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Terms & Definitions - B-C

Alphabetical Listing of Utah Estate Planning Terms

A, B-C, D, E-F, G-H, I-J, K-Q, R-S, T-Z

Beneficiary: A person or organization entitled to receive income or assets from a trust. Under Utah law, the term beneficiary can also refer to a person or organization named in a will as receiving property after the death of the testator. The beneficiaries of your will are not necessarily the same as your heirs. The term "heirs" refers to those people who would be entitled to inherit your property if you died intestate (without a will). By writing a will and/or trust and naming specific beneficiaries, you can choose exactly who will be entitled to inherit your estate.

Bond: an insurance policy intended to insure that a legal representative or fiduciary (e.g., a trustee or personal representative) does not misuse the money or other assets under his control. Under Utah law, a cash bond may also be posted. When you are making a will or establishing a trust in Utah, you may specify either that the personal representative or trustee may serve without bond, or require that a bond be posted. Many probate estates are handled without posting a bond. But you should consult with a Utah estate planning attorney in determining whether a bond should be required.

By Right of Representation: a modern term used in place of the Latin term "per stirpes." In Utah, when property in an estate is distributed by right representation, each branch of the family receives the same amount. For example, a will instructed that the estate was to be distributed by right of representation to the testator's children and the has three children who survive him, each child would receive one third of the estate. If only two of the children survived the testator, and the third child had two surviving children of his own (the testator's grandchildren), each of the two surviving children of the testator would still receive their one-third share of the estate while the two grandchildren would each receive half of the third child's share of the estate (a one-sixth share of the testator's estate). When an estate is to be distributed by right of representation, it is sometimes said that the descendants of a deceased heir "stand in the shoes of" the deceased heir.

Charitable Trust: Section 75-7-103 of the Utah Uniform Trust Code defines a "charitable trust" as a trust, or a portion of a trust, which is created for one of the purposes described in under Utah Code Ann. 75-7-405(1), which include the relief of poverty, the advancement of education or religion, the promotion of health, governmental or municipal purposes, or "other purposes the achievement of which is beneficial to the community."

Child: In addition to its ordinary definition, the term child as used in Utah estate planning law will generally include adopted children. Adopted children generally have the same rights to inherit as do biological children. Under the Utah Uniform Probate Code, the term child does not include a stepchild, foster child, grandchild, or any other more remote descendant. However, in writing your will and/or trust, you can include specific provisions that allow a stepchild or other person to be treated and given the same legal rights as if they had been born to you.

Codicil: A codicil is a written document executed by a person who has already made a will. Under Utah law, a codicil cannot act by itself, but can be used to modify or make additions, subtractions, or other changes to a pre-existing will. A codicil can be used to revoke a part a will, or to place conditions on the distribution of the estate. A codicil can make changes to a will without requiring that the entire will be re-executed. The codicil must reference and identify by date the will which it modifies. The same formalities required in executing a will must be followed in executing a codicil, or the codicil will not be recognized as valid in Utah.

Codicils are not used as frequently today as they were historically. A codicil historically allowed a person to make changes to his or her will without requiring that an entirely new will be written. With modern computer technology, the process of modifying and re-printing a will is much easier. Utah law still recognizes a validly executed codicil. But to avoid confusion, it is often advisable to void or revoke any earlier will and create an entirely new copy of the modified will.

Community Property: under the laws of some states, property acquired by one spouse during a marriage automatically belongs to both spouses equally, with certain limited exceptions. The use of the term "property" in this context includes both real estate and personal property. States who have adopted this law are considered "community property" states. Utah is not a community property state. However, if you acquired property while living in a community property state and then move to Utah, that property may still be subject to the community property laws of the state where you formerly resided. If you have lived in a community property state, you may need to address issues relating to community property when you make a will or create a trust in Utah.

Conservator: Under Utah law, a conservator is a person who is appointed by a court to manage the financial affairs (including property, bank accounts, and other assets) of a protected person - a minor or of an adult who is found by the court to be incapacitated. In Utah, the person appointed as the conservator may also be appointed as the guardian (either of a minor or of an incapacitated adult), or the conservator and guardian may be separate individuals.

Finding an Estate Planning Attorney in Utah

Utah Wills Trusts & Estate Planning Attorney Salt LakeA comprehensive estate plan can give you peace of mind now and can also help your family and loved ones in the future. We meet personally with each client, listening and taking the time that is needed to understand their individual and family circumstances and needs. We then create personalized estate planning documents tailored to accomplish what each client wants to have done. A living trust, last will and testament, durable power of attorney, and advance health care directive are all important estate planning tools that can critical roles in a comprehensive estate plan. Contact us today to see how we can help put these tools to work for you.

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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, Morgan, and Wasatch Counties - and all of Utah.

Stephen W. Howard is Utah attorney, practicing as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC.
With offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties, we are pleased to provide legal services to clients throughout Utah.
Call 801-449-1409 to arrange for a confidential initial consultation.

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