Probate is the official "proving" of your Last Will and Testament. Once the probate court has approved your Will, it becomes the official voice of your wishes and desires.
In Idaho, Probate generally lasts for a period of 6-12 months. The law requires Probate to be open for a minimum of 6 months and a part of that is publishing a Notice to Creditors that requires 4 months by itself.
Probate costs vary in Idaho, but you can expect to pay anywhere up to $5,000 per Probate. The cost typically depends on the complexity of the case. Each individual Attorney you meet with sets their own fees, which can be either a percentage of the Estate's value, hourly billing, or flat fee.
Probate is aimed at accomplishing five general goals:
To determine that the Will submitted is the actual last Will created by the deceased - or - that there was not a Will;
To determine who will be the Personal Representative of the Estate;
Personal Representative inventories and appraises all assets owned by deceased at time of passing, and files findings with the Probate Court;
Personal Representative prepares Notice to Creditors and pays debts owed to decedent’s creditors from decedent’s estate; and
Remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the Will - or - to the heirs if there was not a Will.
Is Probate Required
Probate is NOT mandatory for everybody. But, Probate is required if you own real property (this includes your home), or you own more than $100,000 in other assets, or you do not have a properly formed and funded Trust. However, it may be advantageous to initiate Probate if you suspect there are potential creditors of the Estate or you believe your family would benefit from having a Judge preside over your estate.