By Lane V. Erickson, Pocatello Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning and probate are large areas of the law in Idaho. There are many nuances, and small details about these areas of the law that most people never come to understand. The good news is that most people don’t need to understand and know these laws when they employ and use a qualified Pocatello estate planning attorney to help them with their own estate planning.

Having worked as a Pocatello estate planning attorney for nearly 20 years, my goal is always to assist my clients in the simplest and best way possible. I work with the lock closely and specifically it is a result understand and know Idaho estate planning and probate law intimately. These are the things that I know, here are three specific Pocatello estate-planning secrets under Idaho law that I have learned that may help you.

First – Your Family May Not Need to Do a Probate

The first thing that I have come to know is that a probate may not be necessary for you or for your family member or other loved one after you pass away. In Idaho, a probate is required under two specific circumstances. These circumstances are: (1) you die at a time when the value of your entire estate is worth $100,000 or more at the time you die; or (2) You die when your name is still listed on the deed or title to some real property, regardless of its value. It is under these two specific circumstances that a probate is required in Idaho.

By knowing these two circumstances, a person can avoid probate if they choose to do so. However, it does require some planning. Essentially, you would need to make sure that neither of the two requirements listed above apply to you before you die. The way that you can do this, is by using either a trust to transfer all your real estate and money and other property into before you die. Alternatively, you can gift away these items to your family members or other loved ones while you are alive so that when you pass away neither of these two situations your circumstances.

Second – If a Probate is Necessary It Doesn’t Cost Very Much

The second secret that I’ll let you in on is that even if a probate is required for you or a loved one after they die, it is not very expensive in Idaho. In many other states, the courts will charge a percentage of the estate as the fee for filing a probate. So for example, if your estate is worth $300,000 when you die and the court charges ad 6% fee, the probate would cost your family about $18,000 to file. As a result, many people believe that probates are expensive, horrible things that should be avoided simply because of how much they cost. Because you are blessed to live in Idaho, this does not apply to you.

Our goal as the premier Idaho estate planning attorneys is to guide each of our clients through the estate planning and probate process when needed. We start by offering a free 30-minute consultation to go over with our clients what needs to be done, and then to provide them with a quote of what it will cost in order to get it done. The typical range for a probate is between $2,200 and $2,500, even if your estate is worth millions of dollars. In this way, our clients have all the information they need to decide about what needs to be done.

Third – Estate Planning Is More Than Just a Will

The final secret that I’ll let you in on is that estate planning is about far more than just giving away your property and money after you die. Rather, the main goal of estate planning is to protect you personally while you are alive. This is accomplished through completing a durable power of attorney, a living will, and a healthcare power of attorney.

In addition to protecting yourself, part of your estate planning may include protecting others as well. This can be done by creating a trust for yourself or for young children or for a family member who is handicapped or has some special needs. Additionally, estate planning is about nominating who the guardians will be for your young children if you pass away before they reach the age of 18. Finally, estate planning is also about leaving a legacy for your loved ones if you choose to create a trust that will last long after you pass away.

So there you have it, three specific secrets about Estate Planning and probate that may be helpful to you and your family. If you find you have questions or concerns, we are confident we can help you.


When it comes to estate planning or probate you should never try to do it alone. If you have questions for yourself or for your family and loved ones, 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 questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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