Law Journal

Difference Between Living Trust & Family Trust?

Among those who choose to use a trust as part of their estate plan, some are called Living Trusts and others are called Family Trusts.  What’s the difference? The answer: “Not much.” Technically, any trust that is set up in a person’s Last Will and Testament is a “Testamentary Trust.” Any trust created and brought […]

Does Everyone Need a Trust?

No.  For some people, a Simple Will is very adequate. A Simple Will is a suitable choice for people with minimal assets and no real estate.  It is also adequate for people who are not interested in taking steps to help their spouse and/or heirs avoid having to go through the expense and delay of […]

How Much are Estate Taxes in Idaho?

Estate taxes (also called “death taxes”) used to be an issue for a significant number of clients.  But due to changes enacted a few years ago by Congress (and signed by President Obama), there are no longer any estate taxes on the first $5.49 Million of property and possessions left to one’s heirs.  And for […]

Updating Out-of-State Wills in Idaho?

Should a Last Will and Testament created in another state be reviewed by a local Idaho attorney when the owner moves to Idaho? My answer is:  Unless you want to make changes to the persons you’ve named as your beneficiaries or as your Executors, there should not be a need to have the document reviewed […]

Cost of Wills?

In an effort to be transparent with my pricing, I post it on my website. If all you need is a Simple Will (one that does not include a trust for young or immature heirs), the cost for an unmarried person is $395 and the cost for a married couple is $525.  That cost includes […]

Risks of On-Line Documents

So what can go wrong with on-line estate planning documents? A couple of things come to mind based on the reviews that I’ve done: Inappropriate provisions:  It’s not uncommon for on-line documents to include provisions that are inconsistent.  Or vague.  Any estate plan should only include language that is easily understood on a first-reading.  If […]

Why Not On-Line Wills & Trusts

Are on-line documents good enough? My response is:  Though they can be adequate, they’re not worth the risks. Your estate plan documents should reflect the idiosyncrasies of who you are, what your family relations look like, and what you hope to see for your heirs.  They should not only determine who inherits your remaining property […]

Dodging Will Contests

Few things can be as destructive to a family as a Will contest – usually children fighting over a Last Will and Testament that treats them unequally. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to discourage such legal disputes. If the inheritance left by a parent is to be divided evenly between all the […]

Dealing With Immature Heirs

It is a rare parent these days who feels that his or her children are mature enough to handle a substantial inheritance. As a result, it is important that such an inheritance be provided with certain controls that encourage the heir to handle the gift with maturity. Within a Simple Will, a parent can delay […]

Leaving Family Members out of a Will?

Can a person choose to leave nothing to a child?  How about leaving nothing to a surviving spouse?  Is that permitted? The answer is, “Yes.” There is no legal requirement that some portion or minimum amount of a person’s property be left to specific family members. So a Will may intentionally leave nothing to a […]

Wit & Wisdom

Greater than a mighty army is an idea whose time has come.

- Victor Hugo


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