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Meeting With Your Pocatello Probate Attorney

The death of a family member or friend is never easy. Our Pocatello Probate attorneys understand that dealing with the death and with the details of a probate can be overwhelming. In most instances, probate is necessary. The purpose of probate is to follow the law in the collection and management of all the assets of the decedent, as well as the payment of the persons’ taxes and debts. Additionally, probate allows for the distribution of property and money from the decedent’s estate to others.

Our team of Pocatello probate lawyers has over 70 years of experience in helping clients complete the probate process. We are confident that we can help you. Our partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson, and attorneys Nathan Palmer and Dave Bagley form an award winning team of attorneys in Pocatello who are experienced with the probate process. We would love to meet with you through a free 30 minute consultation to discuss the probate process and how we can help you and your family. Here is a list of 5 things you can do to that will allow us to help you.

1. Bring the Estate Planning Documents

The first thing you can do in preparing to meet with your Pocatello probate attorney is to locate all of the decedent’s estate planning documents. Probate can only begin with a Petition to Probate is filed with the Court. The Petition requires that the name of the person who will be appointed as the Personal Representative or Executor be listed. If the decedent left a valid Last Will and Testament, the individual they name as their personal representative is the person listed in the Petition. Additionally, in Idaho the original Last Will and Testament must be attached to the Petition in order to be probated. The decedent’s original estate planning documents may also contain a Trust. If there is a Trust, probate may not be necessary. It is only through locating and bringing the decedent’s original estate planning documents that your Pocatello probate attorney can help you with the correct steps.

2. Prepare a List of Property

The second thing you can do that will help in your meeting with your Pocatello probate lawyer is to compile as much information possible about the debts and assets of the decedent. Bringing copies of current life insurance policies, accounts including bank account statements and retirement account information, and a recent tax return are all helpful in determining the assets and debts of the person who died. Additionally, it is extremely helpful to bring copies of real property deeds, bank mortgages, and a list of the monthly debts and financial obligations. This helps in keeping these payments current and in assessing the contents of the decedent’s estate.

3. Bring Other Important Documents

The decedent’s estate planning documents are not the only documents you should bring with you. You should also try to find and bring other important documents the decedent had. These include such things as account statements for bank and retirement accounts. This may also include investment accounts. Additionally, life insurance policies should also be located. Finally, you should search to see if the decedent left any specific written instructions because this often will provide account numbers, log in and password information as well as lists of property and people. Copies of all of these documents should be brought with you to your meeting with your lawyer.

4. A List of Heirs and Beneficiaries

A fourth thing you can do to prepare for your meeting with an attorney is to create a written list of the names, phone numbers, addresses, and relationships of all the decedent’s relatives and friends. Under applicable probate laws in Idaho all heirs and beneficiaries must be contacted immediately after the person representative is appointed by the court so that they are aware that a probate has begun and they will know who the personal representative is. Because all heirs and beneficiaries must be contacted during the probate, having a written list of all family members is extremely helpful.

5. Death Certificates

Finally, before you meet with your Pocatello probate attorney you should order and bring with you a certified copy of the decedent’s Death Certificate. A Death Certificate is an official document that contains information about the decedent. This information includes their birth date, where they lived, what both the cause of death and the date of death were. This is important because this information is used in the probate process in many ways. Some judges require a copy to be filed with the Court. Also, often a copy of the Death Certificate must be provided to holders of bank and retirement accounts. Additionally, life insurance companies require a copy. As a result, it is helpful for you to bring a copy of the Death Certificate with you when you meet with you Pocatello probate lawyer.

We know that meeting with an attorney to talk about or start the probate process is intimidating and stressful. We also know that a little preparation goes a long way in making your meeting simple and successful.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

If you have questions or concerns about probate in Idaho, we can help. We are available to answer your questions and discuss your concerns at an initial consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a consultation with the Racine Olson team of Probate attorneys in Pocatello. You can also email us directly at We will answer your Pocatello questions and will help you solve your legal problems.

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