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Terms & Definitions - G-H

Alphabetical Listing of Utah Estate Planning Terms

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

Grantor: the person who gives, donates, or otherwise places property into a trust to be held for the benefit of some person, group, or other entity. Under Utah law, a grantor may also serve as a trustee, and can be a beneficiary of the trust. A grantor is also sometimes referred to as a settlor or founder.

Grantor Trust: a grantor trust is one in which the grantor retains a certain level of control over the trust corpus. For federal income tax purposes, property held in a grantor trust is treated by the IRS as though it were owned by the grantor. The level of control retained by the grantor is considered in determining whether the trust will be considered to be a grantor trust. The grantor's reservation of the right to revoke or terminate the trust is considered sufficient by itself to make the trust a grantor trust.

Guardian: includes a person who has been qualified to manage the affairs of a minor or incapacitated person through either a testamentary or court appointment under the Utah probate code, or by a written instrument under Utah Code Ann. 75-5-202.5. The term "guardian" as used in the Utah probate code does not include a guardian ad litem. Under the Utah probate code, a guardian is considered a "fiduciary" and has the accompanying responsibilities and duties of loyalty.

Guardianship: Under Utah law, a guardianship is a legal relationship between a competent adult (the guardian) and an incapacitated adult or a minor (the ward). A guardianship relationship must be established by court order. The court order gives the guardian authority to act on behalf of and make decisions for the ward. A court may order either a full guardianship or a limited guardianship. The need to seek a guardianship can often be avoided with advance planning using a living trust or through the use of a durable power of attorney.

Heir: commonly used to refer to any person entitled to receive property from the estate of a person who has died either with or without a will. More precisely, an heir is a person who is entitled under the intestacy laws of Utah to receive property from the estate of a person who has died without a will. Utah's intestacy laws govern the distribution of an estate when no written will has been left. If a written will has been made by the decedent, the will will govern the distribution of property from the estate.

Holographic Will: a holographic will is one which is made, signed, and dated entirely in the handwriting of the testator. Under Utah law, a holographic will does not have to meet the same requirements for being witnessed that must be followed for an ordinary will. Although holographic wills are recognized under the Utah probate code, a formally witnessed will is strongly recommended.

Homestead Allowance: the surviving spouse of a decedent is entitled to a homestead allowance of $22,500, which is exempt from and has priority over all claims of the estate. If the decedent leaves no surviving spouse, then each minor child or dependent child of the decedent is entitled to a homestead allowance equal to $22,500 divided by the number of minor and dependent children of the. Unless the will or governing instrument provides otherwise, the homestead allowance is chargeable against any benefit or share of the estate passing to the surviving spouse, minor, or dependent children. (This amount is current as of the 2017 legislative session.)

Finding an Estate Planning Attorney in Utah

Utah Wills Trusts & Estate Planning Attorney Salt LakeIt is easy to procrastinate making a will for yourself. Making the decision to move forward with the estate planning process is the first step toward creating a comprehensive estate plan that will help protect you and your family's interests. We work personally with each client and take the time that is needed to understand their individual and family needs, circumstances, and goals.A living trust, last will and testament, durable power of attorney, and advance health care directive are estate planning tools that can each play an important role 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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