By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

Life is a wonderful thing, but it also brings many challenges. One of the great things about being an estate planning attorney is that it gives me the ability and the opportunity to look at life from a different perspective. By representing clients through numerous probates, and in the creation of their estate plans, I have been given an opportunity to look at the lives of many different individuals. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from this experience is that life is always changing.

In other words, as the years roll by, your relationships with people change, where you live may change, the people you are around changes, and the property that you own also changes. In other words, life is not static, and change is the very essence of life.

The great thing about change is that it is always bringing new varieties of experiences to everyone. The bad news about change is that sometimes it can influence the plans that you make. Specifically, change can have both a positive or a negative effect on the estate planning that you do for yourself.

For example, let’s say that while you are single you get your estate planning done. Then, just a few years later, you get married, and have a couple of kids. Within just a few short years, your life is now vastly different than it was when you created your original estate plan. Because of this, your estate plan needs to be updated to meet your current circumstances in life.

As another example, suppose that you’ve been married for a number of years, you have children, and you completed your estate planning.  Now suppose your spouse dies. The estate plan you created likely included your spouse in a number of different ways. You probably appointed your spouse as your own personal representative for your estate. You also likely named your spouse to hold your powers of attorney for your property and finances and for your health care. Now that your spouse has died, they can no longer do these things for you. Once again, it’s time to update your estate plan.

Each of these examples illustrate what I have identified to be a major life change. To summarize, a major life change would include someone being born, someone dying, a marriage, divorce, someone moving away, or just the passage of time. Each of these things likely changes our life in some major way. Because of this, our estate planning would need to be updated to reflect these changes.

I advise my clients to pull out their estate planning documents and review them every four to five years. If they have gone through a major life change, by reading these documents they will know immediately the ways that their estate plan needs to be updated.

Having an updated estate plan is important because it protects you, and it provides for your family and loved ones after you are gone. It is for this reason that we always advise our clients to keep their estate-planning updated to meet their current needs.

If you have questions about whether your estate plan needs to be updated, please download our free Estate Planning Questionnaire and then schedule a free 30-minute consultation. We can review your estate plan with you and talk about the changes that may need to be made to meet your current needs. We have assisted numerous clients and updating their estate plans, and 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 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’m confident that I can help you too.

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