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Idaho Estate Planning Stop Putting It off and get Your Will Done

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

A recent statistic indicated that only 32% of all adults in the United States have any type of estate planning done. Because estate planning includes a last will and testament, a durable power of attorney, a living will, and a power of attorney for health care, this statistic does not indicate how many of these adults actually have a written last will and testament, which is the most basic of all documents in an estate plan.

Because of this, we discuss with all of our clients the importance of getting their estate planning done. We start with giving them our confidential Estate Planning Questionnaire. Once we have the Questionnaire filled out, we then offer a free 30-minute consultation to review the options that exist for each of our clients so they can understand and make decisions about what they need in their own customized Idaho estate plan.

The goal of the Idaho estate planning team at the Racine Law office is to provide a customized estate plan to each of our clients. We don’t use a cookie cutter format. Rather, we learn about the specific needs and circumstances of each of our clients and make sure their estate plan will meet their needs.

The purpose of this article is to explain the reasons why you should stop putting it off and get your own estate planning done, including your last will and testament. We are confident that if you will review our Estate Planning Questionnaire or schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us we can answer all of your questions and explain to you the importance of your Will.

1. What Happens if You Don’t Have a Will

To help you understand the most basic reasons that a person would have a written last will and testament, we will explain what happens when you don’t have a written will.

First of all, without a written Will, you do not have the ability to nominate Guardians for your minor aged children. This would include any children you have that are younger than 18 years of age. If you have not nominated anyone to be the Guardians of your children, then any person in your family can nobody ate themselves. Additionally, in the court proceedings were a guardian will be appointed, your family may fight about who should be appointed. By having a guardian Navy in your last will and testament you avoid this type of a fight.

Second, if you do not have a written will, then your money, property, and other assets, will be distributed based on the laws of intestacy. These are statutes in Idaho that provide a specific scheme of how your property and money will be distributed. In other words, you lose complete control over who receives your estate.

Third, when you do not have a written Will, you no longer have the ability to nominate who will be your personal representative, or executor. This is the person who is given the responsibility to make sure that the instructions that you leave in your written Will are carried out. If you don’t nominate someone, then again, the statues in Idaho provides a list of priorities of individuals who can be appointed as your personal representative.

Finally, without a written Will, it is unclear whether any of your specific wishes or intentions will actually be carried out. Under Idaho law, when a written Will exists, the personal representative is under a specific obligation to carry out all of the stated intentions and instructions given by the person who created the Will. Without a written Will, there is no such obligation.

2. Look to Your Employment Benefits for Help

Many times, people don’t get their Will completed because they feel like it’s going to cost them a lot of money. The good news is that at the Racine law office we charge a flat fee for all estate planning depending on what it is you want and need to accomplish. We let each client know what the flat fee will be up front before they have any obligation to work with us in getting their Idaho estate plan, including a written Will completed.

Also, in many instances, employers or other groups provide benefits to their clients that help pay or defray the expenses of getting an estate plan done. This is true of teachers, UPS workers, Steel workers, and many other individuals who may belong to Unions. Additionally, many employers can obtain a percentage discount and getting estate planning done. We participate in most of these types of options at the Racine law office. The best way to know whether your employer offers any of these types of benefits is simply to ask.

3. Set a Goal for Getting It Done

However, the single best piece of advice I can offer to any individual, couple, or family, is simply to set a goal to get the estate planning done. It doesn’t really matter whether there will be a discount, or whether an employer benefit will pay for the estate plan, or whether a person has to pay for it themselves, if they don’t set a goal for getting it done then it will never get done.

If you have questions or concerns about getting your estate planning done, we can help!

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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