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LIVING WILL AND OTHER END OF LIFE DOCUMENTS: WHAT DO YOU NEED?

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

The best part of estate planning for me is helping each individual client with their own specific needs. When I am done crafting an estate plan for a client, I know that it does exactly what my client wants because I spend the time helping my client understand each of the options available to them.  My clients then make informed and well-thought out decisions about what they actually want in the estate planning.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

The statistics are alarming! According to a recent survey 92% of adults under the age of 36 do not have a Will or any other type of estate planning document completed. Millennials, whose ages range from about 20 to about 36 years old, make up this group of severely unprepared adults.

The reason for this is understandable. In fact, many of my Millennial clients often tell me that because they were so young they didn’t believe that they needed any estate planning. While it’s true that the millennial generation has different needs than older generations, they still need to get at least a basic estate plan completed. The reality is that there are two main reasons for each Millennial to get their estate planning done. These reasons are listed below.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

It’s fantastic that you were recently married! Congratulations! You have begun a chapter in your life that will be both rewarding and full of new adventures. Getting married is also one of the signs that you have matured and have become a real adult in society. As an adult, and now that you are a newlywed, there are some specific reasons why you should consider completing your own Idaho estate planning to protect yourself and your new spouse into the future.

Below is a list of the four main documents that are included in an Idaho estate plan that could help you and your family.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As a part of my Idaho estate planning practice over the last 20 years I meet with clients to discuss their questions and concerns about either creating an estate plan for them or how the estate plan that they have actually works. Often during these meetings my clients will ask me the question of what happens if one or all of their children die before they do.

This question is a good one because there are no guarantees in life. While it may seem unjust or unfair, parents sometimes do outlive a child or even all of their children. My job as an estate planning attorney is to look down the road of the future and see all the worst things that could possibly happen to my client. My goal is then to create a customized estate plan that will protect my client from these worst-case scenarios.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

So you’ve worked hard your entire life and have put together a pretty good retirement plan for yourself. Your house is paid off, your cars are free and clear of any debts, and your investment and bank accounts are bulging. In your last will and testament you leave your vacation property to your children and a gun that has been in your family for a hundred years to your oldest grandson. You also leave all of your accounts to your children. You told your family all about your last will and testament and everyone knows what you are leaving them.

Originally you simply wanted your last years to be quiet and low key. But let’s say that you talked to some of your friends who are seeing the world. They tell you all about their latest adventures and eventually you change your mind and decide that you want to start traveling. You looked over the cruise ship brochures and you have several exotic destination cruises that you would like to do before you die. The only question is, how do you pay for it.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Many times in my nearly 20-year career as a Idaho estate planning attorney I’ve had clients come to me and talk with me about how they can create a valid last will and testament in Idaho. During many of these meetings clients often bring to me the documents that they created from online services or from software kits that they purchased from an office supply store. Sometimes these documents are signed and sometimes they are not. Most regularly, these documents are not properly witnessed or notarized. When this happens, I have to tell my clients that the document they presented to me is not a valid last will and testament in Idaho.

To help you understand what creates a valid will in Idaho this blog will review the Toms v. Davies case which was decided by the Idaho Court of Appeals in 1995. Even though this case is over 20 years old it still provides a good deal of insight as to what creates a valid written last will and testament in Idaho, and how witnesses are important.

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By Patrick N. George

Recently the Idaho Supreme Court had an opportunity to discuss premises liability and slip and falls which occur in stores. The case is called Brooks v. Walmart Stores, Inc._Idaho_, _p.3d (2018). In this case, Walmart and Rug Doctor had an agreement where customers at Walmart could rent carpet cleaning machines. The process by which a customer obtained the rental was self-service. On the day of the accident, Brooks went to Walmart to purchase some wood chips for her yard. When she went to a cashier, she was directed to customer service. From there she was escorted towards the garden center. As she walked towards the garden center, she passed the self-service Rug Doctor kiosk and slipped and fell due to a puddle of water that had formed and had come from the Rug Doctor kiosk. As a result of the fall, Brooks was injured.

The Supreme Court noted that in an action for negligence Idaho has four elements;

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

When it comes to Idaho estate planning we all tend to get into that Norman Rockwell state of mind from time to time, where everything is perfect and we are able to leave a sizeable inheritance to our children. But then reality kicks in and we can see that this may not actually be the case for us after all. This could be based on a number of factors, such as not having saved much money for retirement in our later years. Or perhaps we were dealt an unlucky hand and had sizable medical bills or other financial problems that plagued us during our lives. Regardless of the reason not everybody is in a position to leave an inheritance for their children.

If you are considering leaving an inheritance for your children here are a few things that you should keep in mind.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

In working as an estate planning attorney for nearly 20 years I have had numerous clients come to me who want to disinherit an individual from their estate. Idaho law allows an individual to disinherit others from their estate if they choose to do so. However, it a disinheritance never just works automatically. Rather, there are very specific things that have to be done in order for a disinheritance to actually work. If you are thinking about disinheriting somebody from your estate through your Idaho estate planning here are three things that you should know.

Who Can I Disinherit?

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

During my 20 years of experience in helping my clients complete their estate planning I often have unusual and interesting conversations with them. Several weeks ago I decided to ask my clients one simple question. The answers from the question that I asked is what creates the content for this blog today. The question that I asked my clients was: “What is the single best estate planning tip you ever received?” In order of popularity or frequency, here are the 4 best estate planning tips my clients say they ever received from other people.

PUT IT IN WRITING

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