Estate Planning


A well designed estate plan is a gift of incalculable value to your loved ones.  It gives you the opportunity to make your intentions known before you die or become incapacitated so loved ones don’t have to guess during an already difficult time.  It can help ensure your family is cared for as you have directed, taxes and conflict are minimized, and your wealth is transferred in a way that succeeding generations are motivated to build meaningful lives.  We employ a host of tools, including wills, powers of attorney, trusts, and in some cases business structures, to tailor your plan to your unique goals.  We also do our best to consider the following issues in every plan we design:


If you lose the ability to care for yourself, who will make medical decisions for you and manage your financial affairs?  Eighty percent of people become incapacitated before they die.  Whoever acts for you during your incapacity may face very difficult decisions; and clear instructions from you in an estate plan will help remove uncertainty and stress for that person.


If you become incapacitated or die, who will raise your minor children and attend to their financial needs?  Can you protect a child from the corrupting effects of a sudden accession to wealth when he or she reaches majority age?  At HBAA, we do our best to help you anticipate and plan for myriad issues pertaining to the wellbeing of your children.


Who will decide how to distribute your wealth when you die?  The default laws of your state, or you?  No two families are the same, and no two estate plans should be the same.  From basic will and trust-based plans to more sophisticated strategies, we strive to help clients design wealth-transfer plans unique to their circumstances, always with the goal of building sound character and a strong work ethic in younger generations.


Have you been told that probate should be avoided at all costs?  With the reduction in court probate fees and the availability of informal probate proceedings, probate in Utah is generally not as painful as it once was.  Nevertheless, because assets passing through probate are disclosed to the public, making them easier targets of fraud or frivolous claims, and because probate provides a forum for disgruntled family members and third parties to attack an estate, we advise clients to avoid probate to the extent possible.  We do our best to help you steer clear of probate by using properly funded trusts, small estate affidavits where applicable, and other key estate planning tools. For more information on our probate services, including when probate might be advisable, click here.


How can you limit the taxes your estate has to pay?  With recent changes in federal law, few estates are currently subject to estate taxes.  However, your heirs might have to pay higher-than-necessary income taxes on distributions or proceeds they receive from inherited assets in the absence of proper planning.  Also, because Congress can reduce the federal estate tax exemption as easily as it increased it, we try to include certain basic estate tax provisions in every plan we create, such as disclaimer trust options and lifetime gifting powers for successor trustees and agents.

Depending on your goals, the types of assets you own, and the size and sophistication of your estate, we can go these beyond basic tax-planning strategies in an effort to preserve your wealth for the ones you love.  Some of our additional tools include classic A-B trusts, qualified terminable interest property trusts (QTIPs), qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs), irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs), intentionally defective grantor trusts (IDGTs) and family limited liability companies.

Let the experts at HBAA help you avoid unnecessary taxes in transferring your legacy to the ones you love.


How can you protect the financial legacy you have built for the people you love?  From unforeseen lawsuits, to wasteful spending, to accidents, to divorces, a host of circumstances can arise to threaten the estate you have built.  In drafting your estate plan, we help you plan for these types of complications.  Click here for more info on asset protection.


Does your family know if they should keep you alive when you become terminally ill and cannot communicate your wishes to them?  Do they know how you want your wealth divided upon your passing?  No matter how well-intentioned, your loved ones face a high likelihood of conflict absent clear instructions from you.  Give your family the gift of a well thought-out estate plan.  By so doing, you can reduce uncertainty and the risk of estate contests.


From simple will-based plans to more sophisticated wealth-transfer strategies, at HBAA we help you design a plan unique to your circumstances and goals.  Our most basic estate plan generally includes the following:

  • Revocable living trust
  • Will
  • Medical power of attorney
  • Advance health care directive or “living will”
  • Durable financial power of attorney
  • Trust-funding documents*

Depending on a client’s goals, we are prepared to go beyond these core documents in creating inter-generational wealth-transfer strategies.  Some of our additional estate planning tools include irrevocable life insurance trusts (“ILITs”), asset protection trusts, special needs trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts (“GRATs”), intentionally defective grantor trusts (“IDGTs”), and the organization of and gifting of fractional interests in family limited liability companies.

* As a part of our basic service, we prepare and file the documentation necessary for you to transfer one asset, usually your home, into your trust.  For an additional fee – between $500 and $1,000 for the typical estate – we help you fund all of your assets into your trust.  A trust cannot serve its proper function without being properly funded.  Many attorneys prepare trusts for their clients but do not fund those trusts.  Instead, they send their clients home with elaborate instructions on how the clients can fund their own trusts, the result being that many trusts don’t get funded.  We highly recommend you consider our additional trust funding service.

Other areas of practice include:

To contact us or for more information, click here.

Hansen Black Anderson
Ashcraft PLLC
Call today for a consultation: 801.922.5000 3051 West Maple Loop Drive, Suite 325
LEHI, UT 84043

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