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Idaho Estate Planning - Are You Worried About Your In-Laws

One of life's great injustices is that while you get to choose your friends you don't get to choose your relatives. I think the motivation behind this saying is that we have no particular control over who we have as in-laws. While we may have strong opinions about it, we really cannot control who our children choose to marry. As Idaho's Premier estate planning attorneys for over 70 years, we have worked and counseled with numerous clients about their family relationships including in-laws, as they consider and complete their own estate plan. Based on this experience we do have advice we can give to our clients based on what their specific goals and needs are, even if that includes keeping their property out of the hands of their in-laws.

Our team of Idaho estate planning attorneys is made up of partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley. Each of our attorneys has years of experience working with estate planning clients. Additionally, our Idaho estate planning lawyers each regularly receive the highest reviews and ratings possible from clients, judges, and other attorneys as set forth on the premier legal ranking systems of Martindale & Hubbell, AVVO, and Justia.

We believe our job as estate planning attorneys is to look down the road of the future and see all the worst things that can happen to you. We then find and suggest creative solutions for you to avoid those worst things so that you are protected while you are alive and so your wishes and intentions are carried out concerning distributions of your property after you pass away. When it comes to making a plan that may or may not involve your in-laws here are some specific things that you should consider.

What are Your Estate Planning Goals

The first thing that you need to do is to have a clear understanding of what your estate planning goals are. By working with our team of experienced Idaho estate planning attorneys we can help you specifically define what your goals and intentions are. We can then work with you to help accomplish what your goals are.

Many times clients aren't sure what their goal should be. By sitting down with us we assist our clients in clarifying what they value most. We also point out the problems, issues and concerns that can arise in certain situations after our clients pass away. By doing this we can then work with our clients in determining how to solve those potential problem and how to best protect and provide for the individuals that are most important to them.

How Things Could go Wrong

Perhaps the most important thing we do with our clients is help them understand that without a written Idaho estate plan things can go very wrong very quickly. Without a written estate plan an individual loses control over who their property, money, and assets may eventually belong to. Without a written last will and testament or other important estate planning documents it's possible that portions of your estate could end up in the hands of your in-laws.

As an example, let's say that you have a daughter that you want to leave your entire estate to. If all you do is create a last will and testament leaving the property to your daughter then she will own it outrightly after you die. If she then passes away within a short time, her property, which then includes everything that was given from your estate, would likely go to her spouse (your in-law). If her spouse then remarries, and he passes away it's entirely possible that your estate could end up in the hands of a complete stranger.

While this may sound far-fetched, it actually happens all the time. For many of our clients, they don't care where their estate ends up after they die so long as it at least went to their child first. For others, however, the idea of their property ending up in the hands of either their in-law or worse, a complete stranger is unthinkable. These clients want to have a part of their estate plan keep control over their estate to ensure that it will not end up in the hands of strangers.

How to Maintain Control of Who Receives Your Estate

If you are concerned about property from your estate being distributed to your in-laws, or to complete strangers, you do have some options on how you can maintain control. Perhaps the single best way to do this is through a trust. A trust is a state planning option that allows you to maintain control long after you have died of who receive distributions of your property and windows distributions occur. If you have specific concerns about your property ending up in the hands of an in La, you don't have to make a distribution of your property to your children. Rather the trust can be maintained and can be used for the benefit of your children without actually making a distribution directly to them.

A trust can allow you to maintain control of your assets and property over several generations of time. Ultimately, however, a distribution will have to be made. The good news is that you get to choose and control who that ultimate distribution would go to.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning and Probate Attorney to Help You

If you have concerns about your property ending up in the hands of your in-laws or strangers, we can help. Our experienced Estate Planning team of attorneys can help you and your family with your Idaho estate plan or with your probate needs. Whether you are seeking your own customized Estate Plan or are in need of a Probate for a loved one who has passed, 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 with the Racine Olson team. You can also email us directly at We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning and Probate problems.

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