Lehi Wills & Trusts Attorney
Creating a Will or Trust in Utah County
Wills and trusts are among the most basic—and most essential—estate planning tools. A last will and testament, or simply a “will,” is a legal document that states how you want your assets to be divided after your passing. A will allows you to designate to whom certain assets will go, as well as how those assets will be distributed. It also allows you to appoint someone to administer your estate. This person is known as the “executor” of your estate, and they are responsible for ensuring that your wishes are carried out as stated in your will and other estate planning documents.
Like will, trusts offer a method of distributing assets to beneficiaries. However, unlike a will, a trust is a legal arrangement that allows an individual (known as the “trustee”) to manage certain assets placed in the trust indefinitely, rather than only until probate ends. Trusts are often used to hold property for minors or the elderly or to protect property that is expected to appreciate. With many types of trusts, you may name yourself as the trustee while you are alive, meaning you can continue to manage your assets until a designated time.
At Gibson Law Firm, we assist clients in Lehi and throughout Utah County in creating wills, trusts, and other estate planning arrangements. We can help you create a customized estate plan tailored to your unique needs.
Drafting a Last Will & Testament in Utah
Everyone should have a last will and testament, regardless of the size of their estate or the value of their assets. A valid will can protect your heirs and other designated beneficiaries, as well as ensure that your assets and properties are distributed according to your wishes after you die.
In Utah, you can use a last will and testament to:
- Designate how you would like your assets and properties to be distributed
- Leave certain items/assets to specified beneficiaries
- Donate money and/or assets to specified charities
- Name a representative, or executor, to manage your estate and ensure the terms of your will and other estate planning arrangements are carried out
- Appoint a guardian for your minor children or adult children with special needs
- Name someone to manage assets or properties on behalf of your minor children until a designated date
If you do not have a will when you die, your assets, properties, and debts will be distributed according to the state’s intestacy laws. This means that your estate will be left to your closest living relatives. Intestacy laws follow a strict order of preference when it comes to which relatives will receive your assets, beginning with your spouse or children, then extending to your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and increasingly distant relatives. Without a will, you also cannot specify which assets you want to leave to which beneficiaries. This can lead to all sorts of complications and fighting between family members.
At Gibson Law Firm, our Lehi will attorney can assist you in creating your last will and testament. Our goal is to help you protect your loved ones with ironclad estate planning arrangements. Get in touch with us today to learn more.
What Is a Trust & What Does It Do?
Trusts are legal arrangements in which one person, called the "grantor,” gives property to another person or entity, called the "trustee," to manage for the benefit of a third person, called the "beneficiary." Trusts are often used to hold property for minors or the elderly or to protect property that is expected to appreciate in value. Trusts are often used to provide for an individual’s dependents and other designated beneficiaries. In many cases, trusts can help beneficiaries avoid probate and certain taxes.
Trusts can also be used to ensure that assets are distributed to beneficiaries in a specific way. For example, if you have a high net-worth estate and wish to have your assets distributed to your beneficiaries over time rather than all at once, a trust can help you accomplish this.
At Gibson Law Firm, our experienced Lehi trust attorney has helped clients create trusts for a variety of purposes, including:
- General Estate Planning: A trust can be created to hold property for heirs and to provide for the distribution of property after the death of the grantor.
- Guardianships: A trust can be created to provide care and support to a minor or elderly person. Guardianship trusts can be created for an individual or a couple.
- Financial Protection: A trust can be created to protect an individual's property from creditors or to protect an individual from losing their property due to a mental disability.
- Business Succession: A trust can be created to provide for the continuity of business operations in the event of the death of an owner or key employee.
- Charitable Giving: A trust can be created to direct the distribution of income or principal to charitable organizations.
- Tax Savings: A trust can be created to allow income to be passed to beneficiaries at a reduced income tax rate.
- Gifts: A trust can be created to provide a vehicle for making annual or other periodic gifts to family members or other individuals.
Our team is experienced in creating trusts for a variety of purposes. We can help you create a trust that meets your needs, while also providing guidance on how to maintain the trust over time. Whether you need a trust to protect your family, your business, or your assets, our firm can help.