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Don’t Procrastinate, Get It Done

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

When it comes to estate planning, we have found that most people don’t get it done because they don’t know how to start. This is understandable because, unless you deal with estate planning regularly, it’s not something that’s familiar to you. Additionally, for most people it is not pleasant to think about or even talk about. However, none of these things should cause you to procrastinate getting your estate planning done.

While we know and understand that not every person is exactly the same, we believe that every adult, and their families and loved ones will benefit from having at least a basic estate plan prepared for them. This basic plan would include a written last will and testament, a durable power of attorney, a living will, and a power of attorney for health care. In addition to these documents, some people also add a trust or multiple trusts as part of their estate plan.

We have written numerous articles which you can find on our website that talk about all of these basic documents. However, the purpose of this article is to provide a little bit of information about what a written will can do for you. We are also providing information to you about how to get started with your plan because we find that the biggest impediment for most people is, they don’t know how to begin. Finally, getting started is only half the battle. We want to make sure that you see it through to the very end. Because of this, we also offer an easy way for you to finish your estate plan once it’s begun.

The Purpose of a Will

The main purposes of a written will is to allow you to be in control of your estate after you pass away. Specifically, you have the ability to name the person who will be in charge of your estate and who will be required to follow the directions that you provide in your written will. This person is known as the personal representative.

Additionally, you have the ability to accomplish a number of other things through your written will. Not only can you appoint a personal representative, you also have the ability to nominate one or more persons to act as the legal guardian of any minor children that you have in the event both biological parents have passed away while the child or children are still under the age of 18.

Furthermore, you have the ability to create any number of testamentary trusts that could be put in place through your written Will to care for your minor children, or for a child who has a disability or who suffers from self-destructive behaviors such as drug or alcohol addictions.

Finally, the main purpose of a written Will is to give you the ability to leave instructions on how your money, property, and other assets will be distributed. In other words, you have the ability to control and direct who will receive all of your stuff after you pass away.

How to Get Started

As mentioned above, we find that most people don’t get their estate planning completed because they simply don’t know how to start. Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible.

To help each of our individual clients we provide a free Estate Planning Questionnaire to help them get started. The Questionnaire allows each person the ability to begin listing all of their personal information. They then list the information about their family members and loved ones that they want to name as part of their estate plan. This document then provides a good deal of information to our clients about the options they have available to them when it comes to estate planning.

You can download a copy of our Questionnaire from our website. Additionally, if you’d rather, we can email or snail-mail a copy of the Questionnaire to you. I have personally had hundreds of clients thank me for getting the Questionnaire to them and who have told me how easy it made the process. We encourage you to get a copy of the Questionnaire yourself.

How to Finish What You Started

We’ve found that the Questionnaire alone is often not enough. Because of this, we also provide a free 30-minute consultation to each of our clients. We use this time to answer our clients’ specific questions. We also use this opportunity to make sure our clients understand all the options available to them that will help with their own unique circumstances.

During the coronavirus pandemic we have done this consultation by phone, by video conference, and in person. We are happy to accommodate you in any way that you feel most comfortable. Because it is a free consultation, we encourage you to be prepared with every question you have concerning the options available to you and your own personal estate plan.

We encourage you to call us and take advantage of this opportunity. We have assisted hundreds of individuals and couples in creating a customized estate plan for them that will meet their particular and unique needs. We are confident that we can help you too!

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team of Idaho lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning or probate needs. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at or stop by our office at 201 East Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho estate planning problems.

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