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Thanks for stopping by the Boise Estate Planning Lawyer Blog! Press play below for a brief welcome message from me!

This blog is not only about estate planning, but also about Idaho Probate, Guardianships & Conservatorships.

Have a look around and I hope to have the opportunity to serve you in the future.

Happy Planning!

“Can I Use Do-It-Yourself Forms for Estate Planning?”

I teach an Estate Planning 101 Class through the Boise Community Education program, and one of the most frequent questions I get is about using “Do-It-Yourself” forms.

I always advise people to steer clear of do-it-yourself forms.  Now, I know what you’re thinking:

“Natasha, you’re an attorney….of COURSE you want me to pay YOU instead of just doing it myself”

In reality (this will shock you) I make WAY more money by fixing the mistakes from “Do It Yourself” estate planning documents.

Forms assume that you have a Donna Reed/June Cleaver, Leave It To Beaver type of family.  But that’s just simply not the case nowadays.  With blended families, family drama, beneficiaries with creditor issues, same sex couples, etc. our lives are way more complex.

Your estate planning attorney is not there to merely fill out a form. Instead I, along with other estate planners use our knowledge to prepare an estate plan based on your unique circumstances and in a manner that will ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death.

Your estate planning lawyer knows a lot of stuff that you couldn’t possibly know.
It’s that old phrase: “you don’t know what you don’t know”.

We’ve learned a lot through our years of education and our experience, especially in probating estates and learning from the mistakes others made.

Realize that you are oftentimes not saving yourself money by using do-it-yourself forms.

If you need help with an drafting a wills and Trusts in Idaho, I would love to assist you! Contact Mindy Moore at (208) 384-8588 to schedule a consultation with me.

What Steps Should You Take After a Loved One Dies?

Clients, especially those who have been acting as Attorney-in-Fact for a loved one, or those who are named as the Personal Representative/Executor or Trustee in a Will or Trust  always want to know what steps they should be taking after a loved one passes away. 

Below are a few basic tips to get you started to ensure that all assets are secured and that the probate, estate administration or trust administration process, goes smoothly.

1.  Be aware that once an individual passes away, a Power of Attorney is no longer effective.  A Personal Representative or Trustee is who will take over management of assets and payment of debts after death.

2.  Notify the decedent’s frieds, family member, employer or employees of the death.

3.  Look for any specific funeral and burial instructions left by the Decedent.  In my estate planning documents, I typically include a “Funeral and Burial Letter” which is located with the Will or Trust.

4.  Arrangements should be made for the care of the decedent’s pets, if any.

5.  The decedent’s residence should be secured.  You can do this by having either a trusted friend stay at the home or by changing the locks.

6.  Locate the Decedent’s original Will or original Trust document.

7.  Order between 5 and 10 certified copies of the Death Certificate.

8.  If the decedent left a will or trust, you should contact an Idaho Probate Attorney to advise you with respect to the appropriate steps to take to probate the decedent’s estate, if necessary and to learn about the appropriate steps for Estate Administration or Trust Administration in Idaho.  Failure to do so may result in costly mistakes.

9.  If the decedent did not leave a will or trust, but there is property of the Estate (bank accounts, real property, vehicles, etc.) you should also contact an Idaho Probate Attorney to assist you with Intestate administration of the Estate.

10.  If the decedent left a Revocable Living Trust, the Trust likely became irrevocable as of the decedent’s date of death.  The Trust will need its own Tax ID Number.  Your accountant or attorney can assist you with getting this number.

11.  If the Decedent was renting the property, the landlord should be notified

12.  Notify any utility and phone suppliers of the death.

13.  Notify the post office to change the mailing address to the address of the Personal Representative (once appointed) or the Successor Trustee.

14.  Keep track of your time in handling administration of the estate or trust.  You should also keep all receipts of any out-of-pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the Estate or Trust. 

Hiring a competent Idaho Probate Attorney can alleviate a lot of the unnecessary stress that comes with administering a Deceden’t estate or trust. 

My philosophy when it comes to Estate or Trust Administration, is that as your Probate Attorney, I will take the burden off of your shoulders, and guide you step-by-step through the process.  I’ve found that my clients are relieved to have this burden removed, and that it is helpful especially in situations where family members may not get along or have trust issues with one family member administering the Estate.

Hiring a competent Probate Attorney can also save the Estate or Trust money in many instances.  It is always cheaper to prevent a problem, than it is to fix one. 

