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Updating Your Idaho Estate Plan

With decades of experience, our Idaho Estate Planning Lawyers review each client’s written plan with them to determine whether a change or an update is needed. We help each client maintain a customized and current plan that protects them during their lifetime and allows them to distribute their property to the individuals they choose when they die. Made up of partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson, and attorneys Matt Stucki, Nathan Palmer and Dave Bagley our Idaho Estate Planning Attorneys have received the highest ratings from Martindale and Hubbell, AVVO and Justia. Their ethics, knowledge and legal ability as Idaho Estate Planning Attorneys allow them to help you complete your customized written plan.

Life brings challenges and change. Keeping your customized plan updated is vital in making sure your instructions and wishes are carried out the way you want after you pass. Below is a list of the 5 major life events that may occur during a person’s lifetime that should cause them to review their written plan and determine whether it needs to be updated.

1. A Birth

The birth of a possible heir/beneficiary is the first reason that should cause you to update your Idaho Estate Plan. Directly this could mean the birth of your own child or it could be a grandchild or any other potential beneficiary that you might choose to give a portion of your property to.

While some states, including Idaho, have statutory provisions to protect children that are omitted from a person’s Last Will and Testament, the law is always changing. It is possible that if you fail to name a child born later in your life they may not receive any portion of your estate. This is especially true for grandchildren and other non-related beneficiaries. There is no statutory protection for them. If you forget to name a grandchild or a non-related beneficiary and do not add them to your Last Will and Testament through an update to your plan then they are out. They will receive nothing, even if you wanted them to. So if you create a Last Will and Testament, and then later have a possible heir/beneficiary born, you should update your written plan to make sure that the people you really want to receive your property will actually get it.

2. A Death

The second event that should always cause you to review your written plan and decide whether it needs to be updated is a death. This could be the death of a spouse, or an heir/beneficiary, or of a fiduciary that you named in your written plan, such as your Personal Representative or Executor. This could also include the death of a person you named who holds a Power of Attorney for you either for your finances or you’re your healthcare. If someone close to you dies, it is important to review your documents. The death of a person close to you may create a situation where it is important to update your written plan.

3. A Divorce

It goes without saying that a divorce can cause many changes in your life. If you have your Estate Planning completed and then a divorce occurs, either for yourself or an heir/beneficiary or even for a fiduciary you’ve named, you need to look your written plan over and see if an update is needed. Our Idaho Estate Planning Attorneys have seen many instances where a person names and lists a spouse as a beneficiary or fiduciary and then a divorce occurs. In this circumstance where the documents have not been changed, that divorced spouse is still named and will still have all the authority and rights to receive property that you have listed. A divorce is always an automatic reason to review your documents and to update then where and when needed.

4. A Move

Another often-overlooked reason for reviewing and updating your documents is when either you or someone else you’ve named and listed moves. Most states will honor a Last Will and Testament that was valid in the state where you obtained it. However, not all states are the same. If you recently moved it is a good reason to review your Estate Plan and make sure that all the documents in it will still be valid.

Often moving changes the types and kinds of assets you own. The most common asset that changes is the home. It’s possible, that if you’ve moved from another state to Idaho, or vice versa, that your home has changed. Who you want to receive your home, or other property, may change after you’ve moved.

Additionally, when someone you’ve named in your Last Will and Testament as an heir/beneficiary or as a fiduciary moves that is another reason to review your written documents and determine if an update is needed. For instance, if you gave a Power of Attorney to one of your children, or a grandchild, or a friend to help you with your finances of with your health care, and then they move away, it may be difficult for them to fulfill those responsibilities. If this happens, it may be wise for you to update your Powers of Attorney and name somebody else who can fulfill those important responsibilities.

5. The Passage of Time

The final reason to look over your Estate Planning documents and see if an update is needed is just the passage of time. When time passes, circumstances can change for all of us. It’s possible that what you thought was a good idea five (5) or more years ago may now not look like such a good idea to you today. Our Estate Planning Lawyers in Idaho recommend that you review your written documents at least every 5 years even when none of the other major life changes listed above occurs. When time passes, your ideas, thoughts, relationships and priorities can change. You may be surprised at the changes that need to be made to your written plan simply because time has gone by.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our diligent attorneys at the Racine Law Office are here to help you and your family determine whether you need to update your documents. Whether you are seeking to update your own customized Estate Plan or are in need of these documents for a loved one, 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 of Estate Planning attorneys in Idaho. You can also email us directly at We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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