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Boise Estate Planning Dealing With Your Debts After You die

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning is designed to do several specific things for you. The first is to protect you individually while you are alive so that your money, property, and finances will be used for your benefit and the right people will be helping you make the decisions you need. Additionally, estate planning is designed to allow you to give your money, property, and other assets to the individuals that you choose in the way that you choose. Finally, estate planning is specifically used as a way to take care of all your debts, bills, obligations, and make sure that your family is not left with a mess to deal with after you are gone.

The Boise estate planning attorneys that are part of our premier team understand the importance of taking care of your debts in an orderly and appropriate way after you are gone. When your estate planning is done correctly it takes the worry of how your debts will be taken care of which gives your family the ability to do what they should be doing which is pulling together and becoming stronger as a family. The Racine Olson team of Boise estate planning attorneys consists of partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley who each have years of experience in assisting estate planning clients. Our estate planning team members have each earned the highest rankings possible from the most notable legal rating services including Martindale & Hubbell, AVVO, and Justia. We are confident that we can help you with your estate planning needs.

When it comes to dealing with debts as part of an estate plan, most people don’t know even where to begin or what needs to happen. The purpose of this article is to give you some information about how debts are dealt with after a person passes away. To help you with your Boise estate planning, here are three specific things for you to understand about how your debts will be dealt with after you pass away.

1. Start With Your Assets

The first place to start is by talking about what your assets are. The term assets includes any item of value over which you have an ownership interest at the time that you die. We are very specific about this because if you have money, or other property that you own during your lifetime but which you give away or sell or use up before you die, then this item is no longer an asset at your death.

When you die, an individual will be named as your personal representative. This person has the legal authority to handle the assets in your estate including determining what specific assets you own at the time of your death. Most assets include a home or other real estate, cars, personal property, bank accounts, and other items which may or may not have any specific significant monetary value. While many assets only have sentimental value they are still assets of your estate that must be taken care of.

You can help your personal representative by being organized with records of what you own including real estate, vehicles, and other items. It really doesn’t require much effort or work to be organized. The simplest and best organizations are using a binder or some sort of filing system to simply organize and keep track of your written instructions, and copies of your important documents.

2. Identify What Your Debts are

The next best step for you to take care of while you were alive is to organize and help identify what your debts are. The same organization or filing system you use to organize your important documents and to list your assets, can also be used to organize and list all your debts. These would include mortgages, credit cards, bank accounts, utilities, and any other regular debts or payments that you make. Additionally, any other loans or obligations that you owe usually involve some paperwork that could be included in this system.

When we are helping a personal representative through a probate process after a person passes away, one of the things we accomplished is helping them identify who the creditors are and the debts that need to be paid. By having an organized system, you will make the job of the personal representative much easier to accomplish.

3. How Your Debts are Taken Care of

The final step is the actual payment of your debts. Idaho law requires that all your debts and expenses be paid before any assets, money, or other property from your estate are distributed to the people you want it to go to. In order to accomplish this, the probate system in Idaho has a specific requirement for providing notice to creditors and giving them an opportunity in which to make a claim for any debts they believe are owed by you. In this way, the personal representative can review and scrutinize all the debts that are claimed and can decide whether to allow or disallow those claims.

By assisting the personal representative in carrying out their duties and responsibilities of making sure that all debts and expenses are paid, we can make sure that the correct distribution of property from your estate is completed. In other words, our job is to help fulfill both the law and you are wishes as set out in your last will and testament.

Enlist a Boise Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team of Boise Estate Planning lawyers can help you. Whether you are seeking to create or review your own customized Estate Plan or would like to help a family member, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a consultation. You can also email us directly at We will answer your questions and help you solve your Boise Estate Planning problems.

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