If you need help with an Idaho estate administration or trust administration, or need assistance going through Idaho Probate, I would love to assist you!  Contact Mindy Moore at (208) 384-8588 to schedule a consultation with me.

Idaho Estate Planning Wrap-Up

Over the past week, I have answered your most burning questions about Estate Planning in Idaho…

  • Do I Need a Will?
  • Can I Write My Own Will?
  • How Much Will My Estate Plan Cost?
  • Do I Need a Living Trust to Avoid Probate?
  • What Documents Should I Take To My Estate Planning Attorney?
  • Do I Need a Power of Attorney in My Estate Plan?

Today’s video will recap this series that I hope you’ve found informative.

If you are located in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Star or Kuna, I would love the opportunity to work with you to get you the peace of mind that comes with having your estate planning in order.

Schedule Your Consultation Today at (208) 384-8588.

To learn more about how Natasha and the law firm of Angstman Johnson can assist you with your Idaho estate planning needs, visit us at www.Angstman.com

Happy Planning!

“Is a Power of Attorney Part of An Idaho Estate Plan?”

We’ve covered a lot of ground over the past week….and today I’ll be sharing with you another very important component of your estate plan.

Powers of Attorney.

You may have heard of a Power of Attorney or Financial Power of Attorney or Health Care Power of Attorney.  These documents can provide a much needed peace of mind when it comes to planning for a time when you become incapacitated and are unable to manage your finances or make medical decisions for yourself.

If you do not make a decision now, while you are competent, with respect to who you feel has your best interest at heart with respect to these imporant matters, you may unknowingly place a major financial and emotional burden on your family.

If you do not nominate an individual to serve as your agent or attorney-in-fact under a Power of Attorney, the Court will appoint a conservator or guardian for you.  This is are much more costly process than simply specifying your wishes by executing a Power of Attorney.

In this video, I go into more detail on the various Powers of Attorney that should be incorporated into your estate plan.  Check it out:

If you are located in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Star or Kuna, I would love the opportunity to work with you to get you the peace of mind that comes with having your estate planning in order.

Schedule Your Consultation Today at (208) 384-8588.

To learn more about how Natasha and the law firm of Angstman Johnson can assist you with your Idaho estate planning needs, visit us at www.Angstman.com

Happy Planning!

“What Documents Does My Estate Planning Attorney Need?”

Over the past four days, you’ve become very savvy when it comes to knowing the basics of Estate Planning.  : )

Now that you know that you’re going to visit your Idaho estate planning lawyer, you want to ensure that you’re totally prepared for your consulation, right?

In today’s video, I’m going to equip you with the information you need to take to your estate planning consulation.  Make sure you’ve got a pen and paper handy!


When you have these documents handy, it will enable your estate planning attorney to have a meaningful discussion with of whether a will or trust is right for you.

If you are located in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Star or Kuna, I would love the opportunity to work with you to get you the peace of mind that comes with having your estate planning in order.

Schedule Your Consultation Today at (208) 384-8588.

To learn more about how Natasha and the law firm of Angstman Johnson can assist you with your Idaho estate planning needs, visit us at www.Angstman.com

Happy Planning!

“Do I Need a Living Trust to Avoid Idaho Probate?”

Over the past 3 days, I’ve answered your most burning questions about Estate Planning in Idaho:

  • Do I Need an Estate Plan?
  • Can I Write My Own Will?
  • How Much Will My Estate Plan Cost?

With so many Californians pouring into Idaho, I’ve seen an increase in the number of requests for Living Trusts (also known as Revocable Trusts).  It seems that Californians are quite fond of Living Trusts (as well they should, California is WAY different than Idaho!) and as a result, many individuals come to me panicked about needing a Living Trust.

In today’s video, I’ll answer:

Do I Need a Living Trust To Avoid Idaho Probate?

Great question, right?

Here’s the answer:

If you are located in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Star or Kuna, I would love the opportunity to work with you to get you the peace of mind that comes with having your estate planning in order.

Schedule Your Consultation Today at (208) 384-8588.

To learn more about how Natasha and the law firm of Angstman Johnson can assist you with your Idaho estate planning needs, visit us at www.Angstman.com

Happy Planning!

“How Much Will My Estate Planning Cost?”

In yesterday’s post, I shared with you the perils of creating your own will.

Now, I know what you’re thinking….

How much is my Estate Planning going to cost me in Idaho?

