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THE BIGGEST MYTH – I DON’T NEED AND ESTATE PLAN

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

As an estate planning attorney for over 20 years I have heard all the excuses when it comes estate planning. However, the biggest myth that exists and the one that I hear regularly is that a person feels like they don’t need to get an estate plan done. I suppose if that person has a crystal ball and has a perfect view of what their future holds this may be true. However, without a crystal ball, or some other way of knowing exactly what your future is going to be like, then I would suggest to you that your future is uncertain. The uncertainties of life are exactly why you should get your estate planning done.

It is possible that at some point in your future you may lose the ability to make decisions for yourself about your money, property, and other assets as well. This could come in the form of an illness such as Alzheimer’s disease or some other type of Dementia or it could be the result of an injury. Making decisions about your stuff, is the main function of a durable power of attorney document while you are alive. This document gives you the ability to name somebody who will take care of these things for you, if you can no longer do that for yourself.

Similarly, if you lose the ability to make decisions about your own medical or health care, you may need a durable power of attorney for health care to help you. Without these two types of documents, your family will be forced to do a guardianship proceeding through court. This process is expensive and can lead to family arguments about who should be appointed to take care of you. If this type of argument exists, it could be an expensive one. All of that is avoided, and you specifically get to choose who you want, by creating your own powers of attorney as part of your estate plan.

Additionally, if you have young children, or a family member with disabilities or a handicap or some sort of addiction, you may not want to leave money or property directly to them after you die. Using a supplemental needs trust, or a minor’s trust, or some other type of trust may be exactly what you need as part of your estate plan.

Furthermore, you may want to leave some specific instructions through a living will to your doctors and medical care providers as to what they can and cannot do if an injury or illness put you in the hospital on life support. By having a living will you are able to take the burden of making these kinds of decisions off the shoulders of your loved ones by making these decisions yourself.

Finally, your last will and testament is the document that gives you the ability to control who your money, property, and other assets go to after you die. You also get to use this document to name your personal representative, this is the person in charge of taking care of the instructions you leave about your estate.

Regardless of whether you are old or young, single or married, rich or poor, or whether you have children or not, estate planning is all about protecting you while you are alive and making sure that your instructions are followed after you pass away. Everybody needs this.

If you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to download and review our free Estate Planning Questionnaire and schedule a free 30-minute consultation where we can meet with you personally to answer your questions. This is the best no obligation way to begin your estate planning.

ENLIST AN IDAHO ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY TO 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 lane@racineolson.com. 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 am confident that I can help you too.

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