The Idaho Legislature passed three new laws that may be of interest to you. These laws go into effect on July 1, 2015.
- Uniform Recognition of Substitute Decision-Making Documents Act (Idaho Code Section 15-15-101 to 15-15-110).
One of the purposes for this new law is to provide standards for recognizing financial and health powers of attorney signed outside the state of Idaho if it is prepared properly in that state. It also provides the requirement that a photocopy or electronically transmitted copies of an original has the same effect as the original.
- Community Property With Rights of Survivorship in Personal Property (Idaho Code Section 15-6-403 and 15-6-404).
This law provides for any titled asset that includes a statement giving both spouses a right of survivorship in that asset, that asset can be transferred to the surviving spouse without a court order. Personal property assets that may be impacted include brokerage accounts, stocks and bonds.
If the first spouse to die does not want their one-half interest in the asset to automatically pass to the surviving spouse, formal steps must be taken to terminate the rights of the surviving spouse to inherit the asset. Those steps are outlined in 15-6-404.
This law does not apply to real property such as a home, farm, cabin, condominium, mineral rights or vacant land.
- Civics Test Requirement to Graduate from High School. (Idaho Code Section 33-1602 (7)).
This law has nothing to do with estate planning, but I found it interesting that the Idaho Legislature has added a new standard for Idaho students.
Starting with the 2017-2018 school year, all Idaho pupils must correctly answer at least 70% of the questions on a civics test to qualify for graduation from high school. The test they will take is the same one used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for those applying for naturalized citizenship in this country. If a pupil fails the test, they can keep repeating the test until they receive a passing grade.
If you want to take the test, go to the website for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.