There are a few important conditions to know when you are making a will online. The process to make a will online may be similar in every state, but each U.S. state has its own specific legal requirements for a will to be valid. To make an online will in Idaho, you want to be sure that you understand the specific state statutes you need to follow so that your will is recognized—and you want to use an online will that is customized for Idaho.
Can I Make a Will Online in Idaho?
Yes, you can make a will online in Idaho. To do so, use an online will making service. Our lawyer reviewed multiple online wills to find the best online will making service. USLegalWills delivered the highest quality online last will and testament.
There are legal requirements that someone must meet in order for a will they make online to be considered valid. Here are the requirements in Idaho:
- The Testator—or the person making the will—must be at least 18 years of age (or an emancipated minor) and be of sound mind.
- The will must be in writing.
- The will must be signed by the Testator (or in the Testator’s name by another person in the Testator’s presence and by their direction).
- The will must be signed by at least two other individuals, each of whom either witnessed the Testator signing or the Testator’s acknowledgment of the signature. Wills not signed by witnesses may be recognized as a holographic will if other conditions are met.
Any person (at least 18 years of age) generally competent to be a witness is allowed to act as the witness to a will. In Idaho, the will is not invalid if either of the witnesses is an “interested party” (meaning, a beneficiary in the will).
After you make an online will in Idaho, you must print it out (and then sign it with witnesses who also sign it). Only a few states allow digital-only wills, meaning wills that are made, signed, and witnessed all electronically. However, the state of Idaho does not allow electronic wills at this time.
Does Idaho Require A Notarized Will?
No, Idaho does not require the will to be notarized in order for it to be valid. Wills are presented to the probate court, and the first step is for the court to decide if the will is valid. If the will meets all the legal requirements, then the court recognizes the will as valid.
This process can take longer if the will is not notarized because the court has to call upon witnesses to testify about the authenticity of the will (whether that be because they are the witnesses to the signing of the will or witnesses to prove the Testator’s handwriting).
Most states allow for wills to be “self-proved.” This is a separate document to the will, which the Testator and the witnesses sign in front of a notary public. It is a sworn statement (an affidavit) made that essentially confirms that everyone is who they say they are, that they know they are signing a will, and that the will belongs to the Testator. These affidavits are what get notarized (with official seal) and attached to the will (so the will itself is not what actually gets notarized).
Idaho allows for wills to be self-proved. If you take this step, it eliminates the need for the court to call upon the witnesses to make statements regarding the authenticity of the will—which then helps the court validate the will faster.
Can I Name An Executor In Idaho?
In Idaho, yes, you can name an executor in your will—and you can name one in a will you make online. The person who handles settling the estate, assuring that the will is followed, is known as the executor of the estate. It is a good idea to name an executor in your will (otherwise the probate court will appoint someone), and you want to pick someone you know and trust. You want to be sure that you discuss this with them before you name them, so that they understand what the duties of an executor are and that they are up to the task.
In Idaho, any person at least 18 years of age, who is of sound mind (not judged incapacitated by a court), may serve as an executor.
Many states prohibit those with felony convictions to serve as an executor, but Idaho does not have any laws prohibiting that. The court may decide someone unsuitable in formal proceedings if the competency of the named executor is called into question. If the court determines that the named executor is unsuitable, the court will appoint someone else.
There are no special requirements to name an out-of-state executor in Idaho. However, it might be better to choose someone who lives nearby for practical purposes. Executors have many duties to perform when settling an estate, which can sometimes take weeks or months or even longer.
Do I Need an Attorney to Make a Will in Idaho?
No, an attorney is not required to make a will in Idaho. Of course, if your estate is complex or large, you want to consult an estate planning attorney. But in most cases, when your estate is relatively simple and your will is straightforward, online will making is a good option. To make an online will in Idaho, make sure you follow the specific guidelines for the state and use an online making service with state-specific templates.
What Types of Wills Are Valid in Idaho?
Made online or not, any type of will which meets the federal and state-specific legal requirements is valid in Idaho.
Can I Make a Holographic Will in Idaho?
A holographic will is one that is handwritten and signed only by the Testator (the person making the will). In Idaho, a holographic will is valid if all the material provisions and the signature are in the Testator’s handwriting.
It is important to know that holographic wills often face delays in probate court. The language is often not clear enough, important provisions are missing, and the handwriting has to be proved authentic. This process can take weeks, months, or longer—and in the end, the will might not be recognized as valid.
Can I Make a Nuncupative or Video Will in Idaho?
A nuncupative will (sometimes known as a deathbed will) is an oral will, sometimes left in a video. In any state, a nuncupative will is considered an emergency or last resort type of will. If someone is facing imminent death and has no will, a nuncupative will is better than leaving no instructions at all. If all your heirs agree to the terms left in the nuncupative will, it may be accepted by the court.
