Your default estate plan, courtesy of Utah
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Did you know you already have an estate plan? The state legislature has created laws that dictate what happens to an individual’s assets and other responsibilities if the individual dies without their own plan. These laws are commonly referred to as laws of descent and distribution or intestacy laws. The word “intestate” refers to an individual who has passed away without having created their own will or estate plan.
These laws essentially provide a mechanism for the state to retitle property of the decedent (the person who died) to their legal heirs. The laws are meant to attempt to replicate what the average person would want to do if they had planned their own estate.
Here are some examples of the default rules:
- Utah Code Section 75-2-102 – If the living children are all from the same marriage, the surviving spouse gets everything.
- Utah Code Section 75-3-203 – There is an order of priority for who can serve as the personal representative. This list includes creditors after 45 days. The priority list starts with someone named in a will, and then goes on to list spouses, children, and other family members.
These laws only come into place if the individual has passed away without their own plan, or the plan fails for some reason. Here are my top three reasons why I think it is important to have your own will and estate plan:
- You get to pick who is the executor of your estate. Don’t want to burden your spouse or children with it? You need to have a will.
- You can give items to people who are not your “legal heirs”-think charities, friends, etc.
- You can nominate who you want to be the guardians of your minor children.
If you are interested in making your own plans for the future, call me at 435-777-4740 or send me an email at email@example.com and we will work together to get a plan in place based upon your needs and customized to your wishes.