3 Things to Know About Estate Planning Regardless of Your Age

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

Estate planning is one of those things that most people really don’t want to think about. Unless you are an estate planning lawyer, or work with 1, it’s unlikely that you will know much about estate planning, or how it can help you. Has an attorney practicing estate planning for over 17 years, I’ve seen a variety of people and the estate planning that they complete. Here 3 things every adult should know about estate planning regardless of their age.


The first thing that every adult should know, is that in Idaho every person has an estate. Most people believe that the word estate means that you are somehow wealthy or Rich. Legally, the term estate simply means the things that you own and the things that you owe. In other words your estate is made up of all the assets that you own and all the debts and expenses that you owe to others.

Just because a person passes away doesn’t mean that their estate comes to an end. Rather, in Idaho if your estate is worth $100,000 or more, or if it has a home or other real estate in it, then a probate must occur for the property to pass to another person.

Perhaps the most shocking thing my client come to learn is that if they do not have their own estate planning completed, the state of Idaho has a default estate planned for them under the statutes of intestacy. By creating your own estate plan you retain the power and ability to make decisions about who receives your property, and how your expenses are paid after you pass away.


The second most important thing that every adult should know about estate planning is that you can be as creative and unique with your estate planning as you would like. There are some formalities that do need to be followed in Idaho for an estate plan to be valid, however outside of those you can be as creative as you’d like. There is no-one estate plan that works for every person. Every person is unique, their circumstances are unique, and their estate planning should reflect this uniqueness and take into consideration all of the special circumstances that each individual has in their life.


The third thing that every adult should know about estate planning is that even when your estate planning is completed, it should be reviewed and possibly updated regularly. The reason for this is that life is not static. Changes occur all the time. There could be a death, a divorce, a marriage, the birth of a loved one, or a person could simply move away. Additionally the passage of a length of time can change your circumstances or those of all the people around you. For this reason, and estate plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to make sure that it still accomplishes your goals and that it is still unique to your circumstances.

If you have questions about creating a customized estate plan for you, we can help. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Idaho. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at lve@racinelaw.net. We will answer your Idaho Estate Planning questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer for advice on specific legal issues.


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