Idaho does not recognize nuncupative wills. If you have a valid, legally binding will in place, then leave a nuncupative will revoking the prior will (so as to leave new provisions), Idaho will not likely find the nuncupative will valid and uphold the previous will instead (unless all your heirs agree to the terms in the nuncupative will). If you do not have a prior will in place and leave a nuncupative will, the court does not recognize it as valid and it is the same as if you died without a will.
To avoid long legal delays, it is always best to have a written and legally binding will in place.
How Is a Living Will Different from an Online Will in Idaho?
A living will (also known as an advance healthcare directive) is a legal document with instructions on medical decisions and end-of-life care. A living will never goes into effect unless you are completely incapacitated. A living will is not the same as a last will and testament; a living will and an online will are two separate documents. A living will contains your wishes regarding medical decisions and end-of-life care while a last will and testament contains your wishes regarding your estate.
In most cases, the last will and testament is not consulted until after an individual’s death and funeral—this makes it not the right place to leave medical directives or end-of-life care stipulations.
Instead, you want to make a living will for these instructions. You can make both a last will and testament and a living will online. For Idaho, you can find the form here.
For a living will to become binding in Idaho, there are three specific criteria that must be met. Otherwise, it does not go into effect. Your physician is the person who decides if these criteria are met.
First, you must have a terminal condition. This means a condition, whether caused by illness or injury, that is going to lead to your death and there is no hope for any type of recovery from this condition. Second, your death is imminent. That means the terminal condition you have will result in your death within a short period of time unless you are placed on life support systems. And third, you are unable to communicate with your physician about your wishes (incapacitated).
Idaho maintains a state registry for health care directives. Once you fill out the form, you sign it and you can then submit it to the registry. You also may want to make copies, giving them to your primary care physician, family members, or other trusted individuals.
Idaho state law does not require you to sign the form in the presence of a witness but it is a good idea to have it witnessed by at least one person who personally knows you—to show you are of sound mind. Your witness should not be your healthcare agent (if you named one), your doctor, or other healthcare providers (or employees of the facility).
You can find information on the Idaho Health Care Directive Registry here.
Why Do I Need to Make an Online Will in Idaho?
If someone dies without a will, it is known as dying intestate. This means that the intestacy laws of Idaho determine what happens to your estate. It can become a lengthy legal process, and your property is often held up in the probate court process for months at a time. The state will also appoint guardians for minor children and name an executor for your estate. Your estate is divided between surviving family members according to the intestacy distribution laws of Idaho.
It is important to make a will, and you can make an online will in Idaho, if you own property or if you have children. By having a will, you make your wishes known as well as shorten the probate process.
What Can I Include in an Online Will in Idaho?
When making a will online in Idaho, you can name the executor for your estate as well as appoint guardians for any minor children. You can also:
- Designate a trusted person to oversee any property left to minor children.
- Designate a trusted person to care for any pets.
- Leave property or gifts to family members or friends.
- Leave property or gifts to charities or organizations.
- Request how to distribute family heirlooms, sentimental items, and other personal items.
What Should Not Be Included in a Will in Idaho?
Funeral instructions, medical directives, and end-of-life care should not be included in a will. A last will and testament is not usually consulted until after the funeral. If any funeral arrangements are in the will, your family might not know about your wishes. The same is true, of course, for end-of-life care stipulations.
You want to create a living will for medical directives and end-of-life care. To leave funeral directions, you can talk to family members about your desires. You can also make a separate document describing your wishes and give it to family members, the executor of your estate, or other trusted people.
Can I Change or Revoke an Online Will Made in Idaho?
Whether you make it online or not, a will is a legally binding document. However, you can revoke or change your will at any time. Revoking or changing a will you made online has the same requirements as revoking or changing any will.
In Idaho, here are ways to change or revoke a will:
- You can revoke it in writing, by writing a new will that states it revokes the old one or by having contradictory terms to the old one in it.
- You can physically destroy it, by a revocatory act—any act (like burning, tearing, or otherwise destroying) done with the intent of revoking the will.
- You can order someone else to physically destroy it in your presence and by your direction.
When anything major happens in your life, it is a good idea to update your will. Marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, acquisition of significant assets which change the distribution of property, or relocation to another state or country—these are all good reasons to visit the idea of updating your will. If you only need to make small changes or additions, you can instead add an amendment to your will. This is known as a codicil, and a codicil must be finalized in the same way that the original will is finalized.
How Do I Finalize an Online Will in Idaho?
When you want to finalize an online will in Idaho, you want to take these steps:
- Print it out,
- Sign it or acknowledge your signature in front of two witnesses, and
- Have the two witnesses sign it.
Idaho allows for your will to be “self-proved.” Consider having you and your witnesses make an affidavit in front of a notary public to attach to the will in order for it to be “self-proved.”
Be sure to consider these special considerations in Idaho:
- Divorce (or annulment) automatically revokes any property left to your former spouse in your will. It is still wise to consult an attorney about your will after divorce (or annulment).
- You can disinherit adult children in Idaho, but it can be complicated. You should consult an attorney if you intend on disinheriting an adult child.
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