By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As an estate planning attorney, I often tell my clients that if they ever go through any major life changes, they should review their estate plan and make sure that it still meets their needs. One of the major life changes that often happens these days is that a person moves.  If you have moved from another state to Idaho, then this article is for you.

In many instances moving to Idaho does not require any changes to your estate plan. In fact, Idaho has a specific law that says that if your estate planning documents were valid in the state where you got them, then they will be valid even if you move to Idaho. This law is found in Idaho Code § 15-2-506. However, the fact that your Will may still be valid, may not be enough to do what you want to do.

Recently, I have met with many people who have moved from California to Idaho. In doing this they have brought the estate plan with them that they received in California while they live there. California’s laws are much different than Idaho’s laws, especially when it comes to probating an estate. Probate in California is terribly expensive. Because of this, many people in California have much more complex estate plans that include one or more trusts to help them avoid probate. Furthermore, the estate plans that are created in California often cite many California statutes including statutes controlling the taxation of an estate when a person passes away.

Idaho has none of these things. Additionally, in Idaho, probate is not that big of a deal. It is not expensive, it does not take unusually long, and the process of completing a probate is fairly simple. Because of this, specifically, when people move to Idaho from California, I almost always recommend that they update their estate plan and eliminate the incorporation of or use of any California law.

California is not the only state that does this. Every state has its own laws dealing with creating an estate plan, utilizing a trust as part of that estate plan, and the processes and procedures associated with probating an estate when a person passes away. Some of these States’ laws are identical to those used by Idaho. Some of these States’ laws are completely different. Because of this, moving to Idaho is a major life event that may require an update or change to your estate plan to make sure that it still accomplishes what you want.

If you have moved to Idaho from another state, the good news is, we offer a free 30-minute consultation to review your current estate plan, discuss with you the changes that may need to be made, and to give you the ability to ask any questions you have. By doing this, we help our clients decide for themselves what if any changes need to be made to update their estate plan and make sure that it accomplishes everything they wanted to accomplish.

So, if you have moved to Idaho from another state, we encourage you to contact us today. We have assisted numerous clients in reviewing and updating the estate plans they have received from another state after they moved Idaho. We are confident that we can answer your questions and 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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