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Articles Posted in Estate Planning

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As an estate planning attorney, I often tell my clients that if they ever go through any major life changes, they should review their estate plan and make sure that it still meets their needs. One of the major life changes that often happens these days is that a person moves.  If you have moved from another state to Idaho, then this article is for you.

In many instances moving to Idaho does not require any changes to your estate plan. In fact, Idaho has a specific law that says that if your estate planning documents were valid in the state where you got them, then they will be valid even if you move to Idaho. This law is found in Idaho Code § 15-2-506. However, the fact that your Will may still be valid, may not be enough to do what you want to do.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Most people don’t have any kind of an estate plan for themselves because they don’t know how to begin one. We do our best to make the process easy. To help our clients get started, we provide a free Estate Planning Questionnaire that we can either email to you or you can download from our web site. This is a PDF document that you can type directly into and save to your computer.

Once the Questionnaire is filled out, you can email it back to us. Then we schedule a free 30-minute consultation to review your information and discuss the things that are important to you when it comes to your own estate plan. Once we know what it is that you want to accomplish, we provide you with the options you have available, and we explain those options to you. This includes the flat fee prices we charge for each of the options you can choose from.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

With the New Year upon us, it is time to take care of the basic things that need to be done to make sure that your estate-planning meets all of your personal and family needs. In other words, if you have gone to the trouble to create an estate plan then now is the time to review it and make sure that it accomplishes everything that you want. If you have not yet set up an estate plan, a new year is a perfect opportunity to get it done.

Most people who don’t have a written estate plan haven’t gotten it done because they don’t know how to start. We make the process easy. We provide a free Estate Planning Questionnaire, that we can either email to you or you can download from our web site. This is a PDF document that you can type directly into and save to your computer. You can then email it back to me and we can schedule a free 30-minute consultation to review your information and to discuss the things that are important to you when it comes to your own estate plan.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As an estate planning attorney, I always recommend that individuals get their written estate planning documents completed. Doing this would include the most important documents such as a durable power of attorney, a living will, a power of attorney for health care, and a last will and testament. All of these documents are notarized so there is no question that they were properly signed and dated by the individual. In addition to this, the last will and testament is also witnessed so that it is self-proving.

A self-proving will is one that is interpreted by the courts to be valid without the need for calling any witnesses to determine whether the signatures actually took place. In other words, the witnesses testified that they saw the individual who signed the will do so. Then the notary enters a notarization indicating that they saw both the testator of the will sign and the witnesses sign as well.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As I’ve often stated, whenever a celebrity passes away, I’m always interested in learning about their estate planning and the things their family is doing with their estate. The reason for this is that we can often learn great lessons from celebrities and others who do things both the right way, and the wrong way when it comes to estate planning. Recently, Sean Connery, who portrayed the original 007 James Bond, as well as other memorable big-screen characters, passed away.

It’s estimated that the value of his estate is around $350 million. Additionally, it’s clear that he owned real estate, and other business ventures and assets in several countries. In other words, his estate is likely very complex.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Alex Trebek, the host of the game show Jeopardy recently died. He hosted the Jeopardy game show from 1984 until his death in November of 2020. It is estimated that his net worth is between $50 – $75 million. While there isn’t much information yet about his estate planning, whether he had a last will and testament or whether he had a trust or a series of trusts, one thing is certain. Trebek was generous.

Years before his death, Trebek donated 62 acres of land to Los Angeles for a park. The name of the park is known as the Trebek Open Space. It was gifted by Trebeck to the city of Los Angeles in 1998 and is described as a sunny, well-established network of fire roads, trails, and other spaces that can be used by hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

I’ve said it many times but as an estate planning attorney I firmly believe that every person can benefit from having an estate plan completed. It doesn’t matter whether you are old and a millionaire, or young and penniless. Every person can be protected by and can benefit from having a complete plan in place.

A basic estate planning includes a written last will and testament, a durable power of attorney, a power of attorney for health care, and a living will. It may also include one or more trusts depending on the circumstances of yourself, your family, and your loved ones.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

The title of this article is an apt question that I’m often asked by clients. But usually the question is asked in a different way. Usually the question is posed as “Do I need a will?”

The fact is that almost everyone should have a written last will and testament as part of their basic estate plan. This basic estate plan should also include a durable power of attorney, a power of attorney for health care, a living will, and perhaps one or more trusts depending on the circumstances of the individual.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Being a huge Marvel Comics fan, I was saddened to hear of the death of Chadwick Boseman. Boseman played the character Black Panther in the Marvel movie world. He was a gifted actor and with the stories that are now coming out he also appears to have been a caring and generous human being as well.

However, despite being larger than life, I was stunned, and somewhat amazed, to learn that Boseman died without having a written last will and testament. The star’s widow, Taylor Ledward, filed probate documents in California asking to be appointed as the administrator of Boseman’s estate. Under California law, Ledward was required to file the documents in probate court specifically because Boseman didn’t leave a written will.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Whenever a client consults with me after a family member or loved one has passed away, one of the first questions I always ask is whether there was a written last will and testament. The reason for this, is that a written will can control a number of things that happen after a person passes away. For sake of simplicity, we will mention only two in this article.

The first thing that a will controls is who will be named or listed as the personal representative of the estate. Some people call this person the executor. This individual will be appointed by the court as the personal representative through a probate process. Once this happens, the person who is named as the personal representative has legal authority to take control of all the property of the estate, deal with all the creditors of the decedent, and make all the distributions that need to go to the beneficiaries.

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