Most people think of probate as a long, drawn-out process. This isn't always the case. A probate lawyer will tell you that it depends on the type of probate. Under Utah law, an estate can be probated formally or informally. The latter provides the best possibility for a relatively quick close. However, there are still a few steps before a closing statement can be filed.
What is Informal Probate?
Informal probate is simply a probate process that has minimal involvement with the court. This means it lacks formal court supervision, hearings and court orders. Furthermore, it's unlikely a judge will be needed to issue a decision about the estate. Parties may opt for an informal resolution of the estate upon opening probate.
In most cases, informal probation is only used when family members are in agreement. It usually involves a family that does not dispute bequests, but wants to appoint a member to carry out probate. The selected member, or personal representative, will be responsible for filing the application for probate. In intestate situations, this person will file an application to act as the personal representative.
Once probate is active, the representative can administer the estate. Therefore, the personal representative will need to disburse the property according to the probate checklist. He or she will also have to settle the decedent's debts with creditors. Once this is done, the administration of the estate is completed.
When Does Probate Close?
The earliest informal probate can close is one year after the closing statement is filed. This time period is required to allow for any potential disputes. Technically, probate doesn't close until the personal representative is released from duty. This happens after a year without any challenges to the estate. The estate must also be free from any appeals.
Get Help With Probate
Informal probate can be complicated. Estate law imposes many different requirements on the personal representative. Anyone serving in this capacity, or anyone involved in the estate can benefit from the help of a probate attorney. If you have any estate law or probate hearing questions, contact the estate lawyer at Spencer and Jensen, PLLC.