Many of my clients are those who end up needing to have probate services done.
This means that we go to probate court. We start a probate case and we go to court and get either letters testamentary or letters of administration from the district court. Now, in Salt Lake County we file these cases in the Third District Court, Salt Lake Department which is located at 450 South State Street, downtown. It’s the Mattheson Courthouse. It’s a beautiful building.
But the probate calendar is at 8:30am. Some people arrive late. It is on what is known as a stacked calendar. This means that all of the cases for that week are done at the exact same time. This means that if your case is at 8:30am, so is the 76th case. Everyone is there at the same time.
Now the probate judge is a rotating position that a district court judge will have for about 6-12 months. After that, they will rotate to a different judge. Each judge handles things a little bit differently. Some a lot differently.
It’s important to know the personalty of the judge because if you don’t do things the way the judge wants them done, then your case could be continued, or you’ll have to make changes, or there will be other problems.
Now, if you don’t mind sitting around until your case is called inside a packed courtroom, then there shouldn’t be a problem for you. Some clients of mine get anxiety and simply don’t want to be in court. Now knowing for sure what the judge will do makes it hard as well.
We also don’t know how long we’ll have to wait.
Sometimes you don’t know if someone is going to object or file an opposition at the last moment to your petition.
This is why it’s always better to do your estate planning early.
If my client would have had a trust, we could have administered the entire trust in our office and we wouldn’t have had to pay the court fees, costs of administration, etc. – we just administer it here in our office.
That’s the nice thing about a living trust.
You should do your estate planning so no one has to go to court on your estate.
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