Who Controls Your Estate After Death?

by Zach Stevens

It should be you! Estate law allows for this by giving you the power to appoint a personal representative, also called an executor, in your will. The personal representative is the one who carries out your final wishes and manages your estate after you die.

You can name anyone you want as your personal representative, but it’s important to choose someone you trust implicitly to handle this responsibility.

Your personal representative will be responsible for:

  • Filing your will with the court
  • Gathering your assets
  • Retirement accounts, life insurance policies and remaining assets
  • Paying your final debts and taxes
  • Distributing your assets according to your will

For many, it is their surviving spouse. For others, it is their attorney, business partner or adult child. Whoever you choose, make sure they are up to the task and willing to take it on.

Our Idaho Falls attorneys can help you establish a comprehensive last will and testament. We can also help you set up a living trust. These allow for the distribution of your assets in accordance with your wishes and can help avoid probate.

What Happens If a Person Dies Without a Will or Trust in Idaho?

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If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to Idaho’s intestacy laws. These laws determine who will inherit your property if you die without a will.

In general, your spouse and closest relatives will inherit your property. If you are not married and do not have any close relatives, your property will go to the state of Idaho.

The process of distributing your property according to Idaho’s intestacy laws is called probate. Probate court can be a long and costly process. The state will take what it is owed first, and then your heirs will receive what is left — and they will receive your property via a state-approved distribution process that will likely not be in yours or their best interest.

Hiring an Idaho Falls family attorney to help you establish a last will and testament and give power of attorney to your representative can ensure your family doesn’t have to suffer through the probate process.

Power of Attorney

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A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to make decisions on your behalf. With a power of attorney, you can appoint a trusted person to handle your finances, make medical decisions or take care of other business matters if you are unable to do so yourself.

You can give someone power of attorney for a specific task or for all matters. You can also specify when the power of attorney takes effect — for example, you may want it to only kick in if you become incapacitated.

It’s important to choose someone you trust to be your power of attorney. This person will have a great deal of control over your life, so you want to be sure they will act in your best interests.

MZJ Can Help

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At our law firm, we can help you appoint a power of attorney and put other estate planning documents in place. Our goal is to help you protect your interests, both now and in the future.

To learn more about how we can help, please contact us to schedule a consultation.

Estate Planning Form

Last Will and Testament - idaho falls attorney
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