Probate–the judicial procedure by which a testamentary document is established to be a valid will. (Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th ed.)
There are several types of proceedings to legally transfer title to property upon the owner’s death:
1. Formal probate, where a judge oversees the process and a hearing is held. The judge appoints a personal representative.
2. Informal probate, where the court registrar appoints a personal representative and no hearing is held.
3. Small Estate proceeding, where an heir can use an affidavit to gather the relatively meager assets in the estate, without going to court. The Utah Courts website (www.utcourts.gov) has sample affidavits; here is the link.
4. Ancillary probate, where an out-of-state decedent owned property in Utah, and the heirs need to have that property legally transferred to them.
5. Succession under a living trust, which usually involves recording an Affidavit of Death and Successor Trustee.
6. Intestate succession, where the decedent left behind property but no valid will. The type of proceeding will depend on the nature and value of the estate property.
Tim Daniels Law Services handles all types of Utah probate.