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Published on:

By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

Contrary to what you may believe, if you are an undocumented immigrant living in Idaho, you have many substantial rights under the United States constitution. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) wants you to understand these rights. It has posted on the Internet important information in “Know Your Rights Handouts” that explain what you should do if you have an encounter with officers from the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This blog post summarizes the information in these handouts and explains how to act if ICE visits you at your home or work here in Idaho, or if an ICE official stops you in a public space in Idaho.

You Don’t Have to Open Your Door

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By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

It doesn’t really matter whether you live in Boise, Nampa, Pocatello, or Coeur d’Alene. Idaho Estate planning Basics are the same for everyone. Every adult in Idaho should have at least a basic estate plan in place for themselves and for their family. Here are the 4 components of a basic Idaho estate plan.

1. DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY

Published on:

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

So you have completed your Idaho estate planning. Congratulations! You have now accomplished more than 68 percent of adults in America. However, before you get too excited about what you have done, it is a great idea to look over what you have completed and make sure that it actually accomplishes what you want. More importantly, it is wise for you to review your Idaho estate plan including your life insurance to avoid common mistakes that can cause problems. Here’s a list of these mistakes, and if you have made them, a description of the steps you can take to fix these mistakes.

The first and most common mistake found in Idaho estate plans that include life insurance is if you’ve named a minor child or even a young adult as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, that is a big mistake that needs to be fixed. Under Idaho law it is illegal for a minor to be the recipient directly of life insurance proceeds. Rather, before money can be distributed to the minor, there has to be a legal guardian and or Conservator who is named who will receive those monies and hold them for the benefit of the minor child. If all you have done is named a minor as a beneficiary, there is room for a legal argument to be made by several adults that they should be named as the guardian and conservator of that child. This would leave them in control of the money.

Published on:

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Having practiced as an Idaho estate planning attorney for nearly 18 years, I’ve come to learn that everyone should consider completing their Idaho estate planning. This would include the demographic group of individuals known as Millennials. Millennials are defined to be persons born in the mid 1980s through the year 2000. Today they would be between the ages of 18 to about 30.  Basically, this is a group of young adults.

Most Millennials I have spoken to have never really considered getting their estate planning done. The reason for this is fairly easy to determine. This group of individuals are fairly young, and because of that they believe that there is plenty of time to worry about getting their Idaho estate planning done later in life, when they were more likely to need it. There really are 3 main reasons why Millennials should consider completing their Idaho estate planning.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Like most states Idaho allows an individual to create a living will. Sometimes people use a different name for a living will such as a “Do Not Resuscitate Order” or DNR, or a “Health Care Directive”.  These are all fancy names that lawyers use for this document but they all mean the same thing. A living will is a document where the individual who creates it can provide specific directions to his healthcare providers as to the medical treatment he wants to receive towards the end of his or her life. There are a number of different choices this individual has as to the kind of treatment they either do or do not want to receive.

Under the terms and directions of the document itself, most living will only becomes effective when three specific circumstances exist. The first is that the person has a terminal medical condition. The second circumstance is that the health care providers believe the terminal condition will lead to the imminent death of the individual. And the third condition is that the individual is unable to communicate with their healthcare providers. When these three circumstances occur the living will becomes effective and provides direction to health care providers.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Having been an attorney in Idaho for nearly eighteen years, and having completed a number of probates for clients during that time, I find that many people are confused about the probate process in Idaho. Probate in Idaho is really not that difficult. However, I know it can be intimidating for those who don’t deal with it regularly. Here are 3 things that every person in Idaho should know about Idaho probate.

1. WHEN IS PROBATE REQUIRED

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By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Most people are aware that Idaho estate planning is used to plan for a person’s life and death. When you ask most people about what estate planning should accomplish they will point to the giving of gifts after their death. While this is an important part of estate planning, I often tell my clients at the most important objective or goal of their Idaho estate planning should be to keep peace within the family after they pass away. Their deaths should be an opportunity for their family to come together and comfort one another and to strengthen their relationships with each other. However, I often find that the death of a parent often leads children to bicker and fight over the property that is left in the estate. Here are 4 tips on how to avoid inheritance conflicts in your family.

1. BE CLEAR AND CONCISE WITH YOUR ESTATE PLANNING

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By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

Trump has now issued two executive orders that target immigration and refugees from predominantly Muslin countries. To the relief of many Idahoans, neither has passed the scrutiny of federal judges. When Trump issued his first executive order, civic leaders in Idaho’s refugee communities expressed great concerns. “People are fearful and anxious and don’t know what to expect — they feel they have been pointed out for discriminatory treatment,” explained Jan Reeves, the director of the Idaho Office for Refugees, a private organization that coordinates with the federal government to resettle refugees in the Boise area. Trump’s first executive order also prompted roughly 600 Idahoans to gather in the Boise airport to voice their protest.

Mr. Reeves and these Idahoans have been relieved—twice. After the first order was struck down, the softer, second order was issued on March 6, 2017. In Trump’s own words, it was a “watered down” version of the first. It contains some changes President Trump and his legal team obviously hoped would allow it to survive the courts’ examination. Trump has been disappointed again. Federal district judges in Hawaii and Maryland have either blocked the entire order or key provisions.

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By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

When transferring fee simple ownership in real property, Idaho law requires that the property description precisely describe the property. If not, the transfer is not valid. A much more lenient standard, however, applies to the conveyance of easements. If a document granting an easement does clearly and precisely define the easement location, the easement is often referred to as a “floating easement” or a “blanket easement.” These types of easements are not invalid.

In Idaho, a floating easement—or an easement grant without a definite location—it valid and becomes definite and fully defined by its initial use. For instance, in Manning v. Campbell, a written easement allowed the use of an unbuilt driveway “from the end of North 21st street of the city of Boise, Idaho, in a northerly and southerly direction, far enough to allow the [parties] to enter upon their premises.” This 1952 grant neither specified the exact location of the driveway nor its dimensions. About fifty years later, the driveway had been built, but the location and width of the easement became an issue of controversy. The Manning Court explained that the actual construction of the driveway fixed the location and width of the easement. In so doing, it supported the general rule that the initial selection of a place for an easement fixes its physical location.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

I truly believe that most people have good intentions. However, as an Idaho estate planning attorney I am often shocked and amazed by individuals who didn’t complete their estate planning before they passed away. More importantly, I’ve seen the result of the failure to make an estate plan and the impact this can have on a person’s family. Here are the 4 most common estate planning mistakes made by people that should be avoided by you.

1. FAILURE TO CREATE AN ESTATE PLAN