Last will and testament

Probate Lawyer

Losing someone close is never easy. Being named an estate administrator or executor can complicate matters during a somber time.

A probate lawyer can ease the burden of this process so you can focus on what is really important: grieving the loss of a loved one.

See how the law firm of Froerer & Miles in Ogden, UT, can assist you in expediting the probate process...

Do I Need a Probate Lawyer?

Probate is the court-supervised process of authenticating a last will and testament. Even if someone passes without a will, probate is still required to pay final bills and distribute the deceased person's estate. The size and complexity of the estate left by the decedent will dictate amount of legal assistance you may need.

At Froerer & Miles in Ogden, UT, our probate attorneys can help executors (if there is a will) or administrators (if there is no will) locate and determine the value of a decedents's assets including investments and real estate, pay final bills and taxes, and distribute the remaining estate to the rightful beneficiaries.

An estate with complicated issues such as numerous debts and assets will likely require the assistance of a probate attorney. Estate planning on behalf of the decedent prior to passing can allow the process to go much more smoothly. In such cases, the executor is named in the will and is responsible for handling probate. If a will is not left, an Utah judge will appoint an administrator to oversee the probate process.

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Chris B.

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Froerer & Miles is an experienced legal office that cares. I'm so impressed with everyone there, from their kind and efficient reception staff all the way to the top. If you need help with Estate Planning, or just want a review of your current plans, consider Froerer & Miles. They're awesome and less expensive than other planners I've talked to.

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Tracy E.

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I appreciate the time and professionalism of Bob and his team in handling my legal matters. Their response to inquiries was always prompt and questions we answered to my satisfaction. I highly recommend Froerer & Miles.

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Froerer & Miles

Each of our probate attorneys has more than a decade of legal experience and a thorough understanding of both the informal and formal probate processes. We offer legal advice to estate administrators and executors and can answer any questions you may have regarding probate, including:

  • Small estate affidavits
  • Probate applications and petitions
  • Waivers of Notice
  • Renunciation statements
  • Untitled property
  • Letters Testamentary
  • Creditors’ notices
  • Court orders and statements
  • Estate administration
  • Heirship determination
  • Contested will litigation
  • Trust litigation

Our lawyers will protect your interests and keep the probate process moving forward. Our firm has provided the Ogden area with probate, estate planning, and family law services for over six decades.

To schedule a consultation, contact us online, or call our Ogden, Utah, office at (801) 621-2690 today.

Froerer and Miles team

Intestate Estates

An intestate estate occurs when a decedent does not leave a valid will. This may happen if they do not have a will written or if the will is not accepted by the probate court. The court can reject a will due to an heir successfully contesting the will or because of an error in the document. When families are left leaving the distribution of assets to the Utah courts, the importance of proper estate planning becomes clear. In such cases, the property of the decedent passes to the closest relative in an order determined by Utah law regardless of the final wishes of the decedent.

Avoid an Intestate Estate with Estate Planning

Proper estate planning does not have to be complicated. The lawyers at Froerer & Miles in Ogden, Utah, can help walk you through the estate planning process so that you can protect the future of your assets. Identifying your estate planning goals allows us to provide you with legal services tailored to suit your needs. 

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Brittany J.

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I have had the pleasure of working with the Froerer and Miles Law firm and they are an outstanding practice. They specialize in several different areas from personal injury, family law, estate planning and more. It has always been easy for me to speak directly with an attorney which I really appreciate. Everyone is kind and very thorough. I would highly recommend them for legal needs.

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John V.

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Great firm to update family trust and will documents. Reasonable costs with attention to detail, legal advice, and service. Bryce Froerer is a consummate professional and legal advisor. Highly recommended.

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Serving Ogden and Northern Utah since 1959

At Froerer & Miles, our attorneys work hard to earn your trust and protect your interests. Your attorney will keep the probate process moving forward while you focus on spending time with loved ones. Our lawyers provide guidance and representation to families and individuals in Ogden and throughout northern Utah regarding the confusing and often overly complicated process of probate.

Our firm offers a wide range of services that can help families, including estate planning, and family law. We can help you set up a trust, living will, and guardianships, as well as plan for future probate and estate administration.

To schedule a consultation at our Ogden, UT, office, contact us online or call (801) 621-2690 today.

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Probate Step by Step

Authentication

During probate in Utah, your attorney can begin the process of authenticating a last will and testament, if one is present. During this process, a judge will confirm that the will is valid during a court hearing. All beneficiaries will receive notice of this hearing. It allows all parties concerned the opportunity to object to the will, which is especially important if someone is in possession of a more recent will.

During this time, an heir may object to the executor appointed in the will, which is why hiring a lawyer can be beneficial. An attorney acts outside of the family and can objectively move the process forward with the best interests of the estate in mind.

