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!

“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!

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!

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!

Should You Use a Living Trust?

I know… I know…your neighbor’s sister’s friend is a lawyer and she SWEARS that the best estate plan includes a Living Trust. In my experience, Living Trusts rarely end up working out as promised. Here are some common myths about Living Trusts:

Myth #1:  You avoid Probate with a Living Trust and probate is EXPENSIVE and COSTLY! 

In order to avoid Probate using a Living Trust, you must ensure that all assets are titled in the name of the Living Trust.  If the decedent forgets to properly title just one asset, you’ll most likely have to go to Probate.  However, going to probate isn’t all the bad!  There are may states out there where probate is extremely time consuming and costly, but Idaho isn’t one of those states, in my opinion. You may hear stories about probates taking years to complete, but chances are- you don’t know all of the facts.  It could be a dispute among the heirs, or the IRS that is causing the hold-up.  A straight-forward probate doesn’t take long at all.  Many take less than 6 months.  Another thing most proponents of living trusts won’t tell you is that administration of the trust could take just as long as a probate.  

Myth #2:  Assets in a Living Trust Don’t Count for Medicaid Eligibility.

In reality, any assets that can be used for your support will be counted towards your Medicaid eligibility.  A living trust is “revocable” which means that you have the right to withdraw assets at any time, for any purpose, including your own support.  For this reason, assets in a Living Trust will be counted towards your Medicaid eligibility.  Additionally, the assets in a revocable living trust are also subject to the Medicaid recoupment lien once the surviving spouse dies.  Moreover, if your home is titled in the name of the trustee of a living trust, it loses its exempt status for Medicaid purposes.  Only assets in a certain irrevocable trusts may be excluded in determining Medicaid eligibility, 60 months after the assets are transferred to the trust. 

Myth #3:  Creditors can’t reach the assets in your Living Trust:

During your lifetime, the assets in your living trust are subject to creditor’s claims.  Upon your death, the assets in your living trust are subject to the claims of the creditors of your estate.

Myth #4:  By having a Living Trust, I can avoid a Will Contest:

Although a “Trust” and a “Will” are completely different legal instruments, it is true that a Living Trust cannot be the subject of a “Will Contest.”  However, the typical grounds for a will contest:  Undue Influence, Fraud, and Lack of Capacity, apply to Living Trusts as well as Wills.  So, beneficiaries or people who are left out of a living trusts, can attack a Living Trust.

Myth #5:  If I have a Living Trust, it will Save my Estate from Taxation:

A revocable living trust will save no more estate taxes than a properly drafted will with testamentary trust tax-planning provisions.

Myth #6: Attorneys charge from 3% to 10% More to Probate Your Estate:

If your family members hire an attorney to assist with probate, your family will agree upon the attorney’s fee.  It should typically be based on an hourly charge, but in some cases, I will agree to a flat fee regardless of the hours it takes me to complete.  Additionally, I have been brought in on several cases to help a Trustee administer a Living Trust, where the Trustee is not a corporate fiduciary, and has no experience in Trust administration. 

Myth #7:  Everyone Should Have A Living Trust:

In reality, the cost of creating and administering living trusts outweighs the benefits for many individuals.  For some individuals who lack the capacity to manage their assets, or are too ill to manage their assets, a living trust is a useful method of asset management.  Additionally, for those who own real property outside of Idaho, a living trust can be useful for avoiding the other’s state’s probate process.  But, in my experience, the majority of my clients are equally as prepared with a complete estate planning package including: a Will, Durable General Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, and a Living Will.  The price for this simple estate planning package is approximately one-third of the cost of a Living Trust.

To learn more about Boise Estate Planning Attorney Natasha Hazlett visit www.angstman.com.  To schedule an appointment today, call 208-384-8588

Happy Planning!