Day Shell & Liljenquist, L.C. provides estate planning assistance for clients throughout Utah, including drafting simple or complex wills. 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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A valid will protects your heirs
If you don't have a will, your property will pass to your relatives according to Utah's laws of intestacy. This could result in some relatives receiving shares of your property contrary to your wishes. To make sure your property goes to the right beneficiaries in the right amounts, you need to execute a valid will. At Day Shell & Liljenquist, L.C., our experienced estate planning attorneys walk you through the process from start to finish.
A last will and testament, often simply referred to as a will, is a document that specifies whom you want to receive your property when you die. Your will also appoints a personal representative to carry out the terms of your will. Wills can vary from simple wills for relatively small or uncomplicated estates to complex wills containing trust provisions.
A living will, sometimes referred to as an advance healthcare directive or advance medical directive, sets out your wishes regarding medical care - and the termination of medical care - in writing. In the event you become incapacitated, a living will speaks for you, either through a healthcare proxy or through the document itself.
If you choose to designate a healthcare proxy, your document will be considered a medical power of attorney. Your proxy, or agent, bears the responsibility of making decisions for you based on what he or she knows to be your preferences. The powers you can give your agent include:
In case you die while under medical care, you may also permit your agent to make organ donations, authorize an autopsy, and direct the disposition of your remains. Likewise, you can restrict your agent from making such decisions for you.
If you do not choose a healthcare proxy, your living will can stand alone and speak for you regarding the extent of medical intervention you prefer. Our experienced estate planning attorneys work closely with you to create a document that clearly states your wishes.
If there is no valid will, a person's property is distributed according to Utah's intestate succession laws. The attorneys at Day Shell & Liljenquist, L.C. help clients understand their rights and guide them through the probate administration process, with or without a will. If your loved one has passed and you have no idea where to start, we can help.
Probate litigation encompasses any disputed issue normally handled as part of the probate process, including will contests. After a person dies, the executor assumes the duty of carrying out the directives in the will. To properly distribute property, the will must be submitted to the probate court with a petition from the executor. This is a critical time when unhappy relatives may challenge the authenticity of a will. If you need to challenge a will or defend against a will contest, our experienced probate lawyers can help.
The probate attorneys at Day Shell & Liljenquist, L.C. represent individuals in probate court who seek to either uphold or challenge the validity of a will. A will can be challenged on a number of grounds, including:
- Lack of capacity. When creating a will, the testator must have the capacity to make sound decisions. A will can be challenged by claiming the testator lacked the requisite mental capacity at the time the will was created.
- Fraud, duress or undue influence. When an attorney, doctor, or caregiver is named as a beneficiary in a client's or patient's will, there may be concerns that the person who was writing the will was manipulated by the attorney, doctor, or caregiver.
- Interpretation of a will. Disputes often arise when the intentions of the deceased are unclear. In probate litigation, the court determines the intent of the testator.
- Executor performance. Litigation sometimes arises over whether executors or administrators failed to carry out their duties. The allegations often include that the executor:
- Failed to use sound business judgment
- Breached a fiduciary duty
- Failed to collect all assets or pay all debts
- Failed to properly value real estate or other assets
- Failed to pay appropriate taxes
We use negotiation and alternative dispute resolution techniques when possible to keep a dispute out of court. But when necessary, we are prepared to go to trial to protect your interests and uphold the wishes of the deceased.