This section deals with the Idaho probate process. Submitting a decedent’s Will to probate is a technical process. Fortunately, Idaho provides simplified procedures for smaller estates.
I have the original Will, what are my obligations?
You must deliver the Idaho Last Will and Testament to a person able to secure its probate or to the appropriate court with reasonable promptness. 15-2-902
What probate process do I need to use?
You don’t need probate in order to transfer title of community property when a spouse dies if there is a recorded community agreement in place.
Collecting Property without Probate
If the fair market value of the estate is less than $100,000, title documents, personal property and debts owed to the decedent can simply be collected using an Affidavit. Thirty days must have elapsed since the death. 15-3-1201
A personal representative can disburse and distribute small estates immediately without giving notice to creditors. An estate is considered to be small where “the value of the entire estate, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed homestead allowance, exempt property, family allowance, costs and expenses of administration, reasonable funeral expenses, and reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent”. 15-3-1203
Where Spouse is Sole Beneficiary or Heir
If the surviving spouse entitled to the entire estate under the decedent’s Idaho Will or under the rules of intestacy, he/she may file a petition to that effect. The probate court will set down a hearing. Notice will need to be given. If there are no objections, the court will not require administration of the estate. If the spouse proceeds under this process, then he/she assumes all debts and liabilities against the estate. 15-3-1205
Informal Probate and Appointment
If there is an original Idaho Will, the informal probate process may be used. Notice does not need to be given to creditors (unless they have filed a demand for notice) 15-3-306. An application for any of the following may be directed to the registrar by an interested person: 15-3-301
- Informal Probate
- Informal Statement of Intestacy where the estate is community and there is a surviving spouse; or
- Informal appointment.
If the registrar makes the relevant findings, he/she shall issue a written statement of informal probate if at least five days have elapsed since the death. This statement may be superseded by an order in formal testacy proceedings (15-3-302). The applicant must give notice to all heirs and devisees of the admission of the Idaho Will to probate. 15-3-303A
Idaho Estate Tax
Idaho no longer imposes estate tax. An Idaho Tax Return (Form 33) is only required to be filed for the estate if the deceased:
- Died prior to January 1, 2005,
- Owned property in Idaho, and
- Is required to have a Federal Estate Tax Return filed.
The return must be filed by the personal representative of the estate. “Personal representative” means the personal representative of the decedent or, if there is no personal representative appointed, any person who is in actual or constructive possession of any property included in the gross estate of the decedent. It is due and any tax liability is payable within nine months from the date of death.