Many people believe that they do not need an estate plan because their estate is small. However, it is important for everyone to have an estate plan. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it is important to have one. The truth is, if you don’t consciously create a plan, there is one that applies anyway.
That being said, in Utah, if an individual dies with an estate that is less than $100,000 and none of the individual’s assets include real property (house, time share, rental property or a building lot), a probate will not be needed. The deceased’s assets can be distributed to the individuals who are entitled to receive it by submitting an affidavit to the banks or other entities who hold the property. This method can be used whether the individual died with or without an estate plan.
If your estate is eligible for the affidavit process, you do not need a revocable trust in order to avoid probate. However, at the very least, you should still have a will, power of attorney, healthcare directive and other estate planning documents. Additionally, if there is a possibility that your estate will increase over time or the value is more than $100,000, it becomes more compelling to create a revocable trust anyway. A trust can also be beneficial for an elderly individual who wants to avoid a court-supervised conservatorship in the event he or she becomes incapacitated.
In short, you should never assume that your estate is too small to warrant creating an estate plan. Let us review your individual circumstances and help you understand whether you need a plan and what type of estate planning would be most beneficial for you and your loved ones.
The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.