By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

It is the dream of almost every person who is an employee. All of us envision ourselves retiring early and enjoying our free time traveling, and doing those things that we don’t get to do while we are working. While this is a dream for most people, there are some people who do in fact retire early. Regardless of whether you are seeking early retirement or are simply thinking about your future, you should include a complete estate plan as part of your planning.

Here are three specific things that you should know about estate planning can help you in your future regardless of whether you have or are about to retire early.

1. Guardian for minor children

Most of us would agree that our children are our most precious belonging. However, most of us never take any actions to provide some protection for our young children in the event that both of their parents pass away early. One of the most important things that you can accomplish through your Idaho estate plan is creating a guardianship for your children.

You have the ability to name the individuals you would like to have serve as the guardian of your children in your estate planning. By doing this, you are eliminating the chance that your family could fight about who should care for your children if you were to die. Our Idaho estate planning team has over 70 years of experience in helping parents make a plan to protect their young children. We are certain that we can help you as well.

2. Power of Attorney for yourself

In addition to naming guardians for your minor children, the next most important thing that you should accomplish is to provide protection for yourself through a power of attorney. The power of attorney is a document where you get to name the individuals who will take care of your property and finances and make decisions for you in the event you lose the ability to make those decisions for yourself. Essentially, you are naming somebody who will legally step into your shoes and do for you the things that you would normally do for yourself.

By creating durable powers of attorney you are eliminating the requirement for a legal guardianship to occur in the event you lose capacity to make decisions for yourself. If you do not have a power of attorney and you become incapacitated Idaho law would require your family to do a legal guardianship proceeding in court. This will require at least two attorneys and doctors and potentially your family members as well coming in to testify about who should be named as your legal guardian.

The time, expense, and potential disagreements among your family can all be avoided by you creating a durable power of attorney for yourself as part of your estate plan. In creating a customized estate plan, our Idaho estate planning team of attorneys always include a power of attorney to assist you. We can answer your questions and we can help you get this accomplished for yourself.

3. Insurance and/or Trust to protect your assets

The final thing that you can do to protect yourself and your assets is to make sure you have proper life insurance and or a trust. Whether your trust is testamentary and is designed to provide and protect property for the use of your minor children or whether you’re using the trust as a benefit for yourself, a trust is a great estate planning mechanism that can be used to accomplish many things that are helpful to you.

Likewise, making sure that you have properly filled out your insurance beneficiary forms is another important step you can take. Because life changes so quickly, it’s important for you to regularly review the beneficiaries that you have chosen with your life insurance to make sure that the individuals you want to receive your money will receive it. If you have named your minor age children, it would be important to list the testamentary trust as the recipient of that money for the benefit of your children.

Again, our Idaho estate planning team has experience in accomplishing these things. We have help numerous parents in Idaho create a customized plan that protects them and provides for their minor aged children as well. We are confident that we can help you.


When it comes to estate planning or probate you should never try to do it alone. If you have questions for yourself or for your family and loved ones, 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 questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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