Luckily, Estate Planning is not something that will “break the bank!”

In today’s video, I’ll share with you the costs associated with drafting your will, trust, financal power of attorney, health care power of attorney, and living will.

The answer may very well shock you! (In a good way, of course…..) ; )

I’ll also cover some things that you need to know about when pricing your estate planning attorney….Check it out!

Click the link for my Idaho Estate Planning Fees 

If you are located in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Star or Kuna, I would love the opportunity to work with you to get you the peace of mind that comes with having your estate planning in order.

Schedule Your Consultation Today at (208) 384-8588.

To learn more about how Natasha and the law firm of Angstman Johnson can assist you with your Idaho estate planning needs, visit us at www.Angstman.com

Happy Planning!

“Can I Draft My Own Will in Idaho?”

From yesterday’s post, you now know that “yes,” you likely do need an estate plan.

The next logical question for frugal shoppers is this….

Can I Draft My Own Will in Idaho?

In today’s video, you’ll learn about Idaho law as it relates to “holographic” wills (i.e, handwritten wills).  Idaho Code Section 15-2-503 addresses “holographic” wills.

But the bigger question is…. just because you can draft your own will, doesn’t mean that you should draft your own will.

Watch the video and I’ll explain why!


If you are located in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Star or Kuna, I would love the opportunity to work with you to get you the peace of mind that comes with having your estate planning in order.

Schedule Your Consultation Today at (208) 384-8588.

To learn more about how Natasha and the law firm of Angstman Johnson can assist you with your Idaho estate planning needs, visit us at www.Angstman.com

Happy Planning!

Are You Wondering “Do I Need a Will?”

I get this question time and time again from individuals in Idaho…

“Do I Need a Will?” 

Estate planning is not just for wealthy individuals.  A comprehensive estate plan is critical to preserving your family legacy.  Learn more by watching this short video:


If you live in Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Kuna or Star, Idaho, I can assist you in drafting wills * revocable living trusts * irrevocable trusts * Life Insurance Trusts * Durable General Power of Attorney * Health Care Power of Attorney * Living Wills.

Make an appointment to speak with me today at (208) 384-8588.

Happy Planning!

The Executor

I had a friend who died and he

On earth so loved and trusted me

That ere he quit this worldly shore

He made me his executor.

 

He asked me through my natural life

To guard the interests of his wife.

To see that everything was done

Both for his daughter and his son.

 

I have his money to invest

And though I try my level best

To do that wisely, I’m advised,

My Judgement oft is criticized.

 

His widow, once so calm and meek,

Comes hot with rage three times a week

And rails at me because I must

To keep my oath, appear unjust.

 

His children hate the sight of me.

Although their friend I’ve tried to be.

And every relative declares,

I interfere with his affairs.

 

Now when I die I’ll never ask

A friend to carry such a task

I’ll spare him all such anguish sore

And leave a hired Executor.

 

- Anonymous

Protecting Your Legacy

One of the common misconceptions about estate planning is that it’s only for “wealthy” people.  Nothing could be further from the truth!

If you have property (jewelry, a house,  a car, a TV, tools, etc.) you have an estate. 

I’ve found in my years of practice that the thing that causes the most drama after a loved-one passes away is not who gets Grandma’s IRA….it’s who gets the gravy dish, the rocking chair, the photo albums, the china.

The little stuff matters A LOT!

I’ve seen families torn apart over holiday ornaments and childhood dolls.  Don’t let this happen to you!  Don’t let your memory be tarnished but such petty things.

Parents always think that their kids will just “get along” and divide things fairly.  Sadly, that’s oftentimes not the case.  

Grief does crazy things to people, and I’ve heard more stories from my clients about how they felt they never really knew their siblings until their parent passed away.    

Other problems arise where you may think that someone knows that they are supposed to get a certain piece of jewelry. But that may not be the case…

Planning in advance will ensure that your final wishes are kept. 

Nothing makes me, as a probate attorney, happier than to assist in probating / adminstering an estate where a client’s wishes were explicit.  I’ve witnessed the effect that this has on the grieving family members…it’s one less thing that they have to worry about. 

The administration is swift, and they can spend time focusing on the lifetime of good memories that their loved one left behind.  

Contact an estate planning attorney today to get a plan in place to preserve your legacy.

Happy Planning!

Be Careful About Who You Choose To Draft Your Will or Trust!

Unfortunately, there are many attorneys who treat estate plans like an order form.

