Probate is the official "proving" of your Last Will and Testament. After the probate court approves your Last Will and Testament, your Will becomes the official voice of your wishes and desires.
Probate in Idaho is required to be open for a minimum of 6 months. Part of that 6 month period is a required Notice to Creditors period that takes a minimum of 4 months by itself.
Probate costs vary in Idaho. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000 per Probate if the Estate is administered informally, without any contests, and no in-fighting between the heirs, devisees, beneficiaries, etc. The cost 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 Always Required
No, 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 total non-designated 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.