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Idaho Estate Planning Estate Planning Myths That Need to be Obliterated - Part 3

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

In reading the title to this article you will see that it is Part 3 of a series of articles that relate to estate-planning myths that should be obliterated. If you have not yet read Parts 1 and 2, we encourage you to go back and look at those articles as well. The information in those articles will also help you with your estate plan.

Our goal through this series of articles is to eliminate misunderstandings and misbeliefs when it comes to Idaho estate planning. More importantly, our goal is to help you understand what is and is not reality when it comes to getting your own plan done.

Whatever your needs are, we can help. The qualified, and knowledgeable attorneys at Racine Olson have helped clients with their estate plans for more than 70 years. Our team of lawyers consists of partners Randy Budge, and Lane Erickson, and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley. Each of our attorneys has received the highest ratings possible on several of the top legal rating services, including AVVO, Martindale and Hubbell, and Justia. These ratings are earned based on feedback from our clients, other attorneys we work with and the judges we appear before on a regular basis. Given our experience we believe that we have the ability to assist each of our clients with their issues.

As we mentioned in Part 2 of this series, most people don’t do anything about estate planning because they don’t know how to start. We make it easy by encouraging you to download our free Estate Planning Questionnaire which is the best place to start when it comes to creating your own plan. This document makes it easy for you to pull together all the information you should be considering when it comes to thinking about your plan.

After this, we encourage you to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us. During this consultation we can go over the information you put in your Questionnaire. This allows us to answer your specific questions which helps you know what you should have as a part of your own plan.

In this article we will tackle three additional myths or misunderstandings about estate planning that are common with the clients we work with regularly. If you have questions about any of these please contact us.

My Child Has an Addiction So I Should Just Disinherit Them From My Estate

My experience is that parents want to take care of their kids, and they often use their estate planning as a way of doing this. However, parents also often have concerns about specific children, including children who may have addictions or self-destructive behavior problems. Parents of children with these kinds of problems often use their plan in a way of making sure that their children’s problems are not made worse.

Many well-meaning parents believe that the only option they have is to disinherit their child who has addictions. However, this is not true. I do agree that a parent should not leave money, assets, or other valuable items directly to a child who has these kinds of problems. However, there are other options that allow a parent to use their plan to help this child without giving these things directly to the child.

One option is setting up a trust for this child. This gives the trustee the ability to use the money and property to help the child without giving it directly to the child. If you find yourself in this situation, we encourage you to contact us for a free 30-minute consultation where we can discuss the options you have available to you to help your child without making their addictions or problems worse.

My Family Will Have to Pay a Gift Tax After I Die

Another myth that is very common is that estate taxes will have to be paid when your estate is distributed to your family members. The good news is that this is an easy myth to obliterate.

Currently, as of October of 2020, estate taxes aren’t owed on an estate unless it is valued at $11.4 million for an individual, or twice that amount for a married couple. In other words, the total size of your estate would have to be greater than this amount before an estate tax would occur. If your estate is worth less than this amount, then you can give it freely to your beneficiaries without any worries of an estate tax being owed.

However, we are in an election year. Depending on how the election goes, these laws could be changed at any time. If they are, we often contact our clients and let them know of the things that they need to do to continue to protect their estate from estate taxes.

I Have My Estate Plan Done So I Have Nothing to Worry About

Another myth that we will destroy in today’s article is that if you have your estate plan done you have nothing to worry about. For the most part this is true. However, a person’s life is not static. Things are always changing. Because of these changes, it may be necessary to update your estate plan from time to time to make sure that it still accomplishes what you want.

Anytime a person goes through any major life change, which includes a person being born, a person dying, being married, being divorced, or moving away, it’s important that your plan be reviewed to make sure it still does what you want. Any of these major life changes could affect your plan and change what it is you want to accomplish.

Keep your eyes open for additional parts in this series of articles. If you find you do have questions or concerns, please contact us and schedule a free 30-minute consultation where we can discuss your questions and help you find answers. We have assisted numerous clients in completing their estate plans, and 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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