Defining A “Personal Estate”
Your personal estate is the sum total of your personal property – and also a little bit more.
Virtually everyone has a personal estate, the only thing that varies is its size and scope.
Your savings and checking account, possessions, house, and vehicle are all part of what you can call your personal estate.
The Purpose Of Estate Planning
Estate planning involves arranging for what happens to your personal estate after you die or become unable to use or access it yourself. This is done through legally binding written instructions – otherwise known as a “last will and testament”.
For estate planning to be truly effective – ensuring that various parts of your estate go to the parties you see fit – an Idaho estate attorney needs to be involved. He or she can help you establish an airtight estate plan while limiting taxes or state interference.
What Happens If You Die In Idaho Without A Will
Statutes have been put in place that determine what happens to your estate if you die without a will.
In Idaho, a kind of “default” will is provided for those who lack their own. In this case, you will be considered to have died “intestate”, meaning you have no will, and thus your estate is managed under the laws of intestacy. This passes your estate on to your relatives, however, the way in which it is passed on may not be in your best interest.
First, the court will appoint an adult relative or surviving spouse as the executor of your estate (in other words, making them your personal representative). The executor is responsible for protecting and managing your estate until all debts and taxes have been paid, after which time they can decide how what remains of your estate will be passed on
This kind of arrangement can put a lot of stress on your heirs and the potential for family feuds is high. Most of these problems are mitigated by having a personalized, legally-binding will of your own.
Estate Taxes In Idaho
Idaho does not levy estate taxes.
That said, if you are passing on your estate to someone in Idaho while you yourself reside in a different state that does levy estate taxes, then those taxes will still apply.
Estates that exceed a gross asset and prior taxable gift value of $11.58 million in the previous year are subject to federal taxes.
Individual federal and state income tax returns also still apply.
Having A Trust Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Need A Will
While it’s true that trusts are legal entities that hold and protect your assets, it shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for a will.
There are many circumstances where parts of an estate have not been transferred to the trust upon an individual’s death, and a will can solve this problem.
A will can grant Power Of Attorney to an estate attorney of your choice, so that if you die or are unable to access your estate yourself, your attorney can act as your representative in accordance with what is outlined in your will.
The Benefits Of Hiring An Idaho Estate Attorney
Estate attorneys know all the ins and outs of estate planning. They will work with you and offer legal advice to help you and your heirs get the most from your estate. They work to understand your goals and desires as to how your estate is maintained and passed on after you die.
You have a lot of control over this. For example:
- You can ensure that something is passed on to certain individuals only after they’ve attained a certain kind of education or reached a certain age.
- You can have parts of your estate passed to individuals only so long as they uphold ethical or religious standards that you yourself hold.
- You can have some of your estate donated to charities, organizations, or institutions that you support.
By establishing Property Power Of Attorney – a document that legally transfers the right of management of your property to your attorney – you can rest assured that your estate will be managed according to the dictates of your last will and testament.