Check here, for children, Check here for single, check there for divorced.

Looking at estate planning in this manner is very dangerous, because you will likely overlook some major areas where you need planning.

Estate planning is not just about taxes or picking a personal representative or an attorney-in-fact.

A will or trust is a final expression of your wishes.  Many family memories have been tarnished due to bitter family battles that ensued upon the death of a family member, where a will did not address internal family dynamics.

A will affects many people’s lives, so the process and the documents drafted should be well-thought out and given the care and attention they deserve.

You, for the most part, probably don’t know what sorts of issues come up after death.  Any attorney who has frequently handled any probate matters, especially contentious ones, like I have, know what sorts of problems pop up if left unaddressed in the estate plan.  These are things like:

-          An 18 year old child who inherits $500,000 and spends it within a couple of months;

-          The spouse who remarries and then leaves all of his/her first spouse’s assets to her new spouse to the exclusion of his children from a previous marriage.

-          The financially irresponsible former spouse ends up managing the minor children’s assets.

-          The distrusted son-in-law who inherits and controls the assets for the grandchildren.

-          The alcoholic or drug-addicted grandchild who inherits $50,000.

This is just a tiny fraction of the issues that can arise, if you don’t select the property estate planning attorney to draft your will or trust.

At your initial consultation, any good estate planner will attempt to uncover family dynamics, clarify your goals and, of course, examine your financial documents and review any previous estate planning documents.   If they don’t–  then you should be cautious, as there is likely something that will be missed.

Many times people are solely focused on cost when it comes to estate planning documents.  As with anything, you get what you pay for.  My fees for estate planning will likely be more than the average general practicioner, but you can rest assured that you will be getting the benefit of an experienced estate planning professional, as opposed to a general practicioner, who only dabbles in wills ever once in a while.

Another big difference is that unlike many general practicioners, the final signing of your documents is more than just “sign on the line”- I will walk you through each of your documents to ensure that you understand what’s actually IN your will.  It is extremely important that you understand what is in your will- and sadly, many general practicioners don’t even understand the meaning of some of the provisions in their own wills!

With that said, if you are ready to schedule your estate planning consultation, contact Mindy with Angstman Johnson at 208-384-8588 to schedule your appointment with attorney Natasha Hazlett.

Happy Planning!

“Bank” on Whole Life for Your Financial Needs – Right Now

In our volatile financial world, it seems like there are no safe havens. The stock market continues to fluctuate. Plummeting real estate values in certain markets have yet to recover. Add to this, the difficulty with getting loans in a credit-strapped lending environment. So, where’s the worried consumer to go for financial stability?  Consider permanent, cash value whole life insurance.

Flexibility and Guarantees

If you know anything about life insurance, it’s probably the fact that it pays a guaranteed death benefit to your heirs that is generally free of federal income taxes.1 And, that’s an incredibly important function and most likely why you are considering life insurance. But cash value whole life insurance also offers substantial benefits available to you while you’re living.

One living benefit of whole life is the easy access it provides to your cash value, generally federal income-tax-free, through policy loans. Need money to pay for an emergency home repair, reduce a credit card debt or cover a shortfall in college tuition? If you want to borrow, you can. Unlike a conventional bank loan, there’s no lengthy approval process, and you can’t be turned down. There are also no credit checks or penalties for repaying money too quickly. In fact, there’s no payment schedule on the loan at all.2  

 The longer you own a whole life insurance policy, the more cash value it will accumulate. As long as you

pay your premiums — which are guaranteed never to increase — you’ll have permanent protection and your cash value will grow on a tax-deferred basis. In addition, your policy is eligible for non-guaranteed, income-tax-free dividends which can help grow your cash value more quickly.

 Upgrading Term to Permanent Cash Value Life            

If you have term life insurance, which only pays a death benefit for a fixed period of time, it is easy to convert your policy to cash value whole life. Your New York Life insurance agent can show you how. Then you, too, can take advantage of the many benefits and stability that whole life insurance can bring to you and your loved ones.

This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Kimber Ericksen, New York Life Insurance Company.  For additional information on the information or topic(s) discussed, please contact Kimber Ericksen at 208-338-6377, 1109 W Myrtle, Boise, ID 83702, klericksen@ft.newyorklife.com.

 1All guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuer.

2If you do not repay a loan, the cash value and death benefit of your policy will be reduced. Loans can cause a policy to lapse and    may have tax consequences.