In Idaho, "estate planning" broadly refers to the process through which someone determines what is to be done with their assets after death.
The first step in any estate plan is to figure out what you actually want to be done with your assets after your death. This is a very personal decision, and you should discuss it with your family, and others who might have a direct interest in your decisions. As for actually implementing your goals, you should probably speak with a legal and/or financial professional to figure out the best way to accomplish these objectives.
In addition to decisions regarding the disposition of your property, you should decide how you want to spend your final days. For instance, many people have a strong preference about whether and to what extent they'd like to be kept alive by artificial means. Whatever your choice on this matter is, you should make it clear to the people who will be positioned to make such decisions for you, if you are unable.
A qualified estate planner in Idaho may also help you maximize the percentage of your assets that go to your chosen beneficiaries, by minimizing the impact of taxes and court fees. Furthermore, preventing a will or other estate plan from being litigated in court will save your survivors an incalculable amount of time, money, and energy - and the better an estate plan is, the lower its chances of ending up in court.
Common Elements of Estates in Idaho
Estate plans in Idaho almost always have these elements:
Will: If you've determined who you want to leave your property and money to after you die, you should make these wishes official, by writing a will. When writing a will, it's always a good idea to have the assistance of an attorney, since many problems can come up which might make the will much more challenging to implement, or they might even void it entirely. Common problems include ambiguities in the terms of the will (a term which is not precisely written, so it can be interpreted differently by reasonable people), as well as failure to follow the obligated formalities.
Power of Attorney: This is a legal document in which you give some other person (usually a family member) the ability to make decisions (often related to money or healthcare) on your behalf if you become incapable of doing so.
Funeral Arrangements: This is a very personal determination, and you should discuss it, in detail, with your friends or family members who are in a position to implement your wishes. Your funeral instructions should not be included purely in your will, since wills are sometimes not read until days or weeks after the testator's death. By that time, it may be too late to implement the decedent's wishes with respect to funeral arrangements.
Do I Need an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney?
Estate planning is very important (if you care about what happens to your family after your death), and can involve some pretty difficult decisions. It should be clear, then, that a reputable Idaho estate planning attorney will likely be worth the cost, because they can give your wishes the best possible chance of taking effect.
Interesting Facts About Idaho
Idaho is located in the Rocky Mountain region of the U.S. Idaho's nickname is "The Gem" state, as nearly every type of gemstone can be found there. It is also called "The Potato" state, in reference to the state's most famous crop (Idaho produces about 1/3 of the nation's potatoes).
Idaho state laws are codified and compiled into the Idaho Code. These laws, as well as the Idaho State constitution, address nearly every aspect of Idaho life. Legal violations and lawsuits are resolved in Idaho's state court system, which consists of the state Supreme Court, the Idaho Court of Appeals, and the District Courts. Supreme Court decisions are binding on all other Idaho courts.
Idaho is one of the few states to operate a Drug Court system, as well as a Mental Health Court system. The drug court movement is relatively new in the U.S. It offers drug offenders alternative, court-monitored treatment programs as opposed to the standard judicial procedures. Idaho's Drug Court system helps to address the problem of court docket overload, thus freeing up state judicial resources.
Idaho lawyers provide legal services and assistance in a variety of legal topics. Most lawyers in Idaho file their claims at the District Court level, though more complex claims can be heard higher up in the court system. Attorneys in Idaho have experience in handling the types of legal claims that are specific to the region.