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By Lane V. Erickson, Pocatello Estate Planning Attorney

Isn’t it great when you have someone offer you advice that actually helps you in your life? I’ve been an estate planning attorney in Pocatello, Idaho now for over 20 years. During this time, I’ve offered a plethora of advice to each of my clients about their own estate planning documents and how they can use these documents to protect themselves while they are alive and provide for their family and loved ones after they have passed away.

There are so many nuances and specifics about an estate plan that are important it’s easy to give advice about estate planning to each of my clients. The areas that can be discussed include things such as a simple last will and testament all the way to the most complicated of trusts. I can also provide advice at length about using an estate plan to provide for minor aged children, children who have addictions, children who have disabilities and special needs, and children that parents want to disinherit from their estate plan. Additionally, I also regularly provide advice to my clients about how their estate planning can protect them while they are alive through their durable power of attorney, their living will, or their power of attorney for health care.

This article is about none of those things. Rather, the purpose of this article is to simply provide you with the very best estate planning advice you will ever receive.

First – Get Your Estate Planning Done – Now

The single most important, very best, absolutely most vital piece of advice I can give you is: Get Your Estate Planning Done Now!!! (That’s 3 exclamation points to emphasize how amazingly great this advice really is.) If you are married, get your estate planning done. If you are single, then you need an estate plan. If you have children, or if you do not have children, get your estate planning done. If you are young, you need an estate plan. If you are old, you really need an estate plan! If you are a man, or if you are a woman, or if you are a business owner, or if you think you don’t have any assets, or if you have a disability, or if you are an adult who is simply breathing and your heart is beating, then you need your own individualized and customized estate plan. Now!

Even though this advice is free, it really is worth everything. Your estate-planning gives you a specific opportunity to protect yourself while you are alive, and to leave everything you own, to those that you love after you have passed away. Everyone needs an estate plan, even you!

Second – Give Gifts While You Are Alive

The second best piece of advice that I can give you, is to give gifts away to your family and loved ones now, while you are alive. There is no doubt that after you pass away if you’ve used your will to give a gift to your child, or grandchild, or best friend, or to a charity, they will love and appreciate you for the gift you’ve given. However, why do you want to wait until after you have passed away? Think back to a time when you gave a meaningful gift to someone that you cared for. Remember how it felt.

You don’t have to wait until you pass away to give gifts to those you love. Giving such a gift while you are alive will have a significant and meaningful impact in both your life and in your relationship with those you care for.

Now I’m not telling you to deplete your entire estate. If I had a crystal ball, then we could easily make a plan for when and how to give these gifts to everyone and still be able to have enough money to care for yourself. With no crystal ball you still need to be careful. What I am saying is, if you have an item that has significant value to you, even if that value is only sentimental, think about giving that as a gift to someone you love while you are alive.

So there you have it. My advice is free, but if you think about it, this advice has incalculable value both to you and to your loved ones. If you have any questions about how to get your estate planning done, or how to go about giving gifts while you are alive, I am confident that we can help you!


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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