Empowering our clients with legal solutions for life's most significant events

Sun Valley / Ketchum Estate Planning Attorney

Our Blaine County based Law Firm offers Estate Planning, Business and Real Estate Legal Services

We assist individuals and families with assets exceeding $3 million and more.

Fixed Fee Estate Planning

If you own a home, have a retirement account, a bank and investment account, and perhaps some life insurance – we can assist you and work with you on a fixed basis for your base estate planning.

Planning for High-Net-Worth Individuals

If you have multiple properties and investments, we can assist you with your estate planning and work with you to ensure the titles to your assets are consistent with your estate plan so your plan works as you intend.  We can assist you with our effective and efficient estate planning process billed at our hourly rates, and can provide estimates of the fee once we have information about your particular situation.

Advanced estate planning is best suited for high-net-worth individuals and families with assets in excess of $20 million that may be subject to federal estate tax.  We assist with advanced tax planning strategies including lifetime planning for irrevocable gifting trusts for children and grandchildren, grantor retained interest trusts.

Relocation Planning

For individuals and families relocating to Idaho from another state, we work with you to establish an Idaho estate plan and address planning for property you may still own located in another state.  We work inclusively with your existing team of professionals including your CPA, financial advisor and estate attorney from your former state.  If you have assets in California and Idaho we can assist you in both states.

We want to assit you with

Your Sun Valley / Ketchum / Hailey Partner for Comprehensive Estate Planning

D. Leigh Koonce, ACP

D. Leigh Koonce, Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP), Director of Operations, J. Eshman Law

Leigh Koonce has been a paralegal at J. Eshman Law since 2006. She assists with document drafting, editing, and client relations. Leigh is also our Director of Operations for the firm.

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Jynx Jenkins

jynx jenkins

Jynx has been a paralegal since 2009 and started work at J. Eshman Law in 2023. She assists with document drafting, editing, and client relations.

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Sarah Sundby

Sarah Sundby, Director of Finances, J. Eshman Law

Sarah joined J. Eshman Law in 2013 and serves as our Director of Finances. She also assists with day-to-day operations and client relations, accounts payable/receivable, proofreading, and production of online content.

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Experience a Streamlined 3-Step Process

At JEL Law Firm, we value your time and understand the importance of efficiency. Our streamlined 3-step onboarding process ensures that we address your legal needs promptly and effectively:

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any additional questions, that are not covered here, please reach out to us!

Contact us
  • I plan on moving to the Wood River Valley (Ketchum, Sun Valley, Hailey, Bellevue, Idaho), can you assist in helping me buy a home?

    JEL can work with you and your realtor through the process of buying your home.  Though it may be a form purchase and sale agreement your agent presents to you, please be aware it is a seller favored form.  JEL can also assist you with the sale of real estate.

  • I can’t decide what type of entity to form, can JEL guide me?

    Yes, we can educate you regarding your entity options.  We regularly form partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations.  We prepare articles of organization, bylaws, operating agreements, partnership agreements and other governing documents for entities in Idaho.

  • I am interested in buying or selling a business, can JEL assist me?

    Yes, we assist both buyers and sellers of businesses in this life transition.  These matters are solely handled for Idaho businesses.  We can also assist with the legal aspects of your day-to-day operations of your business, including review of loan documents, updating governing documents and discussing employee equity plans.

  • I moved from another state to Idaho. Do I need to update my estate plan?

    In short, yes. We recommend that clients who have relocated from another state to Idaho restate their base estate plan documents (wills, revocable trusts, financial powers of attorney and healthcare documents) to ensure that the plan reflects your current goals and addresses Idaho state law issues. If an Idaho resident dies with documents that are governed by another state’s law, the process of settling the estate can become unnecessarily complicated, time-consuming, and more expensive due to differences in state rules and legal requirements.

    Rather than work with old documents from another jurisdiction, we always restate estate plan documents to avoid multiple amendment documents and decrease the risk of confusion.  Further, restating documents is more efficient and cost-effective for you.

  • I already have a trust prepared by another attorney, will JEL amend my Trust?

    In short, no. Rather than work with old documents, we always restate estate plan documents to avoid multiple amendment documents, to decrease the risk of confusion, and avoid a lack of clarity.  Further, restating documents is more efficient and cost-effective for you.

  • Do I need a marital property agreement (also known as prenuptial or antenuptial agreement)?

    You may not realize this, but you already have an agreement as to your property during a marriage by the default provisions set forth in the state code.   Idaho has a unique approach to community property, where the interest on separate property assets is community property.  Idaho also requires extra written evidence to prove your intentions with regards to joint property upon the death of a joint tenant.  A marital property agreement is especially important for people with children from previous relationships.   

    If you do not want the state to decide ownership rights of your property during marriage, and upon a death of a spouse, then, yes, you need a property agreement.  Spouses are best served if each of you have your own independent legal counsel to advise you regarding your property agreement.

  • Can JEL help me with advanced estate planning?

    Yes, we can educate you regarding the best options for your plan including irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs), grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), spousal lifetime access trusts (SLATs), intentionally defective grantor trusts (IDGTs), gifting and other advanced planning techniques.

  • I know very little about estate planning, will I be educated during the estate planning process with JEL?

    We love to educate our clients and explain the planning options, benefits and drawbacks of the various options that provide flexibility, creditor protection and best use of federal estate gift and generation skipping transfer tax exemptions.  We use diagrams and videos to provide clarity regarding your options and ensure you understand your plan.  If you choose our fixed fee plan, you will receive less education of the many estate planning options and available planning tools we would otherwise provide in an estate plan, but we will ensure that you clearly understand your estate plan documents.

  • I just want a simple will and nothing else, can JEL help me with this?

    We believe that a complete estate plan is a gift to your family.  A complete estate plan includes a list of your assets, usually a will or a will and a revocable trust, power of attorney and healthcare documents.  Generally, we do not prepare a will on its own.

  • Why do I need an estate plan if my assets are simple?

    Having an estate plan allows YOU to decide where your assets should pass, and who should settle your estate on your behalf, not the state of Idaho.  Having an estate plan in place and being organized is a true gift to your family.

  • My child just turned 18. What documents should they have?

    We recommend all adults, even young adults, have a Will, financial power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney in place.  Hopefully, you won’t ever need them, but having them provides you with peace of mind.

  • Does JEL handle probate?

    While we do not handle probate litigation, we can assist you with Idaho probate matters that are not contested, estate settlement, and trust administration.  We do not handle California probate matters but can assist with estate settlement and trust administration.

  • I am living in Idaho, but I have some California matters I need assistance with, can JEL assist with matters in both states?

    Depending upon the nature of your California matter we may be able to assist; but if we cannot, we generally can recommend another California attorney.

  • I am having problems with my landlord, can you help?

    Sorry, JEL does not assist with landlord-tenant disputes.

  • What types of real estate transactions does JEL handle in Idaho?

    Our services include buying and selling of residential and commercial properties.

  • I am looking for a divorce or family law lawyer for my divorce, can JEL assist?

    Sorry, JEL does not assist in divorce representation.

  • Do you handle estate litigation or any other type of litigation?


  • How does JEL charge for services?

    We generally charge hourly to give our clients the maximum attention they request and have come to expect with our high touch client service.  But we do offer a fixed fee estate planning option for individuals and first-time married couples with uncomplicated financial lives.

  • If I become a client of JEL, will I have one point of contact with JEL?

    We take a team approach at JEL, and our clients will work with and get to know each of our team members.

What Clients Are Saying