Idaho Probate What You Should Know

Dated: 12/04/2013

Views: 752

Prepared by the Court Assistance Office, 
a project of the Idaho Supreme Court 
What is Probate? 
 Probate is the court process to 
transfer titles of property of a decedent, a 
person who has died, to his or her 
successors and pays any creditors. 
Is probate always necessary? 
 Probate is not always required for 
every estate. A small estate with no real 
property may not need to go through 
probate. This is explained later in the 
“affidavit” method. There are ways to 
avoid probate. An attorney can describe 
these to you. 
What if the decedent had a will? 
 Probate will be necessary to declare 
the will to be valid and to appoint the 
personal representative under the will. The 
personal representative, then, can carry out 
the terms of the will. 
What if the decedent did not have a will? 
 If the decedent had no will 
(intestate) then probate may be required to 
make a determination of heirs and to 
appoint a personal administrator to handle 
the estate. This process would determine 
the proper heirs according to the law of 
intestate succession. 
Is there more than way to handle an 
 There are four methods for 
handling the disposition of an estate. The 
first method is by an affidavit. This is only 
for certain small estates and does not 
involve the court. The other three are court 
proceedings. The first is called Informal 
Probate, the second is Formal Probate and 
the third is Summary Administration of 
Estate where Surviving Spouse is Sole 
Here are some basic descriptions of 
the four methods that may assist you in 
determining what method is appropriate 
for your situation: 
 1. The first method does not 
involve a court process. It is referred to 
here as the “affidavit” method. An 
affidavit may be used if the decedent did 
not own real estate and had personal 
property with a net value of less than 
$100,000. This affidavit allows a 
successor of the decedent to collect any 
property, money or other items owed to the 
decedent. The successor would complete 
the affidavit, which may be obtained at the 
Court Assistance Office, and sign it in front 
of a notary. 
 2. The second method is called 
Informal Probate. This is a court process 

Gavin McCaleb

Gavin has lived in Boise for over 20 years. In 2003 he got his start in real estate as an investor and since then he has personally bought and sold over 100 houses. He got licensed in 2009 and is now....

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