Experienced and Practical Advice About Utah Estate Plans

While the last will and testament is the basic estate planning document for transferring assets, designating guardians for minor children, and expressing your preferences about burial or cremation, several other documents can also represent important components of even a no-frills estate plan.

The estate planning attorneys of Alder Law Group, P.C., offer personalized advice and practical solutions for families and small businesses throughout the state. To learn how the basic estate planning documents can cover most or all of your needs, contact us in Salt Lake City for a free consultation.


A will is a fairly simple legal document that comes into effect only upon the death of the testator, or the person whose intentions it expresses. It designates a personal representative or executor to carry out the instructions set forth in the will after death. The last will and testament names the relatives, friends or charities who will receive the assets owned at the time of death. It can also name a guardian to take care of any minor children. Any funeral or memorial details can also be set forth in the last will and testament.

At Alder Law Group, our Salt Lake City wills and trusts attorneys take the time to help clients think through their preferences and intentions with respect to the transfer of assets, the care of vulnerable relatives, and other considerations of importance to our clients and their families. We will also take steps to minimize the possibility that your will might be challenged or invalidated later on in probate court.

When you're thinking about your last will and testament, it's also a good time to think about powers of attorney and living wills, which can protect you and your family in the event of an incapacitating illness or accident. The living will can also help avoid disagreements between family members on the painful question of continuing life support in extreme medical circumstances.

Achieving Specific Estate Planning Objectives Through Utah Trusts

Some families will benefit from the careful use of trusts to hold assets and keep them out of probate. A trust is written legal document that separates the legal title or ownership of property from the benefit of having it, so that a trustee holds and administers the property for one or more beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust.

Different kinds of trusts achieve different kinds of objectives. Special needs trusts, for example, set aside a sum of money or a portfolio of investments for the benefit of family members who can't be expected to look after their own interests due to disability or other circumstances.

Many families choose to hold property in revocable living trusts, which essentially involve the transfer of one's own assets into trust during life, and the original owner is usually the trustee. At death, the assets of the trust will not transfer under the will or through the probate process. Instead, a designated successor trustee takes over administration of the trust on behalf of surviving beneficiaries.

Other trusts, such as charitable remainder trusts, real estate investment trusts, family business trusts or IRA trusts, are directed toward specific goals that can range from tax liability management or asset protection to extending the benefit of retirement investments across generations.

For additional information about the estate planning practice at Alder Law Group, contact us for a free consultation with an experienced Salt Lake City wills and trusts lawyer.


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