When most people think of probate, they often think of long waits to distribute property after the death of a loved one. They think of an estate tied up for years in court and eaten up with high court costs and lawyers’ fees. While this may be true in some States that is really not the case in Idaho. Here, for an uncontested probate, we have “Informal Probate” where court fees are low and lawyers’ fees should be modest. The Personal Representative usually will not need to attend a hearing and will probably never see a Judge. Probate can be wrapped up in a relatively short time and with reasonable costs. If you think you should get a Trust to avoid probate, in Idaho you should think again. See an experienced estate planning attorney because a simple Will may be all you need.
Conditions where a Trust Should be Considered
If you own real estate outside of Idaho, a Trust may be a good idea. A Trust avoids probate as the property passes through the Trust and court action is not needed. If you own property in more than one State and you die with a Will, then your Personal Representative will have to go through probate in each State where you own property. That could be an expensive hassle.
If you have an heir with heath issues and who is on public assistance, then you should seek legal assistance to set up a “special needs trust.” Leaving money to a person on public assistance, like Medicaid, could jeopardize that assistance and create a lot of unwanted complications.
For families with second marriages, where there are “his kids” and “her kids,” a Trust may be a useful tool. A Trust can be set up to ensure the financial security of each spouse for their life, but then directs the remainder of the estate to be distributed to one’s own kids. This is especially worth considering for couples who marry late in life.
Choosing between a Trust or a simple Will can be a complicated decision. If you have questions concerning this issue or any other estate plan options, you should contact McCool Law for a free initial consultation.