Utah Last Will and Testament Law

Wills and Estates – Last Will and Testament Law – Utah

Note:    This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law of wills in Utah, but does contain basic and other provisions.  A discussion of hand written wills is not included.

Who may make will: An individual 18 or more years of age who is of sound mind may make a will. 75-2-501.

Legislative History: C. 1953, 75-2-501, enacted by L. 1998, ch. 39, § 44.

Execution: A will shall be in writing, signed by the testator and signed by at least two individuals ass witnesses.  75-2-502.

Legislative History: C. 1953, 75-2-502, enacted by L. 1998, ch. 39, § 45.

Writings intended as wills: Although a document or writing added upon a document was not executed in compliance with law, the document or writing is treated as if it had been executed in compliance with that section if the proponent of the document or writing establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the decedent intended the document or writing to constitute: (1)  the decedent’s will; (2)  a partial or complete revocation of the will; (3)  an addition to or an alteration of the will; or (4)  a partial or complete revival of his formerly revoked will or of a formerly revoked portion of the will. 75-2-503.

Legislative History: C. 1953, 75-2-503, enacted by L. 1998, ch. 39, § 46.

Self-Proved: A will may be made self proved by execution of the appropriate self proving affidavit by the testator and witnesses.  The form you have found contains the Utah Self proving affidavit. 75-2-504.

Legislative History: C. 1953, 75-2-504, enacted by L. 1998, ch. 39, § 47.

Who may witness: An individual generally competent to be a witness may act as a witness to a will.  The signing of a will by an interested witness does not invalidate the will or any provision of it.75-2-505.

Legislative History: C. 1953, 75-2-505, enacted by L. 1998, ch. 39, § 48.

Choice of law as to execution: A written will is valid if executed in compliance with Utah law, or if its execution complies with the law at the time of execution of the place where the will is executed, or of the law of the place where at the time of execution or at the time of death the testator is domiciled, has a place of abode, or is a national.75-2-506.

Legislative History: C. 1953, 75-2-506, enacted by L. 1998, ch. 39, § 49.

Revocation by writing or by act: A will or any part thereof is revoked: (a)  by executing a subsequent will that revokes the previous will or part expressly or by inconsistency;  or (b)  by performing a revocatory act on the will, if the testator performed the act with the intent and for the purpose of revoking the will or part or if another individual performed the act in the testator’s conscious presence and by the testator’s direction.  “Revocatory act on the will” includes burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating, or destroying the will or any part of it.  A burning, tearing, or canceling is a “revocatory act on the will,” whether or not the burn, tear, or cancellation touched any of the words on the will. 75-2-507.

Legislative History: C. 1953, 75-2-507, enacted by L. 1998, ch. 39, § 50.

Revival of revoked will (1) If a subsequent will that wholly revoked a previous will is thereafter revoked by a revocatory act under Subsection 75-2-507(1)(b), the previous will remains revoked unless it is revived. The previous will is revived if it is evident from the circumstances of the revocation of the subsequent will or from the testator’s contemporary or subsequent declarations that the testator intended the previous will to take effect as executed. (2) If a subsequent will that partly revoked a previous will is thereafter revoked by a revocatory act under Subsection 75-2-507(1)(b), a revoked part of the previous will is revived unless it is evident from the circumstances of the revocation of the subsequent will or from the testator’s contemporary or subsequent declarations that the testator did not intend the revoked part to take effect as executed. (3) If a subsequent will that revoked a previous will in whole or in part is thereafter revoked by another later will, the previous will remains revoked in whole or in part, unless it or its revoked part is revived. The previous will or its revoked part is revived to the extent it appears from the terms of the later will that the testator intended the previous will to take effect.  § 75-2-509

Legislative History: C. 1953, 75-2-509, enacted by L. 1998, ch. 39, § 52.

Incorporation by reference: A writing in existence when a will is executed may be incorporated by reference if the language of the will manifests this intent and describes the writing sufficiently to permit its identification. 75-2-510.

Legislative History: C. 1953, 75-2-510, enacted by L. 1998, ch. 39, § 53.

Separate writing identifying devise of certain types of tangible personal property: A will may refer to a written statement or list to dispose of items of tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of by the will, other than money. To be admissible under this section as evidence of the intended disposition, the writing shall be signed by the testator and shall describe the items and the devisees with reasonable certainty. The writing may be referred to as one to be in existence at the time of the testator’s death; it may be prepared before or after the execution of the will; it may be altered by the testator after its preparation; and it may be a writing that has no significance apart from its effect on the dispositions made by the will. 75-2-513.

Legislative History: C. 1953, 75-2-513, enacted by L. 1998, ch. 39, § 56.

Contracts concerning succession: (1) A contract to make a will or devise, or not to revoke a will or devise, or to die intestate, if executed after July 1, 1998, may be established only by: (a)  provisions of a will stating material provisions of the contract; (b)  an express reference in a will to a contract and extrinsic evidence proving the terms of the contract; or (c)  a writing signed by the decedent evidencing the contract. (2)  The execution of a joint will or mutual wills does not create a presumption of a contract not to revoke the will or wills.75-2-514.

Legislative History: C. 1953, 75-2-514, enacted by L. 1998, ch. 39, § 57.

Penalty clause for contest: A provision in a will purporting to penalize an interested person for contesting the will or instituting other proceedings relating to the estate is unenforceable if probable cause exists for instituting proceedings. 75-2-515.

Legislative History: C. 1953, 75-2-515, enacted by L. 1998, ch. 39, § 58.

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