Estate Planning Attorneys Focused On You
Our Idaho Falls estate law attorneys have extensive experience drafting and handling wills, trusts, probate documents, and more.
Our Services Cover All Aspects of Estate Planning
Wills & Trusts
A will is a formal document, stating your wishes upon your death.
Our Idaho Falls estate attorneys work with you to determine what your wishes are for your estate upon your death. We draft wills regularly not just for clients in advanced stages of life, but also young couples who have just had their first child, young individuals who amass great wealth, and more.
A will generally includes:
- How your property and debts will be distributed upon your death,
- Who you wish to act as the personal representative for your estate,
- The terms on which you want your belongings to be handled,
- And much more.
A Trust is a legal entity that you create to hold your assets during your life, or upon your death.
A Trust allows you to have great control over how your property is distributed, such as not allowing one of the people you designate to receive assets until they reach a certain age, or meet a certain condition.
Trusts are complicated, and require a thorough review and careful planning from an Idaho Falls estate attorney.
We have set up Trusts for dozens of clients, and can help you navigate and set up yours. We have experience setting up the following kinds of Trusts:
- Revocable Trusts
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Family Trusts
- Living Trusts
- Charity Remainder Trusts
- Testamentary Trusts
- And more.
Probate In Idaho
Who is involved in the probate process can be narrowed down to those who fall within 4 basic categories:
- The Executor— This is the person tasked with facilitating and distributing assets in accordance with the deceased person’s final will. If someone dies in Idaho without a will, then the state chooses someone it believes to be the most appropriate executor (a spouse, sibling, etc.). However, if you’ve hired an Idaho Falls estate attorney for estate, will, and trust planning, then this attorney is and ought to be the executor—he or she will represent deceased person, handle asset distribution, and control access to the trust in accordance with the deceased person’s wishes as outlined in their final will.
- The Beneficiaries—Those who inherit the deceased person’s assets—usually relatives and close friends, but sometimes organizations, charities, and other parties.
- The Creditors—Those who collect debts owed by the estate.
- The Judge—He or she presides over the probate process.
Once deceased, a person’s documents (including the death certificate and final will and testament) are gathered up by the executor (ideally, the attorney) and presented to the probate court.
During this process, your Idaho Falls estate attorney will:
- Gather assets—This involves gathering and valuing said assets, which can include retirement assets, investment accounts, property of any kind, etc.
- Alert creditors—If there is anything owed from the estate, then the creditors need to be notified so that they can collect. Creditors can be contractors, mortgage holders, credit card companies, etc. The funeral home director also needs compensation.
- Distribute the remaining estate—Once all debts are paid and the remaining assets have been properly valued, the executor begins distributing the remaining estate to the deceased person’s heirs as outlined in their final will and testament.
There is also the final step of filing the deceased person’s final taxes which, while not part of the official court proceedings, can be done by your Idaho Falls estate attorney. This must usually occur within 9 months of the date of the person’s death.
Probate costs vary depending on the size of the estate. The state in which probate occurs may also be a factor. That said, probate costs are generally between 3 and 7 percent of the estate’s overall value.
Probate costs are typically covered by the estate, so it’s important to have an Idaho Falls estate attorney who can reduce or avoid as many costs as possible so that more can be passed down to the heirs of the estate.
In a nutshell, “probate” is the legal process that occurs following a person’s death.
While the specific details vary by state, in general, the purpose of probate is typically to validate and authenticate the deceased person’s final will (distribution of assets, paying or assigning debts, etc.).
This is a court-supervised process in which having an Idaho Falls estate attorney is a major factor in ensuring the dictates of the final will are carried out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fortunately, Idaho does not impose inheritance or estate taxes.
However, inheritance from a different state that does levy these taxes will still apply.
There are also non-estate taxes that may need to be paid on behalf of the deceased. Large estates are also typically subject to federal estate tax.
In short—while The State Of Idaho does not levy estate taxes, there may be taxes due on certain estates based on other factors.
An Idaho Falls estate attorney can help you sort these issues out and eliminate as many taxes as possible on an estate inheritance.
If taxes are owed, the only one responsible for filing would be the executor—the person appointed as the administrator—of the estate.
These taxes would include:
- The final individual federal and state income tax returns—Due on Tax Day the year of their passing.
- The federal estate tax return—If the deceased’s estate exceeds a gross asset and prior taxable gift value of $11.58 million, this is due 9 months following the person’s death.
The good news is that the government doesn’t automatically take a person’s estate if they die without a will. The bad news is that government oversight and dispersal of the estate can be more burdensome.
Estate law in Idaho Falls has a statute in place that provides a kind of “default will” in these cases—but obviously, the way in which the estate is transferred in this case may not be in everyone’s best interest.
Typically, the court appoints an adult relative—usually the surviving spouse—as the estate’s executor. This person is responsible for protecting and distributing the estate after the government has claimed what they can.
Our Idaho Falls estate planning attorneys can help you establish a will that ensures your estate is passed on to the persons and/or institutions that you see fit.
It is a good idea to have both.
The reason for this is that while trusts are legal entities that can hold your assets upon your death or disability, a will can mitigate a lot of problems as well.
For example, maybe you have assets that have yet to be transferred to your trust upon your death.
Giving power of attorney to one of our Idaho Falls estate attorneys gives them the power to safeguard your trust and distribute your will according to your directions.
You are not required to reveal anything about your will to anyone involved in your estate.
That said, our Idaho Falls estate attorneys don’t typically recommend this for a number of reasons.
For example, no one is legally obligated to do what you ask of them in your will. Many circumstances can cause them to refuse your requests, which can offset the plan laid out in your will.
Going over your will with certain individuals involved in it is often a good idea—you can gauge their reaction, reorganize things, and in general make it more possible for them to accommodate your wishes. This also gives them time and foresight so they can make plans and preparations when the time comes.