Author Archives: scottlearned

Save Tens of Thousands in Taxes by Giving Away Something You Didn’t Want to Own Anyway

I know – the headline to this article sounds too good to be true, but it IS true! It’s called a “conservation easement,” it’s perfectly legal, and it may be the smartest financial move you ever make. There is one caveat — you have to own land, a portion of which has not been developed. Maybe […]

Peace of Mind Lawyer?

I’m fond of saying that Learned Lawyer is Idaho’s “Peace of Mind” lawyer. What’s that mean? We practice primarily in two areas, and we chose those areas because we can readily bring peace of mind to our clients in those areas. In estate planning, peace of mind comes from knowing you and your loved ones will be taken care of […]

Changes are afoot

We’ve undergone several major changes at Learned Lawyer over the past month. First, Helen has left us to travel to Uganda to do good work there. We wish her the best of luck! We’ve also added two new staff members: Jynx Jenkins and Alisha Donahue. Jynx has been hired as our new paralegal. She has a degree […]

Justifiable isn’t good enough

Seth Godin is an author and blogger. His post today made the point that you can always justify your behavior, but behaving in a justifiable way is not the correct goal — instead you should behave in a way that will be successful, or will help you and the people around you be happy, or will make the […]

New Section 2704 Regulations

The IRS has issued some proposed regulations for comment regarding Section 2704 of the U.S. Tax Code. If you aren’t up to speed on your tax sections, Section 2704 is a provision that applies to (among other things) the concept of the family limited partnership (FLP), a tool for families to use to pass wealth to the […]

Check your beneficiary designations!

Please, right now, stop what you are doing and take a few minutes to log into your retirement accounts and call your insurance broker to check your beneficiary designations. The theme this week has been people who have passed with no beneficiary designated or with the incorrect beneficiary designated. In one case, a man designated […]

Star Trek actor left no will

Anton Yelchin is best known for playing Clumsy Smurf in The Smurfs (oh, yeah, and Pavel Chekov in the new Star Trek movies). At the age of 27, he died in an accident. News media are reporting that his parents have filed probate, claiming that he did not have a will. His estate (which is a […]

Crazy Idaho laws? No, just made-up Internet “fact”

I got sidetracked last night after the kids went to bed, because I ran across an article claiming, “These 14 Crazy Laws in Idaho Will Leave You Scratching Your Head.” Among the crazy laws claimed by the site are that it is illegal in Idaho to fish from the back of a camel or a giraffe. Apparently, […]

Probate and taxes are two unrelated things

I frequently teach classes on the basics of estate planning. (I do it for free, because I enjoy it, so if you want me to speak to a group of yours, please contact me!) As part of that, I often hear misconceptions about estate planning. One big one that keeps coming up is a perceived […]

Determining “income” for child support purposes – not as easy as it sounds

One of the key steps when an Idaho court determines child support is to determine the “income” of each parent. Defining “income” is not always so straight-forward. A parent’s “income” under the Idaho Child Support Guidelines is defined as the parent’s gross income, with certain adjustments. Gross income is broadly defined to include income from any source. This includes […]