COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

Articles Posted in Estate Planning

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

If there’s one thing I’ve learned during the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s the importance of being able to laugh at ourselves and at other funny situations that arise. Certainly, the pandemic is serious. Because of this, we need to find ways to relieve our own stress and two keep ourselves emotionally stable. Laughter is sometimes the best medicine.

Based on this, I’ve done some research to find some of the wackiest probates in history so I can share these with you. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed researching them.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Over the past 21 years that I’ve worked as an estate planning attorney I’ve learned many things about how people feel and think about their estate plans. There have been hundreds of times I’ve sat down with a client and with their children to discuss estate planning and in all of these conversations I point out to my clients that I actually represent them. Then, in front of the other people in the room which are usually the children, I ask my clients, who are usually the parents, for permission to discuss their estate planning issues, concerns, and documents while their children are in the room.

There usually is not an issue with this. In most instances, the parents have brought their children because they want their children to help them make decisions or to simply be aware of what their estate plan is. However, as an attorney, I have both an ethical and a legal obligation to keep my clients’ estate plans confidential.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

There are several good reasons why you would want to meet with your estate planning and probate attorney. One of those reasons would be when you have a family member or loved one pass away. When this happens, it’s likely that you and others will have many questions and concerns. There’s no reason why you should carry these burdens and let them worry or bother you. Rather, you would be wise to meet with your estate planning and probate attorney as soon as you can so you can get answers to your questions and find out what needs to be done.

We offer a free 30-minute consultation where we discuss the probate process with our clients and answer their questions. I found that when I do this with my clients, they always feel relieved about having a better understanding of the things that need to be accomplished. We encourage you to contact us immediately if you’ve had a family member or loved one pass away.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As an estate planning and probate attorney, I am often asked questions about the probate process. To help my clients understand probate I have developed a diagram that walks through the steps involved in probate and answers most questions clients have about the process.

Most recently, because of the Coronavirus, the question that I am often asked is how they can go about doing a probate. The reason for this is that in many instances surviving spouses or children are in different areas of the United States and are unable to travel to Idaho.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As a practicing Idaho Estate Planning and probate attorney for over 20 years, I have seen just about every scenario you can imagine when it comes to completing a probate in Idaho. I’ve also come to understand that there is a lot of confusion about whether a probate needs to be done, if so what the probate process is, and who would be chosen to act as the Personal Representative (also known as the Executor) of the probate estate. The purpose of this article is to talk about who will be chosen as a Personal Representative when there is no written last will and testament left by the person who passes away.

Many people that I talk to erroneously believe that if there is a written last will and testament then there is no need for a probate to be done. It’s important to understand at the start that regardless of whether there is or isn’t a written last will and testament, a probate may still be required in Idaho. Simply put, a probate is required in Idaho anytime a person passes away when their name is on the deed or title to any type of real estate regardless of whether it is a home, or farm ground or bare ground. Additionally, a probate in Idaho is required anytime a person’s estate is worth more than $100,000 regardless of the type of property that is in it. Additionally, a probate may be required if the deceased person was going to receive a payment from a third-party such as insurance benefits, or litigation proceeds, or a payment from other types of accounts.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

With the coronavirus pandemic raging throughout the world and in the United States I have had several clients talk to me about whether they should update their estate planning documents. It’s a wonderful question and it’s one that should be asked regularly by any individual who has their estate planning done. The reason for this is that life simply doesn’t stand still.

What I mean by this is that life is ever-changing. Our job, our marriage, or children, where we live, can all change very quickly. I usually suggest to my clients that they review their estate planning documents anytime they have gone through a major life change, or if nothing significant has changed in their lives they should review their estate plan every 5 years at least.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Every client I talk to has questions about how the Coronavirus is affecting their lives and what they can do about it. This is especially true when it comes to either completing or updating their estate plan.

We encourage you to download our Estate Planning Questionnaire which is a simple document you can type into on your computer and save. Our clients tell us the Questionnaire made the process of gathering information simple and easy. Once this is done, we provide a free 30-minute consultation to discuss the information on the questionnaire and to answer questions about estate planning. Our goal is to help our clients understand the options and choices they have for their own estate plan.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

When it comes to the coronavirus, there are a number of questions my clients have posed recently. The purpose of this blog article is simply to answer some of the most common questions I’ve been asked.

If you don’t find your question listed below, please contact me. I am still doing phone consultations and video calls to answer questions for clients and to help them with their estate planning needs. I do this through a free 30-minute consultation and would be happy to spend some time answering your questions and helping you!

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

The Coronavirus has definitely been a motivator for people to think about getting their estate planning done. Well I believe that it is always a good thing to think about getting estate planning done, or updating estate planning that already exists, I am a firm believer that people should not panic.

I’ve been an estate planning attorney now for over 20 years, and I am a firm believer that we are always at risk of injury, illness, or death even before the Coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the world. Because of this, it’s important that we always consider ourselves, our family members, and our loved ones. We should look down the road of the future and think about how we can plan and prepare to care for ourselves and others both while we are alive and after we are gone.

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

The first conversation is usually a panicked one. It’s either a phone call or the person has scheduled an appointment to meet with me in person. The first sentence is almost always the same. “Mr. Erickson, I’ve been named in the Will as a personal representative for my father/mother/sister/brother or spouse’s estate, and I have no idea what I need to do. Can you help me?” When this happens, I am always happy to help.

The first thing I do is sit down with this client and show them the probate diagram that I use with all clients during the first consultation. As I talk about the steps and process of a probate, I usually start by describing the main reasons that a personal representative is appointed. There are really only four.

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