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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As an estate planning and probate attorney, I am often asked questions about the probate process. To help my clients understand probate I have developed a diagram that walks through the steps involved in probate and answers most questions clients have about the process.

Most recently, because of the Coronavirus, the question that I am often asked is how they can go about doing a probate. The reason for this is that in many instances surviving spouses or children are in different areas of the United States and are unable to travel to Idaho.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As a practicing Idaho Estate Planning and probate attorney for over 20 years, I have seen just about every scenario you can imagine when it comes to completing a probate in Idaho. I’ve also come to understand that there is a lot of confusion about whether a probate needs to be done, if so what the probate process is, and who would be chosen to act as the Personal Representative (also known as the Executor) of the probate estate. The purpose of this article is to talk about who will be chosen as a Personal Representative when there is no written last will and testament left by the person who passes away.

Many people that I talk to erroneously believe that if there is a written last will and testament then there is no need for a probate to be done. It’s important to understand at the start that regardless of whether there is or isn’t a written last will and testament, a probate may still be required in Idaho. Simply put, a probate is required in Idaho anytime a person passes away when their name is on the deed or title to any type of real estate regardless of whether it is a home, or farm ground or bare ground. Additionally, a probate in Idaho is required anytime a person’s estate is worth more than $100,000 regardless of the type of property that is in it. Additionally, a probate may be required if the deceased person was going to receive a payment from a third-party such as insurance benefits, or litigation proceeds, or a payment from other types of accounts.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

With the coronavirus pandemic raging throughout the world and in the United States I have had several clients talk to me about whether they should update their estate planning documents. It’s a wonderful question and it’s one that should be asked regularly by any individual who has their estate planning done. The reason for this is that life simply doesn’t stand still.

What I mean by this is that life is ever-changing. Our job, our marriage, or children, where we live, can all change very quickly. I usually suggest to my clients that they review their estate planning documents anytime they have gone through a major life change, or if nothing significant has changed in their lives they should review their estate plan every 5 years at least.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Every client I talk to has questions about how the Coronavirus is affecting their lives and what they can do about it. This is especially true when it comes to either completing or updating their estate plan.

We encourage you to download our Estate Planning Questionnaire which is a simple document you can type into on your computer and save. Our clients tell us the Questionnaire made the process of gathering information simple and easy. Once this is done, we provide a free 30-minute consultation to discuss the information on the questionnaire and to answer questions about estate planning. Our goal is to help our clients understand the options and choices they have for their own estate plan.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

When it comes to the coronavirus, there are a number of questions my clients have posed recently. The purpose of this blog article is simply to answer some of the most common questions I’ve been asked.

If you don’t find your question listed below, please contact me. I am still doing phone consultations and video calls to answer questions for clients and to help them with their estate planning needs. I do this through a free 30-minute consultation and would be happy to spend some time answering your questions and helping you!

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

The Coronavirus has definitely been a motivator for people to think about getting their estate planning done. Well I believe that it is always a good thing to think about getting estate planning done, or updating estate planning that already exists, I am a firm believer that people should not panic.

I’ve been an estate planning attorney now for over 20 years, and I am a firm believer that we are always at risk of injury, illness, or death even before the Coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the world. Because of this, it’s important that we always consider ourselves, our family members, and our loved ones. We should look down the road of the future and think about how we can plan and prepare to care for ourselves and others both while we are alive and after we are gone.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

The first conversation is usually a panicked one. It’s either a phone call or the person has scheduled an appointment to meet with me in person. The first sentence is almost always the same. “Mr. Erickson, I’ve been named in the Will as a personal representative for my father/mother/sister/brother or spouse’s estate, and I have no idea what I need to do. Can you help me?” When this happens, I am always happy to help.

The first thing I do is sit down with this client and show them the probate diagram that I use with all clients during the first consultation. As I talk about the steps and process of a probate, I usually start by describing the main reasons that a personal representative is appointed. There are really only four.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As an estate planning attorney, I often have conversations with my elderly clients about whether or not they should leave a sizable inheritance to their children or grandchildren. This is a question that can be discussed from a number of different angles depending on your perspective. However, I usually start the conversation by telling my clients that they have absolutely no legal obligation to leave any inheritance to any of their family.

I often tell my clients that if I had a crystal ball and we knew exactly when it was their life would end, we could come up with the perfect estate plan where they could spend their last dime the day before they die. If I had this ability, I would be the most sought out estate planning attorney in the world.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d be familiar with the biggest news story coming out of Idaho recently. This has to do with Chad Daybell and his new wife Lori Vallow. In addition to the two missing children, several mysterious deaths surround these two individuals including the death of Chad Daybell’s first wife Tammy. Though no details have been released to the public yet, Tammy Daybell’s body has been exhumed so that additional tests can be done to determine whether or not her death was due to natural causes as claimed by Chad.

Without getting into all the details having to do with Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and the missing children, we will simply focus on what will happen under Idaho’s inheritance laws if it is determined that Chad Daybell played a role in Tammy’ death.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

For more than 20 years I’ve been an estate planning and probate attorney in Idaho. I love where I live, and I love the work I do! I find that I have an opportunity to help many people in creating their own customized written estate plan. I also get to work with these people to keep their plan updated whenever they go through a major life change. Additionally, I’m available to help the family members or loved ones of each of my clients when my clients pass away.

Whatever I tell someone that I’m an estate planning and probate attorney I usually get a series of questions. These questions can range all over the place from how do you start to get an estate plan done or what is it that you need to do after a loved one or family member has passed away. Recently, however, I was asked a question I’ve never been asked before. This question was, “What does executing a will mean?”

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