Legal Memorandum: Admissibility of an Unexecuted Will in UT

Issue: May an unexecuted will be considered admissible in Utah?

Area of Law: Estate Planning & Probate
Keywords: Unexecuted will; Admissibility
Jurisdiction: Utah
Cited Cases: 418 N.E.2d 656; 437 N.Y.S.2d 63
Cited Statutes: Utah Code Ann. § 75-2-502(1) (2011); Utah Code Ann. § 75-2-503; Utah Code Ann. § 75-2-510; Unif. Prob. Code § 2-503, cmt; Utah Code Ann. § 75-2-513
Date: 07/01/2012

If a will and other documents are unexecuted it is not a bar to their admissibility.  Utah law provides that a will must be “(a) in writing; (b) signed by the testator or in the testator’s name by some other individual in the testator’s conscious presence and by the testator’s direction; and (c) signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after he witnessed either the signing of the will as described in Subsection (1)(b) or the testator’s acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.”  Utah Code Ann. § 75-2-502(1) (2011).  However, there is an exception for writings intended as wills.  The Probate Code further provides:

Although a document or writing added upon a document was not executed in compliance with Section 75-2-502 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.


Id. § 75-2-503.  Therefore, even if the documents are […]

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