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Pocatello Estate Planning When You Own Land out of State

It seems to be more and more common that we have estate planning clients who come to us for help with their Pocatello estate planning who own land out of state. When this occurs, our clients specifically want to know what estate planning tools existed they can use to help them deal with their property. This is not a unique situation. Whether it is a lake house, or a summer home, or some other type of property more and more people own property or land out of the state of Idaho. Some of our clients own the land for their own use, and other clients own it as an investment. Our Pocatello estate planning lawyers have helped many clients complete their estate planning which includes dealing with land owned in other states.

Our Premier team of Pocatello estate planning attorneys in the Racine law office have assisted clients with all of their estate planning needs including dealing with land out of state for more than 70 years. Our team of estate planning attorneys includes partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley, each of whom are skilled, experience, and have the expertise necessary to help.

If you have completed your Pocatello Estate Planning and you have questions or concerns about how owning land in another state will work, we can help you. Here are a few simple things that you need to understand that may help you with regards to owning land in other states.

Your Pocatello Last Will and Testament Still Works

If you are a resident of Pocatello Idaho and you have completed your estate planning you do not need any additional last will and testament documents. In other words, your Pocatello last will and testament still works even if you own land in other states. The reason for this is because both Idaho and almost every other state in the United States have adopted the uniform probate code.  These statutes provide universal language stating that your last will and testament will be valid in every state so long as it is valid in Idaho. Because of this, your Pocatello last will and testament will be recognized by nearly every other state in the United States.

We like to assure our clients that their last will and testament that they obtained in Pocatello Idaho will be valid wherever they need it. This eliminates the misunderstanding that often arises from clients who believe that they need to get a last will and testament in every state where they own land. We help our clients understand that if they were to get a last will and testament in each state, the most recent last will and testament will be the only one that will be valid. Getting a last will and testament document in more than one state is simply a waste of time and money because it is completely unnecessary.

You may Need and Ancillary Probate

Well you only need one valid last will and testament, and your Pocatello last will and testament will suffice, there may be a need to complete what we call an ancillary probate in every state where you own land.  The purpose behind completing a probate is for the instructions in your last will and testament to be carried out. These include appointing the person you've named as your personal representative through the court process so that they will have the legal authority to deal with your assets, money, and land. An ancillary probate is the process that is completed in each state where you own land so that the individual you named as your personal representative will be recognized as such in the other states as well.

The process is simple. A regular probate is convinced in the state of Idaho in the county where you lived when you passed away. Your last will and testament is presented to the court. The court then issues an order appointing the individual you named as your personal representative so that they will have legal authority to deal with your property. Once this is completed then an ancillary probate will need to be conducted in each state where you own land.

To be clear, an ancillary probate is not a regular probate. Rather an ancillary probate is a short proceeding that does nothing more than recognize the probate that is occurring in Idaho and recognizing the personal representative who was appointed in Idaho. By completing an ancillary probate, the personal representative then receives authority to deal with land within that State's boundaries.  

Even though it may seem complicated the process of completing an ancillary probate is really simple. The only negative aspect of doing it this way is that there is a filing fee for each state where an ancillary probate must be performed. Additionally, there will likely be other fees that will be charged by the attorney you have representing you in that state, as well as recording fees for any real estate that is transferred through the probate process.

You may Want to use a Trust

A final option that may exist for you is to utilize a trust. But using a trust you can avoid the need for an ancillary probate to be completed. This will save you the time and money necessary in accomplishing ancillary probate. However, to be clear, completing a trust usually costs more than having a simple estate plan prepared. My experience is that the cost of doing ancillary probate is usually the same as the cost of completing a trust. The only difference is whether the money is paid at the beginning while you are completing your estate plan, or at the end after you have passed away.

There is an added benefit to having a trust over doing ancillary probate. This is because the time involved in administering a trust is usually much faster than it is in completing ancillary probate. When a trust is utilized, no courts are involved in the process. Rather, the trust simply makes distributions of the land, or other assets that are contained in the trust, without having to go through any type of Court procedure or process.

We have assisted many of our clients in utilizing the options listed above. If you have questions or concerns about how to handle your real estate located in other states, we are confident that we can help you too.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning and Probate Attorney to Help You

Our experienced Estate Planning team of attorneys can help you and your family with your Idaho estate plan or with your probate needs. Whether you are seeking your own customized Estate Plan or are in need of a Probate for a loved one who has passed, 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 with the Racine Olson team. You can also email us directly at We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning and Probate problems.

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