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Your Boise Estate Planning Numbers

When we work to help our Boise estate planning clients our main goal is to keep things simple. The reason for this is that estate planning can be complex. In fact, you can make your estate planning documents as complex as you want. Some attorneys purposefully make estate plans more complex than they need to be because they can charge more money for them. There have been many times that potential clients will come to us to review their estate plan. They bring to us a 3-5-inch binder full of thick, great looking and totally unnecessary documents that cost them thousands of dollars. The reality is that to provide the protections most clients need while they are alive their plans usually don't need to be complicated. The same is true when it comes to helping our clients create a written plan that allows them to give away their assets and money, to their family and loved ones after they pass.

Our premier Boise estate planning team has assisted clients for over 70 years in creating customized estate plans that to satisfy their unique needs. Our team is made up of partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley. Each member of our team has assisted clients with their estate planning need for years. Based on their knowledge, understanding and skill at estate planning our team members have each received the highest reviews possible from judges, other attorneys, and most importantly from our clients.

When it comes to making a simple estate plan it is important to know the basic numbers. Not all estate planning is the same but the basic ideas and numbers never change. Here are the basic Boise estate planning numbers you need to be aware of as you consider getting your own estate planning done.

  1. How Many Children May Need a Guardianship

    Even if you have only one child you may need to create a guardianship as a part of your basic estate plan. The key to estate planning is to understand that you are protecting yourself and your loved ones from the worst possible things that COULD happen. To be sure, a guardianship for a child who is a minor isn't effective so long as one of the natural parents of the young child is alive. To illustrate, if you pass away but your other legal parent of your child is alive, no guardianship is needed. However, if both legal parents of a minor-aged child have passed away or are incapacitated then a guardianship is more than necessary, it is vital!

    It's important to remember that a guardianship is only valid when minor aged children are involved. Any person who is under the age of 18 is a minor in Idaho. Once a person is 18 or older they are a legal adult and any guardianship that was created has power over them. At any time that you have at least one (1) child under the age of 18, there is an urgent need for creating a guardianship as a part of your last will and testament. By creating a guardianship, you are able to nominate and name the person(s) you want to be the guardian of your young children. By accomplishing this, you keep control in deciding who will be involved in raising and caring for your young child or children if you die.

  2. How Many Times You Have Been Married

    The next important estate planning number involves your marriages. If you have been married two or more times, then a Property Settlement Agreement may be an important part of your personal estate plan. There are various type of these agreements that can be done depending on whether it is done before or after you are married. An agreement done before a marriage and is a Prenuptial Agreement. An agreement done after the marriage is known as a Property Settlement Agreement. Though they have different names, the purpose of these agreement is the same.

    A married couple is able to legally enter into one of these types of agreements, either before or after marriage to specifically identify which property is separately owned by each of the spouses. The purpose of doing this is so each spouse can eliminate the community property presumption that exists in Idaho as to their separate property which allows them to give this property to their children through their estate planning without having to worry about the spouse or their children making a claim to the property. These agreements also provide specific details about which property is community property that is owned by both spouses. Again, this is important because each spouse will clearly know what is his, what is hers, and what is theirs.

    The basic statutory requirements that must be met for these types of agreements to be valid are: (1) there must be a complete disclosure of all the property that is owned by each spouse before the marriage; (2) there must be a declaration in the agreement that shows which property will specifically be owned by each spouse individually during the marriage; (3) there must be a release by the non-owner spouse of any ownership rights or interest in the other spouses separate property; (4) each spouse must be given enough time to have their own individual attorney review the agreement, advise their client and make any changes or revisions they believe should be made; and (5) the agreement must be signed, notarized, and then recorded in the county where the spouses reside or own real estate that is affected by the Agreement.

  3. Appointing People to Help You in Your Boise Estate Plan

    The number 3 is the next number important number that you should be aware of for your Boise estate plan which is the minimum number of people we recommend that you appoint to do things for you. To illustrate this, consider your last will and testament. In your will you name the person you want be your personal representative or executor. You need to name your first choice specifically. Additionally, you should name successor as well. You will need at least a first successor and we highly recommend that you also name a second successor. Your successors will take the appointment as personal representative if the first person you choose can't ow won't do it. The reason for naming successors is that there no law that will force a person to accept being appointed as a personal representative. If the first person you choose can't or won't do it you may be in trouble if you haven't named a successor. When there are no successors the courts choose who your personal representative will be. It's far better for you to choose than for a court to do it.

    Keep in mind that this is NOT the appointment in your estate plan that you need to decide. As discussed above, you may need a guardian for your young children. For yourself, you will also need to appoint people who will hold your power of attorney to help you with your finances and property, and to make medical or health care decisions for you if you can't do it for yourself. You may also need a trust. If so trustees will need to be named.

    The basic number for all of these appointments is 3. With three individuals named for each of these appointments, you are assured that at least one of the individuals you chose will be there to help you which elieminstes the time and expense of having the courts get involved.

  4. How Many Estate Planning Documents You Need Individually

    Our next number for discussion for your estate planning is the number 4. The number 4 refers to how many basic documents should be included as a part of your basic estate plan. To be specific, the basic documents that everyone should have include a last will and testament, a durable power of attorney which covers your property and finances, a power of attorney for health care, and a living will.

    By having these 4 basic documents you have the ability to protect yourself while you are alive, to make final decisions about your own personal health care if you have a terminal condition and are on machines, and most importantly who your property will be distributed to when you die.

  5. How Many Years You Should Go Without Checking Your Plan

    The number 5 is the last number you need to know for your own estate planning. The number 5 refers to the maximum amount of time that should go by without your checking the documents in your written estate plan. It is important for you to make sure your estate plan is up to date. Because life is not static, the changes that always happen may make a change to your written estate plan vital.

    Our advice to our clients is that they review their written estate plan whenever they go through a major life change which includes: (1) moving to a different state; (2) a person being born; (3) a person dying; (4) a person getting married; (5) a person who have been divorced; or (6) the passage 5 or more years. If any of these things have occurred to you or to others in your family who may be affected by your written estate plan then you need to review your documents and make sure they still do what you want.

Enlist a Boise Estate Planning and Probate Attorney to Help You

Our experienced Estate Planning team of attorneys can help you and your family with your Boise 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 Estate Planning and Probate problems.

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