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The Type of Money in Your Pocatello Estate

Every person’s estate is comprised of all the different types of property they own. These types of property include any kind of cash as well as accounts which hold cash such as bank accounts, investment accounts and retirement accounts. Our Pocatello Estate Planning Attorneys use their extensive experienced to help each client decide how to handle the various kinds of money they have in their estate.

The Lawyers in the Pocatello Racine Law Office include partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys, Nathan Palmer and Dave Bagley who have each earned the highest peer and client ratings from Martindale & Hubbell, Justia, and AVVO. Our Pocatello Attorneys have the skill and experience to help you properly plan your estate and deal with each of the different kinds of money you may have. These types of money include the following:

Bank and Investement Accounts

All bank and investment accounts, including any money market, savings and/or checking accounts are part of your estate. When you open an account you typically are required to designate who the owners of the account are. Some clients name a child to their accounts so their child can help them pay bills and keep track of their finances. However, current Idaho law states that the account is really only owned by any person who is named as an account owner, AND who has put money into and taken money out of the account as a regular account owner.

Simply naming a child to the account does not make them an account owner. In this instance, when a parent dies the Personal Representative still has an obligation to take control of the accounts and distribute the money held in those accounts based on the parent’s written Last Will and Testament or if there isn’t anything in writing, then through the laws of Intestacy.

More importantly, naming a child on a parent’s account may create unforeseen problems. When this happens the child’s creditor has the power to garnish and take the from the parent’s account.

The better way to deal with accounts is to have the parent name their child as their attorney through a valid written Durable Power of Attorney. Doing so allows the child to do the same thing in helping their parent with their accounts without the risk of losing money to the child’s creditors. Through our decades of experience, our Pocatello Estate Planning Attorneys can help you protect your accounts through a well-crafted written estate plan.

Actual Cash

The next type of money to consider is any actual cash you have, including cash in your possession such as in your wallet or in a drawer or home safe. This also includes cash placed in a safety deposit box. Actual cash is a type of property that is distributed to whoever the decedent names in their Last Will and Testament. When there is no written estate plan cash is distributed under the laws of intestacy.

Retirement Accounts

Another type of money a person often has is a retirement account. IRAs, 401ks and pensions are a type of money that are not a part of a person’s estate when they die. The reason for this is that while retirement accounts are individually owned by the decedent, they are actually administered a third-party under the terms of a written contract. When a written contract exists it allows the person to actually name who will receive the money in that account when they die.

To state it more simply, a person who owns a retirement account can list the names of the people they want to get the money in that account when they die. The written contract controls. When a contract exists and the owner of the retirement account dies the administrator has to follow the directions in the written contract. The administrator must give the decedent’s money in that account to the person or people are named. For this reason, any money in a retirement account usually never becomes are part of the decedent’s estate.

Life Insurance

Life insurance monies work almost the same as retirement accounts. Life insurance monies usually are never part of an estate, because there is a written contract telling the insurance company who to pay the monies directly to. When a life insurance contract exists, the insurance company only requires proof of death before they will make a payment directly to the beneficiaries that are listed.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our Pocatello Estate Planning attorneys can help you create a plan for all the different types of money you may own. The Pocatello Attorneys at the Racine Law Office can help you and your family. 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 of Estate Planning attorneys in Pocatello. You can also email us directly at We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Pocatello Estate Planning problems.

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