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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

For more than 20 years I’ve been an estate planning and probate attorney in Idaho. I love where I live, and I love the work I do! I find that I have an opportunity to help many people in creating their own customized written estate plan. I also get to work with these people to keep their plan updated whenever they go through a major life change. Additionally, I’m available to help the family members or loved ones of each of my clients when my clients pass away.

Whatever I tell someone that I’m an estate planning and probate attorney I usually get a series of questions. These questions can range all over the place from how do you start to get an estate plan done or what is it that you need to do after a loved one or family member has passed away. Recently, however, I was asked a question I’ve never been asked before. This question was, “What does executing a will mean?”

The short answer is that this simply means a person has signed and dated their own written last will and testament. However, the lawyer in me knows that there’s a little more to it than just signing your name.

In Idaho, in order to properly execute a will, it means that the will needs to be validly drafted in the first place. This is not a difficult thing to do in Idaho, but it does have some specific requirements.

First of all, the written will needs to identify the person who the will belongs to. Secondly, the will should identify who the personal representative will be after the maker of the will passes away. Third, the written will should also identify the beneficiaries who will receive property and money from the estate. Finally, in order to be valid, the written will must not only be signed and dated by the maker of the will, but also needs to be signed by at least two individuals who are over the age of 18 as witnesses, and all of the signatures on the will should be notarized.

When all of these steps are completed then a will is properly “executed”. When a will is properly executed then it will be legally “valid” and “enforceable” so long as it is not replaced or revoked by the person who made it.


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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