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An Idaho Last Will and Testament

Having a complete Idaho Estate plan means that you have finalized several documents that will help you not only after you die but also while you are alive. The best-known document that is included in an Idaho Estate plan is a last will and testament. For over 70 years, our team of Idaho estate planning attorneys have assisted Idaho clients in creating a customized Idaho estate plan which includes a thorough and well thought-out last will and testament. Our goal is to help each client customize their own last will and testament so that their wishes and intentions will be carried out after they pass away.

Our team of Idaho estate planning Attorneys at the Racine Olson Law Office include partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley. We are proud of the members of our estate planning team who have each earned the highest possible ratings from the most notable legal ranking services including Justia, AVVO, and Martindale & Hubbell. We are confident that the members of our experienced estate planning team can help you meet your estate planning needs.

Even though most people are familiar with a last will and testament, there are still many things about this document that most people do not know. Here are the three most important things that you should understand about your last will and testament.

1. What It can do

Your last will and testament is the document you use to provide specific instructions about what you want accomplished after you pass away. As a result, your last will and testament is a document that you can use to specifically describe the property that you own and the beneficiaries you want that property to go to. This could include your spouse, your children, other relatives of yours, close family friends, or even Charities. You have complete control over the property that you own and who it is distributed to after you die.

Additionally, you have the ability to disinherit specific individuals who would normally receive a portion of your estate if you did not have a last will and testament. It is not uncommon for a parent to disinherit a child who is struggling with destructive addictions or other problems that would only be heightened if they were to receive money or other valuable assets from your estate.

Furthermore, your last will and testament is the document you use to describe and identify who you have chosen to be your personal representative. Your personal representative is the individual who is tasked with the responsibility of carrying out your instructions and wishes as listed in your last will and testament as well as paying all debts and taking care of all creditors and claims that may be made against your estate.

2. What It can’t do

Now that we've listed some of the basics of what you're last will and testament can do it's important now to understand what it cannot do. A last will and testament cannot control the beneficiary listing of a life insurance contract. In other words, if your life insurance lists your spouse as your beneficiary that contract will control over any language you have in your last will and testament. The listing of beneficiaries on contracts is also true as to certain retirement accounts including IRAs or 401ks or similar accounts. When it comes to these accounts the beneficiary you listed in your contract will control over anything you say in your last will and testament.

Additionally, your last will and testament does not give you the power to dispose of any community property interest your spouse has in any property. In other words if you and your spouse own a home jointly, you cannot give away your spouse's community property interest in the home to another person through your last will and testament. You can only deal with and make a distribution of your own community property interest in that home.

3. How It can be Changed

The final thing that you should understand about your last will and testament is that it is not made in concrete. You can change your last will and testament anytime you would like. We highly recommend that you look at your last will and testament and decide whether a change is needed any time you go through a major life event.

A major life event would include items such as the birth of a person, the death of a person, a person moving away, a divorce, or just the passage of a long period of time. When any of these events occur your circumstances may have changed and it is wise to pull your last will and testament out and look it over and make sure that it still accomplishes what you want. The reason for this is that when you die your last will and testament will be enforced and carried out. So if you were married to an individual and named them as a beneficiary in your last will and testament and then later divorced them, they would still be listed as your beneficiary and would be entitled to receive items from your estate as directed in your last will and testament.

Most people don't want an ex-spouse to receive anything from their estate. As a result if there is any major life change that occurs in your life, such as a divorce, you should look your last will and testament over and make sure that it is still accurate and reflects your intentions.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team of Idaho lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning needs if your spouse has passed away. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a consultation. You can also email us directly at We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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