Utah Intestacy Laws

The following are excerpts from Utah’s intestacy laws. Please reference the full body of the Utah Probate Code at the Utah State Legislature for any changes to those laws that may not be reflected below.

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Utah Intestate Laws

Utah Probate Code

75-1-110. Cost of living adjustment of certain dollar amounts
(2) The dollar amounts stated in Subsection 75-2-202(2) and Sections 75-2-102…apply to the estate of a decedent who died in or after 2010, but for the estate of a decedent who died after 2011, these dollar amounts shall be increased or decreased if the CPI for the calendar year immediately preceding the year of death exceeds or is less than the reference base index.
(3) Before February 1, 2011, and before February 1 of each succeeding year, the Administrative Office of the Courts shall publish a cumulative list, beginning with the dollar amounts effective for the estate of a decedent who died in 2011, of each dollar amount as increased or decreased under this section.

75-1-201. General definitions
(5) ‘Child’ includes any individual entitled to take as a child under this code by intestate succession from the parent whose relationship is involved and excludes any person who is only a stepchild, a foster child, a grandchild, or any more remote descendant.
(9) ‘Descendant’ of an individual means all of his descendants of all generations, with the relationship of parent and child at each generation being determined by the definition of child and parent contained in this title.
(21) ‘Heirs,’ except as controlled by Section 75-2-711, means persons, including the surviving spouse and state, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to the property of a decedent.
(25) ‘Issue’ of a person means descendant as defined in Subsection (9).
(33) ‘Parent’ includes any person entitled to take, or who would be entitled to take if the child died without a will, as a parent under this code by intestate succession from the child whose relationship is in question and excludes any person who is only a stepparent, foster parent, or grandparent.
(39) ‘Property’ includes both real and personal property or any interest therein and means anything that may be the subject of ownership.

75-2-101. Intestate succession
(1) Any part of a decedent’s estate not effectively disposed of by will passes by intestate succession to the decedent’s heirs as provided in this title, except as modified by the decedent’s will.
(2) A decedent by will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing by intestate succession. If that individual or a member of that class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent’s intestate estate to which that individual or class would have succeeded passes as if that individual or each member of that class had disclaimed his intestate share.

75-2-102. Intestate share of spouse
(1) The intestate share of a decedent’s surviving spouse is:
(a) the entire intestate estate if:
(i) no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent; or
(ii) all of the decedent’s surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse;
(b) the first $75,000, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, if one or more of the decedent’s surviving descendants are not descendants of the surviving spouse.
(2) For purposes of Subsection (1)(b), if the intestate estate passes to both the decedent’s surviving spouse and to other heirs, then any nonprobate transfer, as defined in Section 75-2-206, received by the surviving spouse is added to the probate estate in calculating the intestate heirs’ shares and is conclusively treated as an advancement under Section 75-2-109 in determining the spouse’s share.

75-2-103. Share of heirs other than surviving spouse
(1) Any part of the intestate estate not passing to a decedent’s surviving spouse under Section 75-2-102, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes in the following order to the individuals who survive the decedent:
(a) to the decedent’s descendants per capita at each generation as defined in Subsection 75-2-106(2);
(b) if there is no surviving descendant, to the decedent’s parents equally if both survive, or to the surviving parent if only one survives;
(c) if there is no surviving descendant or parent, to the descendants of the decedent’s parents or either of them per capita at each generation as defined in Subsection 75-2-106(3);





(d) if there is no surviving descendant, parent, or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived on both the paternal and maternal sides by one or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents:
(i) half to the decedent’s paternal grandparents equally if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent if only one survives, or to the descendants of the decedent’s paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, the descendants taking per capita at each generation as defined in Subsection 75-2-106(3); and
(ii) half to the decedent’s maternal grandparents equally if both survive, to the surviving maternal grandparent if only one survives, or to the descendants of the decedent’s maternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, the descendants taking per capita at each generation as defined in Subsection 75-2-106(3);
(e) if there is no surviving descendant, parent, or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents on the paternal but not the maternal side, or on the maternal but not the paternal side, to the decedent’s relatives on the side with one or more surviving members in the same manner as the half described in Subsection (1)(d);
(f) if there is no taker under Subsection (1)(a), (b), (c), (d), or (e), but the decedent has:
(i) one deceased spouse who has one or more descendants who survive the decedent, the estate or part of the estate passes to that spouse’s descendants who survive the decedent, the descendants taking per capita at each generation as defined in Subsection 75-2-106(4); or
(ii) more than one deceased spouse who has one or more descendants who survive the decedent, an equal share of the estate or part of the estate passes to each set of descendants, the descendants taking per capita at each generation as defined in Subsection 75-2-106(4).
(2) For purposes of Subsections (1)(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) any nonprobate transfer, as defined in Section 75-2-205, received by an heir is added to the probate estate in calculating the intestate heirs’ shares and is conclusively treated as an advancement under Section 75-2-109 to the heir in determining the heir’s share.

