By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

I love being an estate planning attorney. I’ve been involved in many other areas of the law but no other area has provided the same satisfaction to me that I get from helping my clients create a well-written and well-thought-out estate plan that provides protections for them while they are alive and allows them to plan for their family and loved ones after they are gone.

One of the areas that provides the most satisfaction to me is when I’m able to help parents who have young children. The reason I get so much satisfaction from this is because when we are done, I can see the relief my clients feel knowing they have a good plan in place that will take care of their children.

My clients come to me usually because they understand that anything could happen to them at any time. When they have children, my clients are mostly concerned about what will happen if they pass away while their children are still young. This gives me an opportunity to talk to my clients about naming a guardian in their last will and testament for their young children.

Idaho Code §§ 15-5-202 specifically allows the parent of a minor-aged child to name a guardian for that child in their Will. The parents also have an opportunity to name and alternate or successor Guardian if the first person chosen as a guardian refuses to accept that appointment.

Keep in mind, that choosing a guardian for a child is limited. What this simply means is that if either of the natural parents of that child are still alive, that parent always has the first right of being the guardian of that child. In other words, a natural parent is already the guardian of that child. Because of this, one parent alone cannot choose a guardian that will have a right to take the child from the other natural parent. This is true even when there is a divorce.

Choosing a guardian for a child already supposes that both of the natural parents have passed away. When this happens, the appointment in the Will has the highest priority as to the naming of the guardian by the court. All that needs to be done, according to the statute, is that the person who is appointed, must file an acceptance with the court within 30 days of the probating of the Will.

If you have questions about naming a guardian for your child in your Will, I encourage you to use our Estate Planning Questionnaire to help you organize how you want your estate plan to be completed. Additionally, I encourage you to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me so we can discuss your concerns and help you come up with a plan that will work best for you, your family and your children.

We have helped numerous clients create a plan that protects and provides for their children. We are confident that we can help you 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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