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This is the personal blog of Sterling Olander, a Certified Public Accountant and Utah-licensed attorney. For over seven years, I have assisted clients with estate planning and administration, tax mitigation, tax controversies, small business planning, asset protection, and nonprofit law.

I write about any legal, tax, or technological information that I find interesting or useful in serving my clients. All ideas expressed herein are my own and don't constitute legal or tax advice.

Opening a Utah Probate Matter; Formal v. Informal

In my previous post, I discussed some of the basics of the probate process. In Utah, a key decision to be made when beginning the probate process is whether informal or formal proceedings will be utilized. That decision, and the existence or non-existence of a last will, dictate the assertions that need to be made in the initial petition or application filed with the court. The following chart summarizes the assertions that a probate petition or application must contain:


Informal Probate of Will Informal Appointment Only (no will)Formal Probate of WillFormal Appointment Only (no will)
Proceeding commences with application directed to Registrar; must be verified to be accurate and complete to the best of the applicant's knowledge  X(1)  X

Proceeding commences with petition directed to Court

 X(2) X
Requests an order as to the testacy of the decedent in relation to the will and determining the heirs

 X(3)
Requests an order that the decedent left no will, determining the heirs, and whether supervised administration is sought


 X(4)
Statement of interest of applicant X(5) X X(6) X(7)
Decedent’s name, date of death, age, and the county and state of domicile at time of death; names and addresses of the decedent’s spouse, children, heirs, and devisees and the ages of any who are minors X(8) X  X(9)  X(10)
Statement of venue, if the decedent was not domiciled in the state at the time of death  X(11) X  X(12)  X(13)
Address of any personal representative appointed whose appointment has not been terminated  X(14)  X  X(15)  X(16)
Whether applicant has received a demand for notice or is aware of any demand for notice of any probate or appointment proceeding concerning the decedent  X(17)  X  X(18)  X(19)
Original of decedent’s will is (i) is in possession of court; (ii) was filed electronically with court and is in possession of the applicant or attorney; or (iii) is an authenticated copy of a will probated in another jurisdiction...  X(20)
Whether original of will is in the possession of the court, accompanies the petition, or was filed electronically with court and is in possession of the applicant or attorney (if no original, state the contents of the will and indicate that it is lost, destroyed, or otherwise unavailable)  X(21)
Applicant believes the will to have been validly executed  X(22)  X(23) 
Applicant is unaware of any instrument revoking the will and believes that subject of the application is the decedent's last will  X(24)  X(25) 
Three years or less have passed since the decedent's death  X(26)   
Describe will by date of execution; state the name, address and priority for appointment of the person whose appointment is sought; state whether bond is required, and, if so, unless specified by the will, state the estimated value of the estate and income generated therefrom  X(27)  X(28) 
Applicant is unaware of any unrevoked testamentary instrument relating to property having a situs in this state, or, a statement why any such instrument is not being probated  X(29)     X(30)
The priority of the person whose appointment is sought and the names of any other persons having a prior or equal right to the appointment  X(31)     X(32)
If bond is required, the estimated value of the estate and income generated therefrom   X(33)     X(34)

1. Utah Code § 75-3-301(1)
2. Utah Code § 75-3-402(1)
3. Utah Code § 75-3-402(1)(a)
4. Utah Code § 75-3-402(3)
5. Utah Code § 75-3-301(2)(a)
6. Utah Code § 75-3-402(1)(b)
7. Utah Code § 75-3-402(3)
8. Utah Code § 75-3-301(2)(b)
9. Utah Code § 75-3-402(1)(b)
10. Utah Code § 75-3-402(3)
11. Utah Code § 75-3-301(2)(c)
12. Utah Code § 75-3-402(1)(b)
13. Utah Code § 75-3-402(3)
14. Utah Code § 75-3-301(2)(d)
15. Utah Code § 75-3-402(1)(b)
16. Utah Code § 75-3-402(3)
17. Utah Code § 75-3-301(2)(e)
18. Utah Code § 75-3-402(1)(b)
19. Utah Code § 75-3-402(3)
20. Utah Code § 75-3-301(3)(a)
21. Utah Code § 75-3-402(1)(c)
22. Utah Code § 75-3-301(3)(b)
23. Utah Code § 75-3-402(1)(b)
24. Utah Code § 75-3-301(3)(c)
25. Utah Code § 75-3-402(1)(b)
26. Utah Code § 75-3-301(3)(d)
27. Utah Code § 75-3-301(4)
28. Utah Code § 75-3-402(1)(b)
29. Utah Code § 75-3-301(5)(a)
30. Utah Code § 75-3-402(3)
31. Utah Code § 75-3-301(5)(b)
32. Utah Code § 75-3-402(3)
33. Utah Code § 75-3-301(5)(c)
34. Utah Code § 75-3-402(3)