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Estate Planning FAQ

If the total value of all of the assets in which you have an ownership interest at your death is less than approximately 11.18 million dollars, then there will not be estate tax assessed against gifts to persons other than spouses. Please note that the laws for alien spouses is different.List all of your assets and include the title (or stated ownership such as joint tenancy etc. of the asset), list family members or loved ones, describe if anyone has any special needs or concerns, think about and possibly list the persons you trust who you would consider having a role as the person in charge of your estate at death.It depends upon the accountant. You should consider the role or duties of a fiduciary and does the accountant have the adequate amount of time. Also you should consider the way an accountant may charge you (hourly or a percentage). In Utah the compensation, unless stated in the Will or Trust, is reasonable. Often the amount is measured against what a bank would charge for the same services. For example in Utah several banks charge 1.25% of the assets assessed annually in the case of an account of about one million dollars. However some corporate trustees charge for the services ranging from $25-$400 an hour depending upon what the task is.The first thing the family of a loved one, who dies without a will, should do is ascertain whether the estate is large enough (more than $100,000 in Utah) or has assets which would warrant the need for a probate proceeding (such as real property). Then the loved ones, who will be seeking a court ruling about who the heirs will be and who will be appointed by the court to collect all of the assets and make an inventory, pay the debts, make accountings and distribute the remainder to the heirs, should seek advice of an attorney.This depends upon your desires for distributions at death, whether you have property in more than one state, and your age, type of assets, goals, etc.It is not just getting a will or trust, but a review of your assets, review of your desires regarding each asset with respect to each of your loved ones at the time of your death. it is also reviewing the beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, life insurances, reviewing the ownership or title of bank accounts and other assets, and the making of a plan for the handling of assets at your death whether for the benefit of heirs, charities, etc.Yes in the State of Utah can you have a holographic will. The Will must have all of the provisions in your own handwriting. But be cautious that all of the assets will actually be governed by the will, because it is not always the case with retirement accounts, etc.Hand written changes are called interlineations and are not recommended because they often cause what lawyers call ambiguities and therefore can create bigger problems than create clarity.

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