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Wills are the most well known estate planning instrument and can be very important in designating persons who will receive property upon a person’s death. However, wills have limitations since they are only effective upon a person’s death and do nothing if a person becomes incapacitated during his or her lifetime. Wills also do nothing to avoid probate, as they are simply instructions to the probate court. For these reasons, as well as others like privacy, revocable living trusts are often used in conjunction with pour-over wills in modern estate planning.

A pour-over will is a type of will used with a revocable living trust to make sure any property left out of the trust is poured into the trust at the end of one’s lifetime. Sometimes families forget to title assets in the name of the revocable living trust. A pour-over will works in conjunction with the revocable living trust to make certain all assets transfer to the proper loved ones.

A will is also very important for families with minor children. It is an instrument in which parents can designate who they would like to become guardian of their children in the event that they are no longer able to serve as parents due to death or incapacity.

Under Utah law, most wills must be executed in a specific manner with two witnesses. However, handwritten wills, called holographic wills, have less stringent requirements.

Elliot Smith is a licensed attorney and certified public accountant that can take care of your business needs. Whether you’re opening a new business, incorporating, or looking for tax services, Elliot Smith has the resources to serve you.