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Estate Planning

Idaho Estate Planning and Probate Attorneys

Idaho Estate Planning LawyersIf you have concerns about your property, your family and planning for your future, or if a loved one has recently passed away in Idaho, you need an Idaho estate planning attorney on whom you can depend to guide you through your estate planning, probate or trust administration needs. At the Racine Olson Law Office, our Idaho Estate Planning Lawyers have been representing clients in Idaho and helping them with their estate planning, probate and trust administration needs for over 75 years. Our estate planning attorneys represent people in all walks of life and throughout the entire state and help each person create customized estate plan that meets their needs and protects them and their family for generations to come. Our lawyers also represent spouses and families and guide them through the probate and trust administration process when a loved one passes away. Through planning and experience our attorneys help individuals protect property and maintain good family relationships.

Our estate planning team is respected in the legal community and includes partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nathan Palmer and Dave Bagley who have received the highest ratings from Martindale and Hubbell, AVVO and Justia for their ethics and legal ability.

Customized Estate Planning

Intuitively we all know that we are going to die. The only question is when. Completing even a basic estate plan can eliminate problems down the road, help avoid fights and disagreements between family members, and provide assurances that your money and property will be distributed to the individuals that you choose and avoid adverse tax consequences.

Estate Planning isn’t just about giving away your money, property and belongings after you die. While these are significant, estate planning’s more important functions are to help you plan for your own future while you are alive. The reality is that as a society, we are living longer than ever before. However, with a longer life comes the increased risk that we will have a disability or mental incapacity in our later years. Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, dementia and other health or mental health illnesses and injuries are at an all-time high. Critical to the estate planning process is preparing for these potential problems by providing a trusted person with a Power of Attorney. Through a valid and well planned Power of Attorney you give authority to another person to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated and unable to make financial, business, health care, and other decisions for yourself. If you don’t complete this part of your estate planning, and you become incapacitated, your family will be forced to have a Court determine who your guardian and conservator will be. Costly court supervised proceedings create the possibility that your family may fight over who should be appointed and how your assets are administered. A complete estate plan prepared by an experienced attorney can help you avoid these problems.

The future care and support of minor children also presents unique problems and planning opportunities. Your estate plan can ensure that your children will be raised by guardians that you chose and that your assets are preserved for their health, education, maintenance, and support. Otherwise, the courts will step in and decide who will be named as the legal guardians of your children. Well-meaning family members may disagree about who should raise your children and how your assets should be used on their behalf. Legal disputes over the naming of guardians for minor children are often a costly and contentious process.

Additionally, family fights, where one heir may think he or she deserves more than another, or where individuals fight over who should be in charge, or who should be named as guardian can and do happen. These fights often end up in court, with family members pitted against each other. With a comprehensive estate plan in place, these types of family fights are most often eliminated.

A Complete Idaho Estate Plan

Every person is different and unique and because of this their Estate Plan should be customized to fit their own personal circumstances. Most people need at least a basic estate plan which includes at least a Last Will and Testament, a Durable Power of Attorney, a Living Will, and a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. Some individuals with small children may need to name a Guardian, or may need to create a trust for their minor children. More mature adults may want to have a living trust set up or a series of trusts that can be used as part of their succession planning for their farm, ranch or business. Additionally, life insurance, bank accounts, and retirement accounts should be considered and made a part of each person’s Idaho Estate Plan.

Idaho Probate

The probate process in Idaho is well defined by Idaho’s statutes. Probate is a court supervised process of establishing how a deceased person’s debts paid are paid and how their assets are transferred. Normally a person’s Last Will and Testament directs how their estate will be administered, who will be appointed as the personal representative, how bills will be paid and to whom property is transferred upon death. When a person dies without a Will, the laws of the state of Idaho specify how the estate will be administered and to whom the property will be distributed.

Real property such as a home is a good example of the need for a probate to transfer title when a person passes away. A deed establishes property ownership by listing who the owners of the property are. While a person is alive they can always sign a deed that transfers their property to another person. However, when a person dies their name is still on the deed but they are no longer able to sign their name to transfer ownership of the property to some other person, even if their Last Will and Testament directs this to be done. Someone must have authority to sign the deed on behalf of the deceased person. This is accomplished through probate where a personal representative is appointed by the court. Once a personal representative is appointed by the court they have authority to transfer property, administer the estate and carry out the directions of the deceased person as specified in the Last Will and Testament.

Small Business, Farm and Ranch Succssion Planning

Succession planning for small businesses, farms and ranches provide unique estate planning challenges and opportunities. Often owners face difficult decisions in attempting to treat all children equally while maintaining the continued operation and success of the family business, farm or ranch. The use of family trusts, limited liability companies, and family partnerships coupled with transfer restrictions, buy-sell agreements, life insurance trusts and gift giving programs are often utilized. These tools can minimize inheritance taxes, treat children fairly and help ensure that the family business, farm or ranch remains ongoing and viable.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning or Probate Attorney to Help You

The knowledgeable, experienced and diligent attorneys at Racine Olson are here to help you and your family when you need it the most. Whether you are seeking your own customized estate plan or are in need of probate or trust administration in Idaho for one who has passed, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free consultation. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation with the Racine Olson team of estate planning and administration attorneys. You can also email us directly at racine@racinelaw.net. We stand ready to answer your questions and help solve your estate planning, probate and trust problems.

Idaho Law Blog - Estate Planning
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