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3 Main Purposes of Probate in Idaho

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Probate in Idaho is a relatively simple and straightforward process. We’re fortunate to live here in Idaho and to have Idaho’s estate planning and probate laws. In many states both estate planning and probate are complex, take a long time, and can be very costly. In some states an attorney is allowed to charge a percentage of the estate as the fee for completing a probate. Idaho probate and estate planning are much cheaper and are streamlined. Here is a short description of the three main purposes of probate in Idaho.


In Idaho a probate that is filed with the court is required anytime an estate is worth more than $100,000 or contains real property regardless of its value. Idaho statutes create a responsibility for a probate to be filed for the purpose of protecting the estate. In an Idaho probate a Personal Representative, sometimes called an Executor, is appointed by an order entered by a court as the individual who is responsible to oversee and protect the property of the estate. This person has the responsibility of collecting all the property that was owned by the person who passed away and making sure that property is preserved so that it can be used to complete the administration of the estate.


A second main reason that Idaho probate is required is so that creditors have an opportunity to have their claims resolved. In a probate, There is a statutory requirement that notice is published in a newspaper in the area where the decedent resided. This notice identifies who the personal representative is that was appointed by the court so that creditors can forward their claims and bills on to the personal representative to be reviewed and/or paid. Before any distributions should be made from an estate all creditors and have legitimate claim should be paid and the debts resolved for the decedent. Probate is a step-by-step process that allows this to be completed.


The final main reason that a probate occurs in Idaho is so that property can legally be transferred to others. When a person dies with a will they usually named individuals that they want to receive portions of their property. Because the person is now deceased they cannot give that property away to those individuals directly. As a result probate create a method for another individual to make these transfers.

A home, or other real property is a good example of the need for a probate process. Real property in Idaho is owned by a deed. This deed establishes who the title owner is by having their name recorded on the deed. While a person is alive they can always sign a deed selling their property or giving it away to another person. However, when they die their name is still on the deed but they are no longer able to sign their name. Someone must have authority to sign on behalf of the estate to transfer that property away. This is accomplished through the probate and the naming of a personal representative.

Once a personal representative is appointed by the court they have authority to sign on behalf of an estate and to transfer property to others. This gives the personal representative the ability to carry out the wishes of the decedent as they’ve listed them in their Last Will and Testament.

Probate in Idaho is an important part of passing property from an individual who has died to another. If you have questions about an Idaho probate, or questions about your own Idaho estate plan, we can help. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Idaho. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at We will answer your Idaho Estate Planning questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer for advice on specific legal issues.

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