Idaho Has a Few New Estate Planning Laws

For attorneys and other professionals that have a daily interaction with Idaho Law, July 1st is a little like Christmas in July. Typically, that is when the new laws created, implemented or amended by the legislature and signed by the Governor go into effect.

Senate Bill Number 1054, was enacted to cover and allow a situation where a patient submits a health care power of attorney that was created out of state. Before this bill’s enactment, Idaho Statutes provided little guidance for relying on what is considered a foreign document (a document created outside of and under the laws of a state other than Idaho). This bill now allows for health care providers to rely on a foreign health care power of attorney. When you consider the liability placed on health care providers while rendering medical treatment and giving and receiving medical history, there is no guarantee that a foreign health care power of attorney will be accepted by your provider though. However, a validly created Idaho health care power of attorney will almost always be honored. Even with this new law, any current Idaho residents with foreign powers of attorney are recommended to update these documents to Idaho law.

Want another opportunity to avoid Probate? Then Senate Bill Number 1056, now know as Idaho Code 15-6-403 Community Property With Right of Survivorship in Personal Property, might just be for you. Idaho has a legal concept called Community Property With Right of Survivorship (CPWROS). Before Bill 1056, this concept only applied to Real Property (ie homes, land, etc.). The advantage of this new law is that it allows a married couple, designated as husband and wife in the law, to transfer all of their interest in personal property to the surviving spouse without the need for probate. This typically applies to automobiles, banks, and brokerage accounts. A limitation to the law is that if the personal property is intentionally designated as CPWROS, the deceased spouse no longer has the ability to transfer or devise the property at death, even though it was the personal property of the deceased spouse. At death, the surviving spouse assumes a full 100% interest in the property.

Have a burning desire to start your Estate Plan? Contact Jeppesen Law today! 208-477-1785