Content provided in this web page is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or legal opinion on any matter. The information provided is subject to change without notice.
We have met with hundreds of couples and individuals to discuss and prepare their estate planning documents. All of which is calculated to carry out the intentions of our clients. Although no situation is identical to another, there are several issues that we regularly work through with our clients, such as:
The breadth and depth of our experience will give you confidence in the information and tools we give you to carry out your intentions.
A trust is an arrangement where one person holds and manages property for the benefit of another person. The terms “living trust,” “family trust,” “revocable trust” and “inter vivos trust” essentially mean the same thing and are interchangeable. A revocable trust is one that the creators have the continuing right to change or cancel any time they are competent to do so – much like a Will. A revocable trust usually is made with the creator being the trustee and the beneficiary, meaning that the creator continues to manage and use his or her assets for their own benefit during their lifetime.
The overall benefits of a properly prepared revocable trust are that your family will avoid court involvement at your death, and, if you become incapacitated prior to your death, your family will avoid the need for a conservator to be appointed to manage your assets for you during the period of incapacity.
A Will is a document that conforms with state law that disposes of a person’s property, and declares who should be the guardian of any minor children of the decedent. A will is amendable so long as the person has capacity. A Will must be probated with three years of the death of the decedent or it is void and no longer enforceable. If the estate is small enough and certain laws are in play, a Will can be relied upon and used without probate in certain circumstances.
Generally, probate means to involve a court in the disposition of a person’s property at that person’s incapacity or death. For example, we use the probate court and probate laws when we deal with the estate of a minor person, of a person with Alzheimer’s Disease, or a person’s estate at death if there are assets that need court involvement to distribute.
Its more precise meaning is the process by which a court determines the heirs of a decedent. If there is a Will it must be probated before it has any legal effect. Probate is the process by which the court declares which Will the world is to rely upon to dispose of the estate. Once that declaration is made, the family and third parties can proceed with confidence that a later document will not be presented as a Will.
Appointment of Personal Representative
Usually at the time a Will is probated or the heirs are determined by statute, a personal representative is appointed to administer the estate. Typically the court is not heavily involved in this process unless one of the interested persons wants the court’s direct involvement over the administration process. Once the assets have been inventoried and enforceable debts have been paid, the Personal Representative can close the estate.
In January 2004, Brent Brindley and M. Sean Sullivan left regional law firms and established the law firm of Brindley Sullivan, PLLC. Mr. Sullivan has limited his practice to Wills, trusts, probate, guardianships, conservatorships, asset protection, business succession, fiduciary duties and rights, beneficiary rights, and charitable giving.
Mr. Sullivan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University, in 1995, and his Juris Doctorate degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, in 1998. He is admitted to practice in all Utah Courts and the Federal District Court of Utah. He is a past president of the Southern Utah Estate Planning Council, of which he continues to be a member.
|Southern Utah Estate Planning Council||Member||1998 – Present|
|Utah State Bar||Member||1998 – Present|
|Southern Utah State Bar||Member||1998 – Present|
|Southern Utah State Bar||Board Member||2004 – 2006|
|Southern Utah Estate Planning Council||President||2001 – 2002|
|Presenter at Conference||Title||Date|
|Southern Utah Bar Association||“Estate Planning Hotspots for Second Marriage”||2019|
|National Business Institute||“Tips For The Second Marriage Estate Planning”||2016|
|National Business Institute||“Uncovering the Laws of Intestacy and How they Might Apply”||2014|
|National Business Institute||“Understanding the role of the Personal Representative in Probate”||2014|
|National Business Institute||“Determining If Spouse’s Elective Share is a Reasonable Option”||2014|
|National Business Institute||“Estate Planning for the Disabled”||2012|
|National Business Institute||“Second Marriage Estate Planning Challenges and Opportunities”||2012|
Brent Brindley has been a member of the Utah State bar for 25 years and has practiced in Washington County, Utah for 24 years. His practice is focused entirely on family related legal issues including divorce, custody, protective orders, juvenile court cases and adoptions. He has a well-deserved reputation for honesty, integrity and competence and uses a problem-solving approach in representing his clients, seeking resolutions that are fair and allow his clients to get through the difficulty and on with life. He is masterful at helping clients understand the legal system, their rights within the system, and the most efficient and effective way to navigate the treacherous waters of family law cases.
Andrew McCullough focuses his practice in the areas of probate, estate planning, estate and trust administration, and asset protection. Upon graduating from the J. Reuben Clark School of Law at BYU in 2015, Andrew joined the firm of Brindley Sullivan. Andrew enjoys assisting clients in planning for all of life’s events and counseling them in times of need.
Andrew also participates in numerous professional organizations including: the Utah Bar’s Tax, Probate, and Estate Planning Sections; the Salt Lake County and Southern Utah Bars; and the Southern Utah Estate Planning Council. He is admitted to practice in all Utah Courts and the Federal District Court of Utah. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys reading, golfing, and losing to his wife in tennis.
Shelbi began at Brindley Sullivan as the front desk receptionist in early 2016, after she returned from a semester abroad as an English teacher. At first it was just another job, but over the past four years, she has gained an interest in the estate planning area of law and enjoys learning how all of the pieces fit together. She became a Legal Assistant to Sean Sullivan and Andrew McCullough in the summer of 2019 and she loves it! She graduated from Snow Canyon High School in 2010 and has acquired a passion for travelling the world since then, taking her to 21 countries in total. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking healthy food, taking her kayak out, and studying homeopathic medicine.