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Questions and Answers About Probate: Part 2

As stated in part one of the Q&A: Probate blog, not all estates may require an expensive court procedure. Idaho law is far more flexible and quicker for probate, making it less expensive. Depending on the probate’s depth, your attorney can determine how involved the court may be at any stage.

There are new procedures that may include little to no court involvement:

  • An agreed record of community property between spouses automatically transfers titles of community property to the surviving spouse. Always consult an attorney before this process is executed. 
  • The surviving spouse noted as the sole beneficiary has the right to file a petition with the court after a hearing to take any decedent’s property. However, the surviving spouse must also obtain all debts.  It is always good to consult an attorney to have your rights explained before any actions.
  • Personal property and title documents could be collected from other people on estates less than $100,000 through an affidavit and to collect debts owed to the deceased person.  An attorney can help lead you through this process more proficiently and timely.

Personal representatives of the deceased hold the right to make any type of attorney fee arrangements; however, the court may review it through a petition. Always do your due diligence when it comes to attorney fees and your options. Attorneys may choose to charge a flat-rate fee, while others opt for an hourly fee. It is recommended that attorneys who charge a percentage to consult with more than one attorney, as hourly rates are often a cheaper option, even if the hourly rates are $200 an hour or more. 

Probates vary in how long they may take to be resolved; they may take as little as six weeks if a personal representative is not required or up to six months before settlement and property distributions occur. Property having a clear title and needing to be sold can take 3 to 4 weeks from the proceedings’ commencement. Your attorney should be keeping you abreast of the progress being done on your probate.  However, if you find yourself going longer than six months, contact your attorney to determine why the probate is taking longer than the typical time.  

Probates should be clearly drafted detailing your wishes for your property and naming a trustworthy personal representative.  Be diligent and precise on all records of debts, deeds, documentation of bank accounts, certificates, insurance policies, stocks, bonds, and any other assets you possess. Obtain a safe and accessible place to store all documents together with your probate. 

Dean Law, PLLC believes in building a client-attorney partnership while providing expert, knowledgeable, and trustworthy counsel that focuses on reaching your probate needs.

Please visit our detail page here at DeanLaw.Law to learn more about Probate, Trust or Estate Administration. Should you wish to obtain professional assistance from legal specialists in this area of Idaho Law, we welcome you to call us or visit our online form to schedule a free 30 minute consultation.

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