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Idaho Estate Planning Basics

By Lane V. Erickson, Attorney

It doesn’t really matter whether you live in Boise, Nampa, Pocatello, or Coeur d’Alene. Idaho Estate planning Basics are the same for everyone. Every adult in Idaho should have at least a basic estate plan in place for themselves and for their family. Here are the 4 components of a basic Idaho estate plan.


A durable power of attorney is the document that you use in order to avoid a costly Guardianship and conservatorship hearing later in your life. Imagine for a moment that in your later years You have a stroke or Alzheimer’s disease end that this condition makes it impossible for you to continue taking care of your own finances and property. if you do not have a durable power of attorney in place then your family will be forced to complete a guardianship proceeding in court. In a guardianship proceeding just about any individual and your family can ask the court to be appointed as your guardian.

However, with a durable power of attorney you have complete control right now to make decisions about who will hold the power to handle your finances and property if you suddenly become unable to do so. Additionally, there is no need for a costly guardianship Hearing in court that could be contested by family members and could result in a disagreement and or fight between your family members.

More importantly, with a durable power of attorney you can name not only the first person you choose but also a second and third choice if your first choice is unable or unwilling to accept the responsibility. The bottom line is that with a durable power of attorney you have the ability to make decisions that will affect your life later.


The second component of a basic Idaho state plan is a power of attorney for health care. This is similar to a durable power of attorney but it is strictly limited to healthcare decisions. Essentially, what this means, is that you are naming a person who will make Healthcare decisions for you if you are suddenly unable to do so. This will include decisions about what doctors you see, what medicines you take, what medical procedures you either do or do not have, and whether you need to be placed in an assisted living facility.


The third component to a basic Idaho state plan is a living will. The living will is combined with the durable power of attorney for health care so that your Physicians can have both of these documents on record at the same time. With a living will you have the ability to tell your doctors what your decisions are about whether or not to receive medical treatment 2 words the end of your life. The three requirements are that you have a terminal condition, that your death is imminent, and that you are unable to communicate with you are physician. When these three criteria are met, you are living will provides instruction to your positions about your wishes. This takes the decision of whether to artificially prolong your life off the shoulders of your family and allows you to make the decision right now when you are able to think about it.


The fourth and final component of a basic Idaho state plan includes a last will and testament. Normally, a last will and testament is what is used to allow you to describe who you want your property to go to. However, with younger parents it could also be used as a mechanism to create a guardianship and name a guardian for minor children, and also to create trust to hold money and preserve it for the use of minor children. Additionally a last will and testament is a great place to put instructions that you would like to see your family carryout upon your death.

Obtaining an estate planning Idaho should not be complicated. If you have questions about how to obtain your Idaho estate plan, 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 We will answer your Idaho Estate Planning questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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