Elder Law Attorney Shreveport, LA
If you are an older American and you haven’t updated your estate planning documents in a few years, it is important to connect with an experienced Shreveport, LA elder law attorney in order to get these documents up to date. All too often, Americans view the process of drafting estate planning documents as a “one and done” occurrence. This is understandable, especially because contemplating a future whereby one will no longer be in a position to actively advocate for their own interests and/or will no longer be around is not a pleasant task. However, it is critically important to remain in relatively regular contact with the experienced Louisiana legal team at Theus Law Offices in order to ensure that the wishes you’ve outlined in your estate planning documentation remain accurate reflections of your legally enforceable priorities and desires.
Elder Law Attorney – Shreveport, LA
Your time is precious. You have places to go, people to see, and things to do. Our team respects that reality. But we want to remind you that if you don’t occasionally take a little time to update your estate planning documents, your current wishes won’t necessarily be enforceable and your loved ones may incur unnecessary stressors down the road as well.
The Need to Update and Revise an Estate Plan Over Time
Estate planning documents are meant to serve as “living” documents. What does this mean? Very few kinds of estate planning tools (mainly certain kinds of trusts) cannot be modified once they have been put into place. Otherwise, these documents are meant to be updated and revised as an individual’s life experiences, acquisition of assets, expansion of family, priorities, and needs change. If these documents are not updated over time, they generally fail to reflect the current wishes of the individual who first drafted them. For example, if you wrote a will before your children were born but you haven’t updated that will since your children began having children, your estate planning documents won’t reflect any desire that you have to leave assets to your grandchildren. It is therefore important to work with an attorney to update these documents with relative regularity.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you’ve either never constructed an estate plan or you haven’t updated your estate plan since experiencing significant shifts in your life circumstances and/or estate planning priorities, please connect with the experienced Louisiana legal team at Theus Law Offices today. Our knowledgeable team can advise you of your options and help to ensure that your estate plan remains as accurate and effective as you and your loved ones need it to be with minimal hassle. We understand how precious your time is and how important your estate planning documents are. As a result, we work efficiently and effectively to serve our clients’ interests so that they can have peace of mind as they go on with their lives, knowing that they don’t need to concern themselves with their estate planning priorities until the need to update these documents arises again. We look forward to speaking with you.
Estate Planning Misconceptions
Only People Who Are Rich Need a Will
If you own anything at all, you want to have a will to state who gets it after you pass away. A will can be a valuable part of your estate planning, as it spells out your final wishes. Even if all you own is a car, some furniture, clothes, linens and dishes, your will should spell out who will receive them upon your death. An elder law attorney in Shreveport, LA, from Theus Law Offices can help you draft a simple will to distribute your belongings.
It’s Cheaper To Make a Will With Online Forms
While it may be cheaper in the short term to make a DIY will with online forms, it could be costly in the long run. Louisiana has very specific rules about what is and isn’t a valid will, and fill-in-the-blank online wills are not valid. Your elder law attorney in Shreveport, LA, can help you draw up a valid will with the notary public and witness signatures required.
I’m Going To Have To Pay a Death Tax
In 2022, the threshold for paying an estate tax, or death tax, is $12.06 million. If your estate is smaller than that, no death tax will be levied against your estate. If your estate is worth more than that, you can start giving your heirs gifts of up to $16,000 per year, tax-free for both of you, to reduce the amount your estate is worth. These laws can get complicated, and the thresholds change from year to year, so you should definitely consult with an elder law attorney in Shreveport, LA, to get the most accurate information.
The Oldest Child Is Automatically the Executor of the Parent’s Estate
The oldest child can be named as the executor of your estate, but you may choose anyone you want as your executor, including your elder law attorney in Shreveport, LA, your accountant, your banker or a trust company. The most important thing is that you’re choosing someone level-headed and competent. If your oldest child isn’t the best with handling finances, you should look to someone else to execute your last wishes.
I Should Leave Everything I Have to My Children
You certainly have the option to leave everything to your children. Your Theus Law Offices attorney can help you set up your estate that way. However, you may want to consider bequests to other relatives, friends and charities you support. If your best friend collects the same antique glass as you, you may want to leave your collection to her. Your children don’t have to receive anything from your estate.