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By Stephen J. Muhonen, Creditor’s Rights / Collections Attorney, Racine Olson, PLLP

As a judgment holder, it goes without saying that attempting to collect upon that judgment can be terribly frustrating, cumbersome, and unfruitful.  Said otherwise, sometimes the process is just an emotional and physical drain.  You invested so much time, effort and energy to get your judgment, just to find out that the judgment debtor won’t voluntarily pay as owed.  Then, to add insult to injury, you find out his/her/its assets are located in another state.  So now what?

Fortunately, Idaho has in place a statutory mechanism that allows foreign judgments to be domesticated, enforced and collected upon in Idaho.  For purposes of this discussion, “foreign judgment” is “any judgment, decree or order of a court of the United States or of any other court or an order of an administrative body of any state regarding the support of a child, spouse, or former spouse or the establishment of paternity which is entitled to full faith and credit in this state.”  See Idaho Code §10-1301.  Idaho also has the Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Recognition Act and the Uniform Foreign-Money Claims Act, neither of which are discussed herein.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

When Christmas or birthdays roll around every year, we spend time thinking about the very best gifts that we can give to our family and loved ones. Sometimes we even think about the gifts that we are going to receive. We do this because these things are important to us. The purpose of this article is to talk about one of the very best gifts that you can actually give to your family and loved ones. This gift would be pre-planning and prepaying for your own funeral.

Why would pre planning and prepaying your own funeral be such a gift to your family? There are many reasons. Here are just a few.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Maybe you’ve thought about estate planning. Perhaps you even got to the point where you’ve decided that you want to get your estate planning done. So, what do you do now?

When I talk to estate planning clients, I find that this is often where they are. They simply don’t know where to start to get their estate planning done even though they know they want to do it.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

When it comes to your Idaho estate planning you are in complete control if you have a well thought out and complete written last will and testament. If you do not have a written Will, then your estate will be distributed based on the statutes in Idaho. This simply means that some of your money, property, or other assets, could go to individuals or family members that you do not want them to go to.

I’ve worked as an Idaho estate planning and probate attorney for more than 20 years. This means that I’ve seen just about everything you can imagine when it comes to both estate planning, and probate. One of the common things that I have seen is when a parent wants to disinherit one of their children, but simply does it wrong. When it’s done wrong, then the child is not disinherited, and they receive a portion of the parents’ estate after all despite what the parent wants.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

There are many misunderstandings about probate. These misunderstandings often come from the stories we hear from family members or friends. Even when these stories happen in other states and places, I’ve found that many of my clients are concerned. The main reason: the stories we hear are mainly about how everything went wrong, sometimes really REALLY wrong. Think about it. When things go right, there is no story so we don’t hear about that.

As an Idaho probate attorney for more than 20 years, I’ve heard every story. I’ve even been involved in probates where things have gone badly wrong because of family fights and poorly drafted last wills and testaments or trusts.  Like they say on the Farmers Insurance commercials, I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two.

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By Stephen J. Muhonen, Creditor’s Rights / Collections Attorney, Racine Olson, PLLP

Have you ever been the victim of a crime?  Ughhh!  It can be so frustrating!  First there is the event itself that caused your property to be either stolen, injured or damaged.  This is where one is first “victimized” by the bad guy or at-fault party.  Next, the person is charged with a crime and then, generally, after a few months, maybe even much longer, the case is adjudicated and the judge orders the prosecuting attorney to submit any claim(s) for restitution.  As the victim you collect receipts, get bids, obtain estimates, obtain other proof of loss and provide them to the prosecuting attorney.  The prosecutor then submits your damages to the court, which the defendant can then contest as to the amount due and owing.  Once the dust settles on the dispute (if any) as to how much is owed by the defendant to the victim, the court then enters its Order of Restitution or Judgment.  It is at this time where the victim of the crime can often feel victimized again.

Sometimes the defendant abides by the judgment or order imposed against him/her and pay as obligated.  Sometimes they pay it in one lump sum.  Sometimes they make the payments a little bit at a time over a certain period of probation; and sometimes they don’t pay it at all.  So you contact the prosecuting attorney who can then provide notice to the court that the defendant is not paying as ordered and ask the judge to find that the defendant is in violation of the terms and conditions of his/her probation.  Unfortunately, the most a judge can do is hold the defendant in contempt or in violation of probation and have him/her incarcerated.  Hopefully this gets the defendant’s attention, but it does not put money in your pocket.  So, what are your alternatives?

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Over the 20-plus years that I’ve practiced as an estate planning attorney I’ve seen just about every situation you can imagine. Many of these situations include individuals on their actual deathbeds wanting to complete their estate planning, including getting their written last will and testament done. I’ve helped in many of these situations. However, I am also keenly aware that as an attorney I have to independently verify that the individual on their deathbed who is seeking to get their estate planning done, can really do it.

In my practice, I often tell my clients that I have specific goals to complete when I’m helping them with their estate planning. The first goal is that I want to accomplish exactly what my client wants to do within the bounds of the law. My additional goal is that by accomplishing the first goal, the written last will and testament will help keep peace in their family after my client passes away.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Pocatello Estate Planning Attorney

The goal of all good estate planning is to provide protection for the individual while they are alive and to allow their money, property, and assets to be distributed to the people they want them to go to after they pass away. One of the biggest assets that individuals have to transfer to someone else after they pass away usually is real estate. This could be a home, or it could be farm ground, or it could be an investment property. Regardless of what it is, real estate is unique, because it is one of the few assets in an estate that can actually trigger the need for a probate.

The purpose of this article is to talk about real estate and how it could affect your estate planning, and what happens with your estate after you pass away. By understanding these things, hopefully it will help you make some decisions about your own estate planning.

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By Stephen J. Muhonen, Creditor’s Rights / Collections Attorney, Racine Olson, PLLP

Congratulations!  You won your court case and now have a money judgment entered in your favor.  All of that time, effort, emotional energy, attorney fees and costs incurred, and just the drain of the process has finally funneled to a conclusion where a court has concluded you are entitled to money from the adverse party.  It’s a great day! Or is it?  You or your attorney have approached the liable party for payment, but they won’t pay.  All of that time, effort, money and energy spent for what?  How are you going to get them to pay up?

Judgment Creditors in Idaho have multiple resources to draw upon in attempt to satisfy their judgment when insurance resources are not available.  Those options include:

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By Lane V. Erickson, Pocatello Estate Planning Attorney

Isn’t it great when you have someone offer you advice that actually helps you in your life? I’ve been an estate planning attorney in Pocatello, Idaho now for over 20 years. During this time, I’ve offered a plethora of advice to each of my clients about their own estate planning documents and how they can use these documents to protect themselves while they are alive and provide for their family and loved ones after they have passed away.

There are so many nuances and specifics about an estate plan that are important it’s easy to give advice about estate planning to each of my clients. The areas that can be discussed include things such as a simple last will and testament all the way to the most complicated of trusts. I can also provide advice at length about using an estate plan to provide for minor aged children, children who have addictions, children who have disabilities and special needs, and children that parents want to disinherit from their estate plan. Additionally, I also regularly provide advice to my clients about how their estate planning can protect them while they are alive through their durable power of attorney, their living will, or their power of attorney for health care.

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