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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As an estate planning attorney, I often have conversations with my elderly clients about whether or not they should leave a sizable inheritance to their children or grandchildren. This is a question that can be discussed from a number of different angles depending on your perspective. However, I usually start the conversation by telling my clients that they have absolutely no legal obligation to leave any inheritance to any of their family.

I often tell my clients that if I had a crystal ball and we knew exactly when it was their life would end, we could come up with the perfect estate plan where they could spend their last dime the day before they die. If I had this ability, I would be the most sought out estate planning attorney in the world.

Because I don’t have this ability, when I’m working with my clients, we need to make a plan that best fits their idea of what will work best for their family, children, and loved ones. This may include leaving nothing to their children or grandchildren if this person believes that’s what would be best.

Daniel Craig, who plays the iconic spy James Bond, has made this very decision for his family. He stated that he believes the idea of an inheritance is ‘distasteful’. Specifically, he said, “my philosophy is to get rid of it or give it away before you go. I don’t want to leave great sums to the next generation.”

His position on this matter is ironic given his role in the recent movie Knives Out. In this movie, Craig plays a private investigator who was hired to investigate the death of a wealthy publishing mogul who decided to disinherit his own children and family and leave the entirety of his wealth to his caretaker instead.

Regardless of whether you feel the same as Daniel Craig, or as the individual in the movie who leaves nothing to his own children, there are a variety of options each person has when it comes to their own estate planning. Additionally, there are often very good reasons why a parent may not want to leave all or any part of their estate to their children or other family members.

We encourage you to contact us for a free 30-minute consultation where we can answer your questions about this topic. We have helped numerous clients create their own customized written estate plans, and we are confident that we can too!


If you have any questions about your estate or how to simplify your plans for your family and loved ones, we can help.  Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Pocatello. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Pocatello Estate Planning problems. I have helped numerous clients create their own customized estate plans and I’m confident that I can help you too.

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