Who Are Next Of Kin In Utah?

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The term “next of kin” under Utah law is generally used synonymously with “heirs at law” for intestate succession purposes.  Next of kin in Utah generally include:

  1. Surviving spouse
  2. Children and descendants
  3. Parents
  4. Siblings
  5. Grandparents

 

What Next Of Kin Inherit Under Utah Law?

The next of kin that are in line to inherit from an intestate decedent’s estate (when someone dies without a valid will) under Utah law depend on the other survivors of the decedent.

Survivors of the Decedent

Share Of Intestate Estate

Surviving Spouse Only

–          Spouse inherits 100% of intestate estate

Children and descendants only

–          Children and descendants inherit 100% of intestate estate per capita at each generation

Surviving spouse and shared children (all children are children of decedent and surviving spouse)

–          Spouse inherits 100% of intestate estate

Surviving spouse and at least one child from a different relationship

–          Spouse inherits first $75,000 and ½ of remaining intestate property

–          Children/descendants inherit remaining intestate property

Parents only

–          Parents inherit 100% of intestate estate

Siblings and descendants only

–          Siblings inherit 100% of intestate estate

Grandparents only

–          If both maternal and paternal sides surviving, ½ to each side

–          If survivors on one side only, to that side per capita at each generation

Descendants of deceased spouse(s)

–          per capita at each generation

The rules for next of kin intestate succession under Utah law can be found at sections 75-2-102 and 75-2-103 of the Utah Uniform Probate Code.

What Do Intestate Next of Kin Heirs Inherit Under Utah Law?

Next of kin intestate heirs inherit assets from a decedent’s probate estate. Therefore, assets that pass outside of probate and directly to beneficiaries are not included.  Examples of non-probate assets include property in a trust, bank accounts with pay-on-death beneficiaries, and securities in transfer-on-death accounts.  See the Probate and Non-Probate Assets Chart.

Non-Probate Transfers Are Considered Advancements Under Utah Law

Under Utah law, non-probate transfers are considered an advancement on a relative’s share of the decedent’s estate.  Therefore, if a next of kin heir receives life insurance proceeds or is the beneficiary of a pay-on-death account, the amount received is used in calculating that intestate heir’s share of the estate.

Section 75-2-109 of the Utah Uniform Probate Code governs advancements and states:

(1) If an individual dies intestate as to all or a portion of his estate, property the decedent gave during the decedent’s lifetime to an individual who, at the decedent’s death, is an heir is treated as an advancement against the heir’s intestate share only if: (a) the decedent declared in a contemporaneous writing or the heir acknowledged in writing that the gift is an advancement; or
(b) the decedent’s contemporaneous writing or the heir’s written acknowledgment otherwise indicates that the gift is to be taken into account in computing the division and distribution of the decedent’s intestate estate.

 

(2) For purposes of Subsection (1), property advanced is valued as of the time the heir came into possession or enjoyment of the property or as of the time of the decedent’s death, whichever first occurs.

 

(3) (a) If the recipient of the property fails to survive the decedent, the property is not taken into account in computing the division and distribution of the decedent’s intestate estate, unless the decedent’s contemporaneous writing provides otherwise.  (b) If the amount of the advancement exceeds the share of the heir receiving the same, the heir is not required to refund any part of the advancement.

Is There A Survivorship Requirement For Intestate Inheritance In Utah?

Yes, there is a 120-hour survivorship period under Utah law.  In order to inherit under Utah’s intestate succession law, the next of kin intestate heir must survive the decedent by at least 120 hours.  This law can be found in Utah Uniform Probate Code s 75-2-104, which states:

(1) For purposes of intestate succession, homestead allowance, and exempt property, and except as otherwise provided in Subsection (2), the following rules apply: (a) An individual born before a decedent’s death who fails to survive the decedent by 120 hours is considered to have predeceased the decedent. If it is not established by clear and convincing evidence that an individual born before the decedent’s death survived the decedent by 120 hours, it is considered that the individual failed to survive for the required period. (b) An individual in gestation at a decedent’s death is considered to be living at the decedent’s death if the individual lives 120 hours after birth. If it is not established by clear and convincing evidence that an individual in gestation at the decedent’s death lived 120 hours after birth, it is considered that the individual failed to survive for the required period. (2) This section does not apply if its application would cause the estate to pass to the state under Section 75-2-105.

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