Justin Jeppesen: When is Probate Required?

Are you concerned that Probate will be required when you or a loved one passes away? The good news is that Idaho has only two situations where Probate is required. The bad news is that, without some additional planning, most Idahoans meet one of the situations.

Idaho Code, or law, dictates that upon a person’s passing, their Estate is required to go through the Probate process if one of these two conditions is met: 1) that person owns an interest in real property (ie land, home) regardless of its value; or 2) that person owns more than $100,000 in total Probatable assets. If a person meets one of these requirements, then their Estate is required to go through Probate, unless they have made additional Estate Planning steps.

Probate is not required if a person’s Estate does not meet either of these conditions. If Probate is not required, you can operate with a Small Estate Affidavit. If there are concerns, such as family disputes or creditors, you can still apply for Probate.

If you read the minimal requirements triggering Probate and that would include you, a licensed attorney could explain to you the possibility of avoiding probate and the pros and cons of using one or more of these options; a Living Trust, payable-on-death beneficiary designations, joint tenancy ownership, community property ownership, or life estate ownership. All of these options have limitations and a conversation with a lawyer is recommended concerning your personal situation. As, you can read, a Will does not help you avoid Probate, it actually guarantees it.

If you own property worth more than $100,000, or you own any real estate, the most effective means of avoiding Probate is through the use of a Living Trust.  Properly prepared with the assistance of a licensed Attorney or Lawyer is the best way to avoid Probate.

You are invited to call Jeppesen Law to set up your appointment to start working on your Will or Trust based Estate Plan at 208-477-1785.