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.