Is It Really Necessary That I Have a Will and Trust?


This is one of the most common questions we hear at J. Cutler Law.

Unfortunately, the easiest way to answer this is with another question: do you own real estate or $100,000 in assets?

If yes to either one, then you need both a Trust and a Will.

If no, then you only need a Will.

The reason for this is actually pretty simple. Under Utah law, if a person passes away and owns real estate, and/or $100,000 worth of assets, then their property must pass through probate court. However, if a person’s property is transferred to a Trust, then that property does not have to go through probate court. So a trust allows you to legally dodge probate court. And, as you can guess, probate court is expensive, time-consuming and just an all around hassle.

A Will is necessary in all circumstances because sometimes property is overlooked and not transferred into a Trust. In those situations, it is very helpful to have a simple Will (called a “Pour-over Will”) that states that any property that was not transferred into the Trust should go into the Trust. So, in addition to important things like designating guardians for minor children, a Will is a really useful backup device to a Trust.

Call J. Cutler Law Today

J. Cutler Law is one of Utah’s most trusted estate planning firms and we’d be happy to answer more of your questions and help you arrange the estate planning you need. We can help you outline all of your estate planning options based on your needs and advise on the best course of action. Call us today for a free consultation at (801) 618-4469 or click the appropriate button to schedule a free consultation or begin the estate planning process.