A common concern is whether or not Probate will be required when a person passes away. The good news is that there are only two situations that require Probate. The bad news is that a majority of adults meet at least 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 are 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 assets. If a person meets one of these requirements, then they are forced to go through Probate unless they have taken special steps.
If a person does not meet either of these conditions, then Probate is not required. If there are no concerns, 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 are certain that Probate would be required for you after reading the minimal requirements that trigger Probate, a competent 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.
Ultimately, where a person owns property worth more than $100,000, or where he or she owns 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 skilled attorney or lawyer, it is the best way to avoid probate.
You are invited to call Jeppesen Law to set up your appointment to start working on your estate plan. 208-477-1785