Secure a Better Future for You and Your Loved Ones
Day Shell & Liljenquist, L.C. represents clients in probate proceedings throughout Utah. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with evening and weekend appointments also available. The office is located conveniently located near mass transit stops, including the Murray Central Trax station.
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Helping Utah clients in probate court

Attorneys at Day Shell & Liljenquist, L.C. have extensive experience representing clients in probate court, from matters involving estate litigation and trust administration to powers of attorney and guardianship proceedings. We provide practical advice for estate administrators and work to protect your interests throughout the probate process. Probate-related services we offer include:

  • Representing executors before, during, and after the administration of an estate
  • Representing clients from out of state with Utah estate matters
  • Defending or seeking removal of executors accused of fraud, undue influence, duress, breach of fiduciary duty, or exploitation
  • Defending or seeking removal of trustees in trust litigation
  • Representing interested parties in guardianship proceedings

Should I seek to have my estate avoid probate? Is a will or a trust the best thing for me and my family?

The Utah probate system is among the best in the country. It can be quickly and relatively inexpensive for simple estates to be probated. However, sometimes preparing ahead of time to avoid probate is your best option. It just depends on your situation. You should plan in advance with the help of an experienced estate attorney so you can make the best decision for your family.

The best way to avoid the probate process is to prepare a comprehensive estate plan long before your death. Various trusts and other transfers can bypass probate for most if not all assets. But you should take care to design your estate plan to avoid tax liability resulting from shifting property ownership during your lifetime. Our estate planning and will attorneys can explain the process and how it can be used to help you avoid probate.

What is the probate process?

If the deceased left a valid will, the will is submitted to probate by the executor named in the will, who serves as the personal representative of the estate. If there was no will, any family member or other interested person can petition the probate court to open an estate. The probate court names an administrator to act as the personal representative of the estate. The typical probate proceeding for an estate with a will includes the following steps:

  • A personal representative files a petition in probate court, along with the will, after the testator dies.
  • The court sets the matter for a hearing.
  • After the hearing, the court issues letters testamentary to allow the personal representative to perform the duties indicated in the will.
  • The personal representative gathers and inventories assets and pays properly filed claims against the estate.
  • Any disputes are resolved through probate litigation.
  • Real estate or other assets remaining in the decedent's estate can be liquidated and distributed to the beneficiaries upon proper petition and court approval.

Going through probate is not necessarily expensive or time consuming. It is sometimes the best option. Our estate planning attorneys will guide you through the probate process from start to finish.