Law Journal

Property Taxes & Living Trusts

One common concern that I hear about Living Trusts and Family Trusts is the question of whether moving one’s home into a trust will increase the property taxes on the home? The answer is:  No.  A Living Trust is taxed in exactly the same manner as an individual is taxed. But it is important to […]

Inheritances for Those on Disability Benefits

Children with special needs present unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to making an estate plan. A child – whether a minor or an adult – who is receiving Social Security disability benefits under the SSI program will lose those benefits if he or she receives an inheritance.  SSI is a “means-tested” program that […]

Blended Family Syndrome

Blended families tend to create certain insecurities when it comes to inheritance. The typical estate plan implemented by the parents in a blended family leaves everything to the surviving spouse when the first spouse passes away.  Then, when the second spouse dies, everything left is to go to the children of both spouses in equal […]

How Medicaid Liens Work in Idaho

Medicaid is the program that will provide care for a person who can no longer care for himself.  It will provide a home, food, and other care in an assisted living facility. But the government expects a person to spend all of his own resources before beginning to receive such government assistance.  And as taxpayers, […]

Trusts As Shield Against Creditors?

Many years ago trusts were touted as a way to gain  protection from creditor claims. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you’re a creditor), that is not the case. Judges expect to see a judgment paid if the person against whom the judgment was entered has assets from which it can be paid.  Simply placing the assets […]

Deeding Home to Children to Avoid Probate?

Can’t a person avoid probate just by deeding the home to the children? Yes, but . . . That path has significant potential downsides. For example: If the child has creditor problems, the child’s creditors can have the home sold even while the parents are still living in the home Any future disposition of the […]

Family Trust or Living Trust?

Sometimes estate planning terminology can be confusing. For example:  What’s the difference between a Living Trust and a Family Trust? Answer:  Nothing.  They’re really just different names for the same thing. As a practical matter, when people choose to leave all of their property and possessions to family members, they will tend to call it […]

Who Needs a Living Trust?

For most people, the decision about whether to upgrade to a Living Trust or Family Trust is driven by a preference for avoiding probate. Without utilizing a trust, it is difficult to avoid probate.  With a trust, it is relatively easy to do so. Having said all that, the initial inquiry really is:  For whom […]

How Much Are Estate Taxes?

 Estate taxes are taxes imposed on the property a person leaves behind when he or she passes away.  The applicable rates for estate taxes range from 34% to 40%. That’s the bad news. The good news is that federal law exempts the first $5.5 million of a decedent’s property from those taxes.  So, until a […]

How Much Are Wills?

A Simple Will primarily just indicates who is to inherit a person’s property and who is to serve as the Executor when that person passes away. Where the heirs are not yet adults, it can also designate a Custodian who will hold that inheritance until the heirs reach age 21. And it can also indicate […]

Wit & Wisdom

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

- Victor Hugo


I am pleased with the ease, speed, and cost of this trust event. I will be very glad to encourage other in need to contact you. Thank you!" (Katherine B., Mountain Home, Idaho)