75-2-104. Requirement of survival by 120 hours – Individual in gestation
(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.

75-2-105. No taker
If there is no taker under the provisions of this chapter, the intestate estate passes to the state for the benefit of the state school fund.

75-2-106. Definitions – Per capita at each generation – Terms in governing instruments
(1) As used in this section:
(a) ‘Deceased descendant,’ ‘deceased parent,’ or ‘deceased grandparent’ means a descendant, parent, or grandparent who either predeceased the decedent or is considered to have predeceased the decedent under Section 75-2-104.
(b) ‘Surviving descendant’ means a descendant who neither predeceased the decedent nor is considered to have predeceased the decedent under Section 75-2-104.
(2) (a) If, under Subsection 75-2-103(1)(a), a decedent’s intestate estate or a part thereof passes ‘per capita at each generation’ to the decedent’s descendants, the estate or part thereof is divided into as many equal shares as there are:
(i) surviving descendants in the generation nearest to the decedent which contains one or more surviving descendants; and
(ii) deceased descendants in the same generation who left surviving descendants, if any.
(b) Each surviving descendant in the nearest generation is allocated one share.
(c) The remaining shares, if any, are combined and then divided in the same manner among the surviving descendants of the deceased descendants as if the surviving descendants who were allocated a share and their surviving descendants had predeceased the decedent.
(3) (a) If, under Subsection 75-2-103(1)(c) or (d), a decedent’s intestate estate or a part thereof passes ‘per capita at each generation’ to the descendants of the decedent’s deceased parents or either of them or to the descendants of the decedent’s deceased paternal or maternal grandparents or either of them, the estate or part thereof is divided into as many equal shares as there are:
(i) surviving descendants in the generation nearest the deceased parents or either of them, or the deceased grandparents or either of them, that contains one or more surviving descendants; and
(ii) deceased descendants in the same generation who left surviving descendants, if any.
(b) Each surviving descendant in the nearest generation is allocated one share.
(c) The remaining shares, if any, are combined and then divided in the same manner among the surviving descendants of the deceased descendants as if the surviving descendants who were allocated a share and their surviving descendants had predeceased the decedent.
(4) (a) If, under Subsection 75-2-103(1)(e), a decedent’s intestate estate or a part of the estate passes ‘per capita at each generation’ to the descendants of the decedent’s deceased spouse, the estate or part of the estate is divided into as many equal shares as there are:
(i) surviving descendants in the generation nearest the deceased spouse that contains one or more surviving descendants; and
(ii) deceased descendants in the same generation who left surviving descendants, if any.
(b) Each surviving descendant in the nearest generation is allocated one share.
(c) The remaining shares, if any, are combined and then divided in the same manner among the surviving descendants of the deceased descendants as if the surviving descendants who were allocated a share and their surviving descendants had predeceased the decedent.

75-2-107. Kindred of half blood
Relatives of the half blood inherit the same share they would inherit if they were of the whole blood.

75-2-109. Advancements
(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.

75-2-114. Parent and child relationship
(1) Except as provided in Subsections (2) and (3), for purposes of intestate succession by, through, or from a person, an individual is the child of the individual’s natural parents, regardless of their marital status. The parent and child relationship may be established as provided in Title 78B, Chapter 15, Utah Uniform Parentage Act.
(2) An adopted individual is the child of the adopting parent or parents and not of the natural parents, but adoption of a child by the spouse of either natural parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and that natural parent.
(3) Inheritance from or through a child by either natural parent or the child’s kindred is precluded unless that natural parent has openly treated the child as the natural parent’s, and has not refused to support the child.

