah. I’ve had to work with/contact a few law offices in town regarding Probate matters, and I wish I had found Attorney Ben sooner. He is by far, the most patient, professional, and trustworthy attorney I’ve encountered. I only trust him for all of my family’s estate and probate needs.
If you’re looking for a probate attorney in the St George area, look no further! Ruesch and Reeve are the best – prompt, extremely professional, and trustworthy. They have assisted our family with legal matters ranging from estate planning and family law to traffic tickets. Thank you!
HONEST – TRUSTWORTHY – SMART – Ben Ruesch is the best probate attorney in Southern Utah. He is smart and equally as important to us, he is honest & dependable. Always working in our best interest, he delivers what is promised. When we need legal advice or a professional to take action, we call the team at Ruesch and Reeve every time.