The attorneys at Froerer & Miles understand all aspects of Utah law, including family law. We know that things can get complicated when a family is in mourning. By trusting a probate attorney from our law firm, you have the benefit of legal counsel from someone that also understands family law. This can help families prevent legal hiccups from becoming a source of tension. 

Appointing the Executor

Once the will is authenticated, the judge will appoint an executor who will oversee the probate process and settle the estate. The executor will receive legal documents that allow them to act and enter into transactions on behalf of the estate. These documents may be referred to as "letters of testamentary," "letters or authority," or "letters of administration."

If a will is not left by the decedent, the court will appoint the next of kin as the administrator of the estate. This is typically a surviving spouse or adult child. This individual is not obligated to serve and can decline the appointment.

A lawyer from the law firm of Froerer & Miles in Ogden, UT, can act in the capacity of executor or administrator. Serving in your place, an attorney can attend all court dates so that you can focus on working through your recent loss. 

Posting Bond

Before accepting the letters, it may be necessary for the the administrating lawyer to post bond on behalf of the executor. This acts as an insurance policy to protects the beneficiaries from financial damages the estate may suffer due to intentional or unintentional errors on behalf of the executor. An attorney from the law firm of Froerer & Miles in Ogden, UT, can ensure the process is followed by the letter of the law, allowing heirs and beneficiaries to rest assured the estate will be handled properly.

Locating Assets

Once access has been granted to the necessary legal papers, our first task is locating and taking possession of all the decedent's assets. This protects the estate during the probate process. At this stage, a lawyer can be invaluable. Locating assets can involve a bit of detective work.  Sometimes people have assets that no one is aware of and that were not present in their wills. 

The hunt for assets typically involves a thorough review of insurance policies, tax returns, and other such documentation. Acting as executor or administrator, a lawyer will protect any real estate by ensuring mortgages and property taxes are paid, and insurance is kept current. This ensures property is not lost and does not go into foreclosure.

Other physical assets such as vehicles and collectibles may end up in the possession of the executor in order to keep them safe. Statements and documentation relating to bank accounts and investments such as stocks and bonds will also be collected and kept in a secure location during this time.

Appraisals and Determining Value

The value of the deceased person's assets on the date of death must be determined to provide an accurate account of the estate. This is usually accomplished through evaluating account statements and appraisals to determine monetary value. A comprehensive list of the deceased person's property and personal effects will then be submitted to the court. This report will state each asset's value as well as how the appraiser arrived at the respective value. 

Determining and Informing Creditors

Creditors of the decedent must be identified and notified of their death. Publishing a notice of the death in a local newspaper can alert creditors so that any unknown debts can be identified by the administrating lawyer. After receiving notice, creditors have a limited period of time to make a claim against an estate for any money owed.

A probate attorney from the law firm of Froerer & Miles can prove invaluable at this stage of the probate process, as an executor can reject claims if they are believed to be invalid. The creditor is then allowed to petition the court to have a probate judge decide the legitimacy of the claim.

Payment of Debts

Once all debts are accounted for, creditor claims are paid. Using estate funds, your probate lawyer will pay all the decedent's debts and final bills. 

​Preparation and Filing of Tax Returns

Your lawyer will file the decedent's final personal income tax returns for the year in which they passed away. We will determine any estate tax liabilities and file the estate tax returns, if needed. Estate funds will be used to pay any due taxes. Liquidating assets from the estate may be a necessity to raise the capital needed to pay owed taxes.

Distribution of the Estate

Once all preceding steps are completed, your attorney can petition the court for permission to distribute the remaining assets to the benefactors named in the last will and testament. Your lawyer can provide a complete accounting of every financial transaction that has been engaged in during the probate process. Once permission has been granted by the courts, the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries.

If minors are included in the bequests of the will, the law firm of Froerer & Miles can help set up a trust to accept possession of the assets. A trust is necessary since minors cannot own their own property.

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Reid C.

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I had an unbelievable experience working with Froerer & Miles.  They were extremely professional and handled all of my concerns beautifully.  The thing I love about them is how personable and friendly they are.  They are exceptional in every way and very good to work with! They helped me in some matters with my business and made everything comfortable for me as we figured things out.  I highly recommend this law firm to anyone who is going through divorce, bankruptcy, or just someone who needs some estate planning.  Their team is top notch!

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Bill C.

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I have worked with them for over 6 years and could not speak more highly of them. They have been amazing to work with.

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Froerer & Miles

The attorneys at Froerer & Miles have successfully represented clients in a wide range of practice areas since 1959. Our team of attorneys can protect your best interests in matters related to:

  • Personal Injury
  • Family Law
  • Estate Law
  • Business Law

We offer free consultations and provide honest feedback to potential clients regarding their cases. To request your free consultation, contact us online or call us at (801) 621-2690.

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Ogden Office

2661 Washington Blvd
Ste 201
Ogden, UT 84401

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