In Utah, probate is the court process of wrapping up the affairs of a person who has died, paying the debts, and transferring his or her property to others. Like any court process, probate requires filing legal documents with the court, giving notice to heirs, and following Utah law.

If you can avoid a probate, you should! (Our professionals offer a free consultation to help you find a way to avoid probate).

Here are 10 questions to see if you need probate

If you answer “YES” to any of these questions, you likely will need a Utah probate action.

1. Did the deceased own real estate in his or her name only?

2. Did the deceased own more than $100,000 of property, other than motor vehicles, in his or her own name only?

3. Did the deceased leave a minor child who has no other parent or guardian? (Appointment of a new guardian is a probate court process).

4. Is there a serious disagreement over who should inherit the personal property of the deceased?

5. Will creditors of the deceased require the sale of his or her assets to pay the debts?

6. Is there a serious disagreement over what property was owned by the decedent?

7. Does anyone owe money to the deceased which may require court action to collect? (These may be debts or legal claims such as injury claims, demands for the return of property,claims for elder abuse, claims for financial exploitation, actions for consumer fraud, etc.)

8. If the deceased had a trust, was property left outside the trust which tranfered to the trust after death?

9. Has any business, insurance company anyone else asked for “letters testamentary,” “letters of administration, or legal authority beofre they will gove money or property to the heirs?

10. Does the last will of the deceased require a trust to be set up for an heir?

If the answer is YES to one of these questions, you probably will need a probate court action.