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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Having practiced estate planning in Pocatello for 20 years I am passionate that everyone needs a good estate plan. It really doesn’t matter what your age is whether you were married or single or whether you believe you have any errors or not, an estate plan will help you individually and personally. The major goals of estate planning are to protect you while you were alive, allow you to distribute your property after you die, and make sure all your debts and expenses are taken care of.

Sometimes I have a client who will tell me that they don’t have any heirs and as a result they don’t need any estate planning. Even if you don’t have any heirs, there are three specific reasons that you should still get your estate planning done. These reasons are listed below.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Pocatello Estate Planning Attorney

I decided that for this blog post I would make a list of some of the stranger and more interesting Wills that famous and infamous people have left. I hope you enjoy reading about some of these people and the strange things they have done with their estate planning.

Marilyn Monroe

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By Lane V. Erickson, Pocatello Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning and probate are large areas of the law in Idaho. There are many nuances, and small details about these areas of the law that most people never come to understand. The good news is that most people don’t need to understand and know these laws when they employ and use a qualified Pocatello estate planning attorney to help them with their own estate planning.

Having worked as a Pocatello estate planning attorney for nearly 20 years, my goal is always to assist my clients in the simplest and best way possible. I work with the lock closely and specifically it is a result understand and know Idaho estate planning and probate law intimately. These are the things that I know, here are three specific Pocatello estate-planning secrets under Idaho law that I have learned that may help you.

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By Lave V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will know by now about the death of our 41st President George H. W. Bush, which occurred on Friday, November 30th, 2018. President Bush is fondly referred to as 41 by news media and by close family and friends. On Tuesday, December 4th, his last will and testament was filed in the Probate Court in Texas.

I’ve had a chance to review his last will and testament and there are several things that we can learn from it. The purpose of this article is to outline the things that we can learn from 41’s death concerning how he had his estate planning set up.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

For nearly 20 years I have helped a number of clients deal with a variety of Idaho estate planning and probate issues. I enjoy helping individuals and families resolve their problems when it comes to either creating an estate plan or distributing an estate based on the instructions and laws that apply.

Based on my experience I have found that a number of similar issues arise often that I can discuss with my clients about whether they are going to receive a portion of their parent’s estate. Based on my experiences I’ve listed three specific scenarios that I seem to get questions about on a regular basis. These questions and my responses about how these are applicable are listed below.

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

A visit with a recent client reminded me of the basic questions that many individuals have when it comes to completing a probate in Idaho. Having practiced as an Idaho Estate Planning and probate attorney for nearly 20 years, I sometimes take for granted the fact that I understand the probate process, but my clients do not. In order to give you an understanding of completing a probate in Idaho below are the five most common questions that clients ask me when it comes to Idaho probate.

When is a Probate Required in Idaho?

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Having been an estate planning attorney for nearly 20 years I can tell you with some confidence that I have had many meetings with clients where I have talked with them about the fact that their estate planning is about them, and not about the people they are giving their property, money, or other assets to after they die. For some reason, my clients have this belief that when they create their estate plan it has to somehow be fair to all the people that they name who will receive gifts from them. This is particularly true when we are talking about children.

In order to help my clients understand that they do not in fact have to be fair, I usually tell them the following three things:

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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Having been an estate planning attorney for over 20 years I’ve seen my share of horror stories when it comes to dealing with client’s estate planning, or lack of estate planning and how this affects their family and loved ones after they pass away. Based on these experiences I find that my role as an estate planning attorney is to guide my clients in a way that will help them avoid these kinds of problems. To motivate my clients I help them understand how expensive estate planning mistakes can be for them and for their loved ones after they pass away. If you have gone to the trouble to create your own customized estate plan you want to make sure that it actually will do for you what you want it to do.

Below is a list of the three biggest Idaho estate planning mistakes that I come across regularly. Usually these mistakes are found after a person has passed away. When that occurs, it’s usually too late to fix those mistakes. However, by understanding what these mistakes are while you are alive, you have the ability to take steps to make sure that none of these mistakes happen in your own estate planning.

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By Lane Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

After working as an Idaho estate planning attorney for nearly 20 years I can tell you that I am passionate about estate planning. I’ve seen the many ways that it can help individuals and families avoid problems. For this reasons, I believe that everyone should have a valid Estate Plan in place. Once a person has gone to the trouble of creating an estate plan, the should then do everything they can to keep their Estate Plan updated. While this makes sense I find that my clients don’t really know when they should update their Estate Planning documents. To help my clients, and now to help you, here is a specific list of 5 events that could happen during your life that should cause you to review and possible update your Estate Planning documents.

  1. Someone Being Born
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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Idaho is a unique state that offers many opportunities for family members to complete a probate for their loved ones after they have passed away. Like most states, Idaho does have a statute of limitations for the amount of time that can go by before a probate can be completed. Under normal circumstances, this is three years after the individual has passed away. As a result of this, if a person has a last will and testament, but a probate is not completed within 3 years, this last will and testament will no longer be considered valid. However, there is one exception to this three-year statute of limitations that exists for spouses.

This exception is best described in the recent Idaho Supreme Court case In the Matter of the Estate of Robert Ernest Melton and Hedwig “Hedy” Melton, which came out in January 2018. The main issue in this case is whether a creditor’s claim could still be made beyond the three-year period of time for the first spouse who passed away. However, in the course of making the decision on that issue, the Idaho Supreme Court provided a good analysis of the exception that exists to the three-year statute of limitations for filing a probate for someone who dies.

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