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Pocatello Estate Planning and Your Debts

While there are several good reasons for completing your Estate Planning in Idaho one of the major purposes is to provide a way for your debts and expenses to be paid from your estate. Current Idaho law requires that all of your personal debts and expenses be paid from your estate prior to any distributions being made to any members of your family or to any other beneficiaries you name in your Idaho estate planning documents. We have been helping our Idaho estate planning clients for over 70 years make plans for the payment of their debts and expenses and we have helped families deal with and take care of debt after a loved one passes away.

The Racine Olson team of Idaho 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 Idaho estate planning and debts, here are three specific things that you should know.

1. What are the Assets of Your Estate

The most important place to start is to figure out what your actual assets are. Assets include any items of any value that you have an ownership interest in. At the time of your death the personal representative who is appointed to handle your estate is required to make a determination of all the assets that you owned. This would include all of your real property, vehicles, bank accounts, your personal property, and any other items of any significant value. By determining what your assets are your personal representative will be in a position to be able to handle and take care of your debts as well as making distributions to the beneficiaries you name in your last will and testament.

The best way that you can help your personal representative is by being organized with your records of what you own. Being organized doesn't require anything fancy. In fact, the best and simplest organizations I've seen individuals do is simply using a binder. In this binder the individual will list and provide copies of documents that will show ownership interest in land or homes, bank account information, retirement account information, life insurance information, a listing of vehicles that are owned, and a simple list of other items that are of significant value. It's not necessary for you to count every knife, fork and spoon but it is extremely helpful if you have a itemized list of the property that you own. Having a binder organized in this way also helps with step number two.

2. What are Your Debts

The second most important thing that you can do to help your personal representative is to use your binder that has a list of all your assets in it and have a section that itemizes your debts. Again, you're not required to list every penny that you owe to someone else. However, it is very helpful and useful if you list the major items of debt that you have at any given time.

This would include a mortgage on any real estate that you own. It could also include any loans you have for vehicles or for other recreational items. This could also include the account information for any debts that you have on a regular basis including credit cards, home equity loans, or other items of debt of a similar nature. People who are thorough will often also put in information about their current utility bills, cable bills, internet bills, and similar items that are paid on a regular basis.

3. Who Pays Your Debts After You Pass Away

Idaho law requires that your verifiable debts be paid from your estate prior to any distributions being made to beneficiaries. Idaho provides statutes that regulate the personal representative and provide instructions as to how and whether claims are made by creditors, whether they are allowed or not as a valid debt in the probate process, and how such claims from creditors are paid through the estate.

Our job is to assist the personal representative that you need in carrying out the duties and responsibilities prescribed by Idaho law. Additionally, our duty is to help your personal representative carry out the wishes and intentions that you set forth in your last will and testament. By assisting your personal representative, we can satisfy both the law and your wishes.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team of Pocatello lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning needs if your spouse has passed away. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a 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 Pocatello Estate Planning problems.

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