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Why Idaho Estate Plans Fail

With over 70 years of experience in helping clients create and then maintain their Idaho estate plans, we have come to realize that oftentimes estate plans in Idaho fail. Our goal as Idaho estate planning attorneys is to assist our clients in making sure that their Idaho estate plan will function properly and will accomplish their main intentions and goals.

Our team of experienced Idaho Estate Planning attorneys includes attorneys with decades of experience assisting clients in creating customize estate plans. Our Idaho estate planning team includes partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson together with attorneys Nathan Palmer and Dave Bagley. Each of the attorneys on our team have received the highest ratings for their legal abilities and ethics as they have helped numerous clients. While an Idaho estate plan can fail for many reasons, we have identified the three main reasons that estate plans do fail. These three reasons are:

1. Relying on Documents that are Invalid

The first reason main that an estate plan in Idaho fails is that the individual is relying on documents that are invalid. Idaho, like every other state, has specific requirements that must be met in order to have valid estate planning documents. For instance, a Last Will and Testament will be valid in Idaho only when the statutory requirements set forth in Idaho Code §§ 15-2-502 or 503 et seq, are met. The requirements listed in these statutes sections are not mere suggestions. Rather, requirements that are listed are necessary in order for a Last Will and Testament to be valid.

If a person creates their own Last Will and Testament, and fails to meet the requirements set forth in the statutes above, Idaho courts will deem that Will to be invalid. When a will is deemed to be invalid the courts disregard it as a mechanism for that individual to make gifts or distributions to the people who are listed. In other words, if a Will is considered to be invalid by the courts, it will not followed in any part. When a Last Will and Testament is deemed to be invalid, the courts then follow the statutory requirements and sections of the laws of intestacy. This means that the statutes in Idaho will control who property is distributed to rather than the individual themselves.

2. Failing to Review and Update Estate Planning Documents

The second reason that state plans fail in Idaho is that the individual who created the estate plan fails to review and update the estate planning documents. life is not static. Changes occur in everyone’s life. Because of this, and individual should regularly review their estate planning documents and make sure that they still accomplish what the individual ones.

For example, let’s assume for a moment that when you created your Idaho estate plan you were married and that you had three children who were under the age of 18. Now suppose that 10 years have passed and during that time you were divorced from your spouse, and two of your three children are now over the age of 18. Let’s also suppose that you remarried and had a fourth child with your new spouse. Under these circumstances, if you have not updated your estate planning documents, more than likely you still have your first wife listed as your spouse, and you probably only have three of your four living children listed. Additionally you may have created a plan that would have provided for all of your children while they were under the age of 18. Now, however you have children who are over the age of 18 and your intentions for them may now be different than they were before.

In this instance, if you were to die, the courts don’t look at your Last Will and Testament and try to figure out what you would have wanted if you had updated your documents. Rather, the court is bound to follow the specific instructions that exist in your estate plan. This means, that your ex-spouse would likely be receiving a portion of your estate. This would also work to disinherit your current spouse. Additionally, property would be distributed to your children however you designated in your original Will even if those plans are now not in the best interests of your children.

3. Changes in the Law

The final reason that estate plans in Idaho fail is because the laws may have changed. Nobody has a crystal ball. No one can say for sure whether the laws that existed 10 years ago when you created your estate plan are the same laws that exist today. It’s entirely possible that either federal or state laws have changed that would impact your estate plan. For this reason it is wise to review your estate plan regularly with your Idaho Estate Planning attorney so that a discussion can be had about whether your estate plan still accomplishes what you want under existing laws. If not, then an update to your estate plan will be necessary.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our Idaho Estate Planning lawyers can help you. Whether you are seeking to review your own customized Estate Plan 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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