By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As an Idaho estate planning and probate attorney, I often meet with clients during a free 30-minute consultation to talk about probate. Many times, these clients have moved to Idaho from other states. Additionally, I often have clients who have lived in Idaho most of their lives but who have family members who live in other states. In both of these circumstances I have come across many individuals who have stated that they want to avoid probate in any way possible because they have heard how horrible, long and expensive probate can be.

I’ve always grateful whenever I have a client express these concerns to me because it gives me an opportunity to talk about the probate process in Idaho. Idaho is one of those unique states where probate is really not that bad. Because of this, unless there is a real compelling reason, which rarely exists, it is really not that bad for most families to complete the probate process when they have a loved one pass away.

The purpose of this blog is to discuss why probate in Idaho is not that bad. To do this we will first talk about the costs of probate in Idaho. Second, we will briefly mention the time needed to complete a probate in Idaho. By providing you with this information we believe we will help you to come to an understanding that there really are only a few circumstances were avoiding a probated Idaho is important. Otherwise, probate in Idaho is really not that bad.

Costs of Probate in Idaho

A probate in Idaho is not expensive. I can say this with some authority because I have dealt with clients who have had to complete a probate in many other states and have learned about the costs associated with those probates.

For example, in California, the cost of completing a probate is a percentage of the value of the estate itself.  These fees are based on specific California statutes and can be as high as 8% of the value of the estate. So, for example, if an estate is worth only $100,000, the cost of completing the probate could be as high as $8,000. This amount goes up if the value of the estate is greater. Other states have similar fee schedules associated with a probate.

In Idaho, there are several different types of probates that can be completed depending on the circumstances of the individual who passed away. Because of this, there is no set fee schedule based on Idaho statutes. Rather, the costs of completing a probate are usually dependent upon the type of probate that is chosen.

However, unless there is a family fight, or a fight with a creditor, most probate in Idaho can be completed for around $3,000 regardless of whether the total value of the estate is $100,000 or even $1 million.

At the Racine law office, once we know the type of probate that needs to be completed, we give our clients a range of what the cost will likely be based on the circumstances provided to us. Again, the only reason that the cost would be any higher is if there are any fights between family members or any fights with creditors. Otherwise, our clients leave our office with a pretty clear understanding of how much the probate will cost to be completed.

Time to Complete Probate in Idaho

The second reason that probate is really not that bad in Idaho is because it really doesn’t take that much time to get one done. Again, the time that it does take really depends on the type of probate that is being completed.

For a summary administration probate, which can be done by a surviving spouse, the probate is usually completed within about 45 days. With other types of probates, the timeframe is usually somewhere between six to eight months. However, even during this time, many things can be done by the individual who is appointed as a personal representative in transferring property, dealing with bank accounts, selling homes or other real estate and so forth.

This blog is short and can’t provide you with all the information you would need to know about probate in Idaho. If you have questions, we encourage you to contact us for a free 30-minute consultation where we can explain the probate process in Idaho and answer your questions including how long it will take and how much it will cost to get done. We have helped numerous clients through the probate process in Idaho we are confident that we can help you too.


If you have any questions about your estate or how to simplify your plans for your family and loved ones, we can help.  Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Pocatello. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Pocatello Estate Planning problems. I have helped numerous clients create their own customized estate plans and I’m confident that I can help you too.

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