Probate Process

Probate is a court process that occurs after your death. During probate, the court settles the specifics of your will by distributing property to those that you have named, and protects your estate in the meantime. It is primarily for transferring property but is also used to pay any creditors, including the government. Jointly-owned assets usually do not need to be probated.

A personal representative takes on the responsibilities associated with probate. You should document your preference for a personal representative, and an alternate, when you complete a will. The personal representative will:

  • Contact heirs and creditors concerning the probate proceedings
  • Collect and take inventory of the probate assets belonging to the deceased
  • Determine and pay for state, federal and income taxes
  • If necessary, sell property in order to pay back taxes and/or expenses.
  • Distribute remaining proceeds to designated family members and relatives.

If there is a will, probate is required. Utah law allows action up to three years from the date of death. The standard filing fee for probate is $360. For more information on fees, visit the Utah State Courts website.

Adapted from the Utah State Courts webpage on Estate Planning and Probate.