Probate

We help reduce the stress of clients by helping them navigate the confusing and long process of probating a loved one's estate.

Probate is the process in which a deceased person's estate is settled. Having adopted the Uniform Probate Code, Utah probate is fairly simple when compared to other states.

Estates in Utah can either be opened as formal estates or informal estates. Formal estates involve more court supervision and can take longer to administer. Formal estates typically involve disagreements between beneficiaries or questions regarding the validity of a will or qualification of a named personal representative (also called an executor or executrix). Informal estates are simpler and require less court supervision, as all interested parties can inform the court that no issues or disputes are present. Generally speaking, a formal probate will likely cost more than an informal probate.

In either formal or informal probate, the court's primary purpose will be to determine if there is a valid will, who is qualified to serve as the estate's personal representative, and who should benefit from the estate. If there is no will, the estate is considered intestate and Utah state law will be used to decide who qualifies as the personal representative and how property passes. If the court determines that there is a valid will, the court will accept the language of the will as the deceased person's intent. The court can then appoint the personal representative who will administer the estate and distribute property to the beneficiaries according to the will.

Due to the time and expense of probate, many people look to avoid it altogether. Property that can generally avoid probate include assets held by a revocable living trust, other types of trusts, accounts with named beneficiaries, and assets held as joint tenants. Avoiding probate could mean avoiding wasted time and expensive legal fees.

Pricing

For probate, we offer a flat fee for the necessary services. We want our clients to feel like they can reach out to us with any question without feeling like they will be charged for every second of our time. We also don't want our clients scared of taking our calls. Our goal is to educate our clients as much as possible so they can feel confident about the complicated probate process.

The flat fee will be added to, however, if there are problems with the administration, such as discord within the family, the need to appraise excess/unique properties, and other matters than can increase the time necessary to complete the probate process.

Our flat fee for a simple, informal probate of a will covers the following services:

  • $5,200+ ($2,500 paid up front to help cover filing fees and initial work; the remainder paid upon closing the estate; hourly rate of $300 per hour applies for issues beyond the covered services)
    • Draft:
      • Letters to estate beneficiaries/heirs
      • Application for probate
      • Acceptance of Appointment
      • Waivers of Notification
      • Proposed Statement
      • Proposed Letters Testamentary
      • Renunciations and Nominations, as needed
      • Affidavits for will, as needed
      • Creditor notifications
      • Closing statement
      • Receipt, Release, and Consent documents
    • Conduct meetings with the family
    • Counsel with the personal representative
    • Coordinate the signing of documents by the personal representative
    • Compile inventory of the estate
    • File all documents with the court
    • Obtain EIN for the estate

Our flat fee for formal probate of a will covers the following services:

  • $7,000+ ($4,000 paid up front to help cover filing fees and initial work; the remainder paid upon closing the estate; hourly rate of $300 per hour applies for issues beyond the covered services)
    • Draft:
      • Letters to estate beneficiaries/heirs
      • Application for probate
      • Acceptance of Appointment
      • Waivers of Notification
      • Proposed Statement
      • Proposed Letters Testamentary
      • Renunciations and Nominations, as needed
      • Affidavits for will, as needed
      • Creditor notifications
      • Closing statement
      • Receipt, Release, and Consent documents
    • Attend any and all hearings
    • Determine heirs for court approval
    • Conduct meetings with the family
    • Counsel with the personal representative
    • Coordinate the signing of documents by the personal representative
    • Compile inventory of the estate
    • File all documents with the court
    • Obtain EIN for the estate

Probate without a will (intestate)

  • $7,000+ ($4,000 paid up front to help cover filing fees and initial work; the remainder paid upon closing the estate; hourly rate of $300 per hour applies for issues beyond the covered services)
    • Draft:
      • Letters to estate beneficiaries/heirs
      • Application for probate
      • Acceptance of Appointment
      • Waivers of Notification
      • Proposed Statement
      • Proposed Letters Testamentary
      • Renunciations and Nominations, as needed
      • Creditor notifications
      • Closing statement
      • Receipt, Release, and Consent documents
    • Attend any and all hearings, as needed
    • Determine heirs for court approval
    • Conduct meetings with the family
    • Counsel with the personal representative
    • Coordinate the signing of documents by the personal representative
    • Compile inventory of the estate
    • File all documents with the court
    • Obtain EIN for the estate

Examples of issues that could extend beyond covered services are coordinating the transfer of assets with financial institutions, obtaining appraisals for the estate, and mediating between quarreling family members. These extra costs are billed monthly and are agreed to by the personal representative prior to the extra work being started.

Regardless of whether your circumstances are outlined above or will look completely different, we offer free consultations so that you can see what work needs to be done and how much it will cost before you commit to having us do the work. We are confident that you will see the value in working with us.

Knowledge and Experience

With Juris Doctorates from Harvard and advanced post-JD-LL.M. education in taxation from New York University, Ephraim and John are among the most qualified tax and estate specialists in Utah.

Olson Wiest Is Here for You

At Olson Wiest Law, we focus on Tax and Estate Planning, Corporate/Business Law, Business Formation, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Tax Disputes. We are here to listen to you and help you navigate the legal system.