By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

With nearly 20 years of experience as an Idaho estate planning attorney I have learned that estate planning is not a static process. Life can change rapidly. Because of those changes, our circumstances are different today than they may have been when we created our estate planning documents. Additionally, we can also count on the fact that more changes will come into our lives in the future. Because of this there are three questions you can ask yourself in order to make sure that your Idaho estate planning is current.

1. Have any Major Changes Happened in My Life?

The first question you should ask yourself is whether you have gone through any major life changes. In other words, since you completed your estate planning documents, has any major event taken place in your life? These types of major events could include getting married, getting divorced, having a child born, and/or having an individual in your family die. If you completed your estate planning before any of these major life events occurred, now is a good time to review your estate planning and see if it’s still accomplishes what you want now that the major event has occurred.

No one’s life stays the same. As an Idaho estate planning attorney, I have seen how one or more of these major life events has considerably changed a person’s life. Updating your estate planning documents to make sure that they accomplish what you want given your current circumstances is always a wise thing to do. So if you’ve gone through a major life change, pull out your Last Will and Testament, dust it off, and see if it still does what you want.

2. Has the Law Changed?

The second question that you should ask yourself when considering whether you need to update your estate planning is whether any laws have changed. Take for example the new estate tax laws that exist and will apply to the year 2018 through the tax reform that recently passed. In previous decades, estate planners use their skills to assist their clients in preserving their estate so that they could avoid federal estate taxes. However, now through the tax reform, it is unlikely that anyone, except for the super-rich, will be required to pay any type of federal estate tax.

3. What are My Current Goals?

The final question that you should ask yourself is simply whether the goals that you have now are the same as the goals you had back when you created your estate planning documents in the first place. As an Idaho estate planning attorney I have often seen that people’s goals in life have changed dramatically as they age. I have also helped many clients update their estate planning so that their new goals are reflected in how they are distributing their estate. Simply taking a step back and looking at what you were goals are today can assist you in updating you were estate planning documents so that they accomplish what you desire.

Enlist the Help of an Estate Planning Attorney

If you have any questions about whether your estate plan is current or about how to distribute your estate in a way that helps others, we can help. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Idaho. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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