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Idaho Estate Planning and Divorce

Our team of estate planning attorneys have helped clients with their estate planning needs for over 70 years. According to the most recent statistics the divorce rate in America is between 40-50%. Idaho is a little better with a divorce rate of around 32%. With our experience we have often come across estate planning clients who have been divorced. When this occurs there are usually questions about what specific items in this individual’s estate planning that should be considered and most likely changed.

Our team of experienced Idaho estate planning lawyers includes attorneys with decades of experience assisting clients who have divorced in adjusting their customized estate plans after the divorce. Our Idaho estate planning team includes partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson together with attorneys Nathan Palmer and Dave Bagley. Each of our attorneys received the highest ratings available for their legal abilities and ethics as well as for their knowledge and experience. If you have recently been divorced and have concerns about your estate planning here are the three most important things that you should consider:

1. Who You Have Appointed as PR or Trustee

The first and perhaps most important thing you should consider after a divorce is who you have appointed as the personal representative of your estate. Likewise, if you have a trust as part of your estate planning you should consider who you have named as the trustee of this trust. These appointments as either personal representative or trustee should also include any successors that you have listed.

We have found through our experience that after a divorce many of the names that are listed in a person’s estate planning documents need to be changed. There is no more important place for this to occur then with the appointments that are made in your estate planning. The major appointments that you make include the personal representative and the trustee of any trust that is created.

Our experience shows us that most often and individual spouse is named in any or all of these capacities in their estate planning. If after a divorce estate planning documents are not updated and the divorced spouses name is still listed as the person who is appointed they will still receive the opportunity to act in this capacity. Most people have divorced a spouse do not want that person involved in making decisions about their estate planning. Additionally, most individuals do not want their valuable property, money, or assets in their estate to be handled by an individual whom they have divorced.

2. Who You Have Named as Guardian for Yourself or Your Minor Children

The second most important thing that should be considered with your estate planning if you have been through a divorce is who you have named as a guardian for yourself or for your minor children. It’s more than likely in your own power of attorney you would have listed your divorced spouse as the individual you are giving the power to act in your stead. If you are divorced you will likely both want and need to change the name of your spouse to another individual.

Likewise, if in your estate planning you named part of your divorced spouse’s family as a guardian for your children who are under the age of 18, you may have changed your mind and no longer want these individuals involved. You will want to look and see in your last will and testament who you have named as Guardians for your minor children and who you have named as successor Guardians. By looking this over you will be able to see immediately whether it is necessary to make a change and to now name other individuals.

3. Who You Have Named to Receive Distributions From Your Estate

The third and final important thing that you should consider if you have been divorced is who you have named in your last will and testament as your beneficiaries. Again, it is very common for an individual to name their spouse as their primary beneficiary. If you have divorced your spouse you will want to remove this individual as a beneficiary.

It’s also possible that if your divorced spouse had children that were not your own that they may have been named in your last will and testament to receive a gift from you upon your death. You may still want these individuals to receive these gifts. However, it is likely that after divorcing your spouse you may want to make a change about who receives money, property and assets from your estate. By looking your documents over, after your divorce, it will be very plain to you whether a change needs to be made.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our Idaho Estate Planning lawyers have the knowledge and experience to help you. Whether you are seeking to review your own customized Estate Plan after a divorce or would like to help a family member, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a consultation. You can also email us directly at We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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