3 Things to Know About Idaho Probate

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.


Probate in Idaho is controlled by Idaho statutes. Specifically the statutes in Idaho dealing with Probate are contained in Idaho Code §§ 15-1-101 through 15-4-401. The statutes define and provide directions and requirements for all aspects of the probate process whether the person who passed had a written will or not.

Under Idaho Statute probate is required really in two specific circumstances. First, a probate is required in Idaho anytime an estate has a value of $100,000 or more regardless of the property that is contained in the estate. (Idaho Code § 15-3-1201). Second, a probate is required in Idaho anytime an estate holds any real property, regardless of the value of the real property. (Idaho Code § 15-3-711.) Probate allows a Personal Representative to be appointed and gives the Personal Representative the power to transfer title to land that is held in the estate. Because the person has passed away, they can no longer sign a deed to transfer title to the land. For this reason, a personal representative must be appointed by the court before anyone will have power to transfer title to the land.


There are really 6 basic steps in the probate process. These are as follows:

  1. A petition for probate and for the appointment of a Personal Representative is filed with the court either with or without an original written Last Will and Testament.
  2. The Court enters an order or statement appointing the personal representative and recognizing the existence of a last will and testament or the absence of a written will and the preceding of the probate by the laws of intestacy.
  3. Notice to creditors is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the decedent resided giving creditors an opportunity to make claims in the estate.
  4. And inventory is filed by the personal representative describing all the property that was owned by the decedent upon their death.
  5. Distributions are made by the Personal Representative pursuant to either the directions in the last will and testament, or if there is no written will then under the direction of the laws of intestacy.
  6. The Personal Representative files a verified statement to close the estate and bring the probate to an end.


The final thing that every Idaho and should know about probate in Idaho is how long it takes. Typically the process takes at least 6 months. This is because Idaho statutes require the estate to remain open for at least six months after the appointment of the personal representative. Sometimes however it takes longer to deal with the property in an estate. There have been times when I have dealt with a probate that has lasted longer than two years before it was finally closed. There is no specific time frame for closing a probate in Idaho. However, the statutes in Idaho do require and estate to be closed if the liability of the personal representative is going to come to an end.

If you have any questions or concerns about a probate in Idaho, 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 lve@racinelaw.net. We will answer your Idaho Estate Planning questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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