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What is the Uniform Probate Code?

The Uniform Probate Code or UPC is a body of laws about wills, trusts and estates, that many states have adopted. The UPC provides uniform procedures in place of the formalities of traditional probate court, with the intention of making court procedures simpler and less expensive. The UPC covers:

Which States Follow the UPC?

There are currently 18 states that have adopted the Uniform Probate Code: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.

What is the Significance of the UPC?

The UPC specifies the rights a surviving spouse has when their spouse dies intestate (without a will). In the event that a spouse dies intestate:

  • If there are no parents, children, or grandchildren of the deceased spouse, the surviving spouse inherits the estate
  • If a parent of the deceased spouse survives, the surviving spouse inherits the first $50,000 and splits the remaining estate with the parent(s)
  • If a child or grandchild survives, the surviving spouse inherits the first $50,000 and splits the remaining estate with the child or grandchild.

Do I need a Lawyer to Draft My Will if I Live in a State That Has Adopted the UPC?

Even if you live in a state that has adopted the UPC, that does not necessarily mean that your loved ones will be properly taken care of. Carefully drafting your will is the best way to ensure that your estate is properly distributed to those you name, while simplifying the difficult probate process. An experienced estate planning lawyer in your state can provide substantial assistance.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 06-04-2012 02:11 PM PDT

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