Idaho Falls Estate Planning Attorneys
Estate Planning Guidance in Idaho
Consider what would happen if you suddenly passed away: Who would care for your minor children? Who would receive your assets? If you were to suddenly become incapacitated due to an injury or illness, who would manage your affairs or make decisions about your medical care? Creating an estate plan allows you to confidently answer these questions.
At Freedom Law, we are committed to helping our clients prepare for the future and get invaluable peace of mind. Our Idaho Falls estate planning lawyers have over 15 years of experience and can help you protect yourself, your family, and your property. We are familiar with many types of tools and can work closely with you to implement a plan customized to your unique goals. Estate planning may feel uncomfortable, but we can offer the dedicated, compassionate support you need to complete this important process.
Contact us online or call (208) 271-4403 to schedule a complimentary initial consultation. Flexible payment options are available, and we offer our legal services in English and Spanish.
Why Do I Need an Estate Plan in Idaho?
When you pass away without any estate planning documents in place, your property becomes subject to the state’s intestacy laws. This means you get no input into who will receive your assets, and any preferences you may have expressed will be ignored.
Should you become incapacitated without an estate plan, you will put your family and friends in a difficult position. They will have no way to enforce any preferences for medical care you may have had, and your loved ones will have no easy way to manage your affairs on your behalf. Instead, they may be forced to go through the difficult process of seeking a guardianship or conservatorship.
You get a say in these matters – and make everyone’s lives easier – when you create an estate plan, but you must start early. No one can predict when they will pass away or become incapacitated. It is also important to understand that you cannot execute estate planning documents once you are not of sound mind, meaning it is in your best interest to get started as soon as possible. If you become seriously ill or injured to the point where you cannot communicate, it will be too late. Our team at Freedom Law can help you get started and walk you through what estate planning can accomplish.
Types of Estate Planning Documents
Estate planning allows you to prepare for the possibility of incapacity and what will happen when you pass away. A well-designed estate plan will anticipate a variety of scenarios and implement mechanisms that support your goals. If you have a large estate, estate planning tools can also be used to reduce the impact of estate and gift taxes.
Our Idaho Falls estate planning attorneys can help you with:
- Wills. Your will is arguably the foundational piece of your estate plan. It gives you the opportunity to choose who gets your property, who will care for your minor children, and who will manage your estate after you pass away. Your estate plan should consist of more than just your will, however, as your will’s contents are public and subject to probate. This means your loved ones will not immediately receive their inheritances. Your will can also be contested.
- Trusts. A trust is a flexible arrangement that can be customized to accomplish many types of objectives. A revocable living trust can serve as a more efficient form of a will, allowing you to transfer assets to beneficiaries without the involvement of a probate court. Irrevocable trusts are generally used to avoid estate taxes or to protect assets. Other types of specialized trusts, such as special needs trusts, can be set up to provide for family members throughout their lives, even after you are gone.
- Powers of Attorney. A key part of preparing for incapacity is giving an agent permission to act on your behalf through powers of attorney documents. You can set up your authorization to only activate when you become unable to communicate, and you decide what your agent can and cannot do.
- Advance Directives. Another component of preparing for incapacity involves specifying the types of medical care you want (or do not want) if you become unable to communicate. Your power of attorney can use instructions contained in your advance directive to advocate on your behalf.
Updating Your Estate Plan in Idaho
People’s preferences change over time. As your life evolves, so should your estate plan. Even if it feels like nothing substantial has happened, you should still go over your estate planning documents every few years.
You should immediately review your estate plan if:
- You get married or divorced
- You have a child
- You move to a different state
- Your financial circumstances or goals dramatically change
- A beneficiary, personal representative, or trustee passes away
- You decide you do not want to include a beneficiary, personal representative, or trustee
Our Idaho Falls estate planning lawyers can help you conduct these reviews and make any necessary changes. At Freedom Law, we aim to support you throughout your life and will be here to offer tailored advice whenever you need it.
Ready to start exploring your estate planning options? Call (208) 271-4403 or contact us online today.
We Can Help You
Do I Need Title Insurance When Buying a Home in Idaho or Montana?
It is generally a smart idea to get title insurance even if you perform a thorough title search on the property you are intending to purchase. Title insurance can offer financial security if an unexpected title issue arises down the road.
What Are the Advantages of a Conservation Easement?
Beyond environmental mindfulness, a conservation easement can provide considerable tax and estate planning benefits. Because conservation easements cannot typically be undone, they lower a property’s value, thus lowering the property owner’s overall taxable estate. The property owner may also be able to deduct the value of the conservation easement on their personal tax return.
What Is a Conservation Easement in Idaho or Montana?
A conservation easement is a type of voluntary agreement made between a property owner and either a qualifying nonprofit or a government agency. When a property owner decides to establish a conservation easement, they agree to permanently limit the types of development that can occur on that property. For example, a conservation easement on a property with a forest teeming with natural resources may mandate that the forest never be torn down or developed. A conservation easement becomes part of the property’s deed.