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Creating a Valid Trust in Idaho

As with most important tasks in life having valid trust as part of your Idaho estate planning can help you provide your yourself during your life and your loved ones after you pass away. Our Idaho estate planning attorneys have worked with clients for over 70 years in creating and updating customized trusts and helping when a trust is in need of any changes or updates. Our goal is to understand what each client needs and to help meet those needs.

Our law firm is uniquely helpful when it comes to trusts because we have a team of Idaho estate planning attorneys who work. The expertise and experience of each of the attorneys on our estate planning team are utilized to benefit each of our clients. Our team is made up of partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley, each of whom have earned the highest rankings possible from several legal rating services including Justia, AVVO, and Martindale & Hubbell.

If you want to create a trust or if you have already gone to the effort to make one there really are three things you should consider to ensure that your trust is valid and meets your needs.

1. Complete the Paperwork

A trust, as part of an estate plan, is like any other estate planning vehicle. In order for it to be effective all of the paperwork associated with the trust needs to be complete. In Idaho, there are some basic requirements that must be met for a trust to be created and to remain valid. Essentially, a valid trust requires a grantor sometimes know by the name “trustor”. This is the person or the people that create the trust in the first place. These individuals are the ones who prepare the instructions for the trust. In addition to a grantor, there must also be a beneficiary who is specifically named. This person, group or people or entity is identified to be who receives the income, property or distributions of money from the trust. In addition to the people who are listed, complete paperwork will also include a stated trust purpose. This often comes with specific instructions about how the trust should be handled.

If any of the paperwork is incomplete and lacks identifying the grantor or the beneficiary, the trust may never be created. Creating a trust is really not difficult but it does requires some expertise to make sure it is complete and done correctly. Based on this, and the fact that each trust is unique, we suggest that a person wanting a trust find a qualified Idaho estate planning lawyer to help. Such an attorney can either review a trust you created yourself or can help you create your own customized trust.

2. Fund the Trust

The next important step in creating a valid Idaho trust is that the trust must be correctly funded. The reality is that completing the paperwork is only half of the equation when it comes to creating a valid trust. An analogy here is often useful in illustrating what this means. Imagine that a trust is like a pie. Completing the paperwork to create the trust is like getting the pie crust ready. But a pie crust alone is not a complete pie. Until the pie filling is put into the pie crust there really isn’t a pie at all. Funding the trust is how you put the pie filling into the piecrust.

Funding a trust may sound difficult but it really isn't. Again to illustrate, suppose that you have a family cabin that you rent out during the year that you want to be owned by the trust. In order to properly fund the trust (put in the pie filling) you will need to transfer the family cabin into the trust, so that the owner of the family cabin is now the trust. This is done by signing and recording a deed that names the trustee of the trust and the trust itself as the owner of the family cabin. Once the deed is properly recorded, the trust is now the titled owner of the family cabin and the pie filling is in the piecrust.

In the example above a family cabins was used to fund the trust. However, a trust can be funded by any type of property, money, vehicle, business interest, bank or investment account, or other kind of personal or real property. The real key here is that the trust has become the legally recognized owner of these items.

3. Make Sure Your Trustees are Willing and Capable

The final thing that is required for a trust to be valid and to operate the way that is intended, is to always make ensure that the individuals that are named as the trustees are willing and capable to serve in that appointment. No Idaho law will ever force an individual to act as a trustee if they don’t want to. To plan for this possibility a well-written trust will name a primary trustee and successor trustees as well. This way if a person who is chosen either can’t or won’t act at the trustee, the trust specifically names others who will.

The law in Idaho also provides one last protection concerning trustees who are appointed. If all of the trustees that are listed in a trust either cannot or will not serve as the trustee, the trust will still be valid. Idaho Courts will find and appoint someone who is willing to act as the trustee. This ensures that the intentions of the person who made the trust are carried out.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team Idaho Estate Planning lawyers can help you. Whether you are seeking to create or review a trust as a part of your own customized Estate Plan or would like to help a family member or loved one, 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 Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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