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What is a Simple Will?

By Lane V. Erickson, attorney

Almost everyone I talk to claims to know what a Simple Will is. However, when asked to describe what goes into a Simple Will or what statements are made in one, very few people actually know.  I don’t ask this question to make people feel dumb, I really use it as a way to illustrate the fact that most people really do not understand what a Simple Will is or how to create one.

A Simple Will is exactly what it is described to be: simple. In fact, it can actually all be contained on one page. Here are the basics that should be in a Simple Will


You should identify Yourself by your full legal name. It’s also helpful if you list where you live, and where you were born.


Next he want to identify who your family members are. Again providing their full legal names is a good idea.


The next step is to identify who your personal representative will be. This is the person who is obligated to carry out your wishes in your will. You should name somebody that you can trust, and that you believe is capable of taking care of the things that you identify to be done in your Simple Will.


The next step is to Simply describe the gifts that you want to be given to your loved ones after you were gone. There is no magic to this. You can simply provide a description of the items and who those items are to go to. If you want to keep it more simple, you can identify a group of people and state that they each get an equal share of your belongings.


The next thing you need in your Simple Will is for you to provide any other specific Instructions of things that you want to be accomplished. This could include where you want to be buried. Or whether you want to be cremated rather than being buried.


Last things you need to do are to follow required formalities. Sign the Simple Will and have the it witnessed and properly notarized.

If you have questions about obtaining or creating a Simple Will, 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 Idaho Estate Planning questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer for advice on specific legal issues.

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