75-2-205. Decedent’s nonprobate transfers to others
Unless excluded under Section 75-2-208, the value of the augmented estate includes the value of the decedent’s nonprobate transfers to others, not included under Section 75-2-204, of any of the types described in this section, in the amount provided respectively for each type of transfer:
(1) Property owned or owned in substance by the decedent immediately before death that passed outside probate at the decedent’s death. Property included under this category consists of the property described in this Subsection (1).
(a) (i) Property over which the decedent alone, immediately before death, held a presently exercisable general power of appointment.
(ii) The amount included is the value of the property subject to the power, to the extent the property passed at the decedent’s death, by exercise, release, lapse, in default, or otherwise, to or for the benefit of any person other than the decedent’s estate or surviving spouse.
(b) (i) The decedent’s fractional interest in property held by the decedent in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship.
(ii) The amount included is the value of the decedent’s fractional interest, to the extent the fractional interest passed by right of survivorship at the decedent’s death to a surviving joint tenant other than the decedent’s surviving spouse.
(c) (i) The decedent’s ownership interest in property or accounts held in POD, TOD, or co-ownership registration with the right of survivorship.
(ii) The amount included is the value of the decedent’s ownership interest, to the extent the decedent’s ownership interest passed at the decedent’s death to or for the benefit of any person other than the decedent’s estate or surviving spouse.
(d) (i) Proceeds of insurance, including accidental death benefits, on the life of the decedent, if the decedent owned the insurance policy immediately before death or if and to the extent the decedent alone and immediately before death held a presently exercisable general power of appointment over the policy or its proceeds.
(ii) The amount included:
(A) is the value of the proceeds, to the extent they were payable at the decedent’s death to or for the benefit of any person other than the decedent’s estate or surviving spouse; and
(B) may not exceed the greater of the cash surrender value of the policy immediately prior to the death of the decedent or the amount of premiums paid on the policy during the decedent’s life.
(2) Property transferred in any of the forms described in this Subsection (2) by the decedent during marriage:
(a) (i) Any irrevocable transfer in which the decedent retained the right to the possession or enjoyment of, or to the income from, the property if and to the extent the decedent’s right terminated at or continued beyond the decedent’s death.
(ii) An irrevocable transfer in trust which includes a restriction on transfer of the decedent’s interest as settlor and beneficiary as described in Section 25-6-502.
(iii) The amount included is the value of the fraction of the property to which the right or restriction related, to the extent the fraction of the property passed outside probate to or for the benefit of any person other than the decedent’s estate or surviving spouse.
(b) (i) Any transfer in which the decedent created a power over income or property, exercisable by the decedent alone or in conjunction with any other person, or exercisable by a nonadverse party, to or for the benefit of the decedent, creditors of the decedent, the decedent’s estate, or creditors of the decedent’s estate.
(ii) The amount included with respect to a power over property is the value of the property subject to the power, and the amount included with respect to a power over income is the value of the property that produces or produced the income, to the extent the power in either case was exercisable at the decedent’s death to or for the benefit of any person other than the decedent’s surviving spouse or to the extent the property passed at the decedent’s death, by exercise, release, lapse, in default, or otherwise, to or for the benefit of any person other than the decedent’s estate or surviving spouse.
(iii) If the power is a power over both income and property and Subsection (2)(b)(ii) produces different amounts, the amount included is the greater amount.
(3) Property that passed during marriage and during the two-year period next preceding the decedent’s death as a result of a transfer by the decedent if the transfer was of any of the types described in this Subsection (3).
(a) (i) Any property that passed as a result of the termination of a right or interest in, or power over, property that would have been included in the augmented estate under Subsection (1)(a), (b), or (c), or under Subsection (2), if the right, interest, or power had not terminated until the decedent’s death.
(ii) The amount included is the value of the property that would have been included under Subsection (1)(a), (b), (c), or Subsection (2) if the property were valued at the time the right, interest, or power terminated, and is included only to the extent the property passed upon termination to or for the benefit of any person other than the decedent or the decedent’s estate, spouse, or surviving spouse.
(iii) (A) As used in this Subsection (3)(a), ‘termination,’ with respect to a right or interest in property, occurs when the right or interest terminated by the terms of the governing instrument or the decedent transferred or relinquished the right or interest, and, with respect to a power over property, occurs when the power terminated by exercise, release, lapse, default, or otherwise.
(B) With respect to a power described in Subsection (1)(a), ‘termination’ occurs when the power terminated by exercise or release, but not otherwise.
(b) (i) Any transfer of or relating to an insurance policy on the life of the decedent if the proceeds would have been included in the augmented estate under Subsection (1)(d) had the transfer not occurred.
(ii) The amount included:
(A) is the value of the insurance proceeds to the extent the proceeds were payable at the decedent’s death to or for the benefit of any person other than the decedent’s estate or surviving spouse; and
(B) may not exceed the greater of the cash surrender value of the policy immediately prior to the death of the decedent or the amount of premiums paid on the policy during the decedent’s life.
(c) (i) Any transfer of property, to the extent not otherwise included in the augmented estate, made to or for the benefit of a person other than the decedent’s surviving spouse.
(ii) The amount included is the value of the transferred property to the extent the aggregate transfers to any one donee in either of the two years exceeded $10,000.

75-2-206. Decedent’s nonprobate transfers to the surviving spouse
Excluding property passing to the surviving spouse under the federal Social Security system, any death benefits paid to the surviving spouse under any state workers’ compensation law, and property excluded under Section 75-2-208, the value of the augmented estate includes the value of the decedent’s nonprobate transfers to the decedent’s surviving spouse, which consist of all property that passed outside probate at the decedent’s death from the decedent to the surviving spouse by reason of the decedent’s death, including:
(1) the decedent’s fractional interest in property held as a joint tenant with the right of survivorship, to the extent that the decedent’s fractional interest passed to the surviving spouse as surviving joint tenant;
(2) the decedent’s ownership interest in property or accounts held in co-ownership registration with the right of survivorship, to the extent the decedent’s ownership interest passed to the surviving spouse as surviving co-owner; and
(3) all other property that would have been included in the augmented estate under Subsection 75-2-205(1) or (2) had it passed to or for the benefit of a person other than the decedent’s spouse, surviving spouse, the decedent, or the decedent’s creditors, estate, or estate creditors.