Estate Planning Lawyer Louisiana

Estate-Planning-Lawyer-Louisiana-estate-planning-image.jpegWhen planning for the future, an estate planning lawyer Louisiana residents recommend, is a vital asset to ensure that wishes are carried out in the way you would like. The estate planning process is quite complex, but it doesn’t have to be. Uur team at Theus Law Offices can offer counsel that assists clients in clearly outlining their plans for the future. Upon creating an estate plan, many people experience immense relief that the estate plan, which is often neglected, has been executed. However, they should be regularly updated over time for final wishes to truly be completed correctly. A lawyer from an experienced law firm can assist clients by listening to their needs and developing an estate plan that leaves nothing out. 

The Estate Planning Process

Developing an estate plan involves deciding how assets will be distributed. In addition to plans for the distribution of assets to beneficiaries, plans are also made regarding who will manage these assets. These plans stem beyond just asset planning and management; estate planning also involves the process of determining critical aspects of a person’s life, such as who will care for their children and how they will be financially cared for. It’s important to note that an estate plan is far more extensive than a will. It also incorporates procedures for when a person is incapacitated or unable to make decisions independently. When working with a Louisiana estate planning lawyer, they will guide in establishing each aspect of the estate plan, which may include: 

  • Letter of Intent
  • The Will
  • Advanced Directive
  • Power of Attorney
  • Beneficiary Designations
  • Guardianship Designations
  • Living Trust
  • Estate Executor

Each of these documents will make up a complete and well-thought-out plan for the future. By taking the time to make important decisions about the future, the estate owner can ensure that they have a voice when they are no longer able to make decisions and that their family and loved ones have a clear roadmap for the future. 

Choosing Beneficiaries
As an estate planning lawyer Louisiana families trust at Theus Law Offices  explains, beneficiaries are individuals or charity organizations that you want to give some or all of your assets to upon your death. Beneficiaries can be any person or charity that means something to you in your life. Ultimately, the people you choose to have assets should be those who will cherish your gift to them and hold you in high regard. We understand that there are family dynamics to consider, and there may be people who you absolutely do not want to receive a portion of your estate. Your lawyer can help you draft a document to state that these individuals are not to be awarded anything, even if they come forward to contest your will and wishes.

Getting Started
Before you can write your estate plan, you have to know what your assets are. Begin by taking a look around your home and writing down a list of the belongings you see. Do you have an expensive dishware set? Do you have an artwork collection? Are there vehicles parked out front? And are there items that may not be of much value, but have sentimentality? Getting started can seem like a daunting task, but thankfully, there are legal professionals like a Louisiana estate planning lawyer who can guide you every step of the way.

You may be tempted to utilize generic software online that generates estate plan documents for you. But be wary that this approach can cause serious issues in the future, particularly if these documents end up not being as legally-binding as they could have been. Generic estate plan programs also do not account for special cases or other nuances. The last thing you want is to have your estate plan complete, only to have it not be as effective as it could have been if you had a lawyer review the paperwork before solidifying. After you pass away, there is a chance that your documents could be contested if there are issues with them, further risking your final wishes not being followed.

Lawyer Review Documents
If you are wondering who is the best person to help you write an estate plan, that answer would be an experienced lawyer who has assisted people with this task in the past. Every lawyer has a background in an area of law, and not all are familiar with estate planning specifically. Your lawyer can review your documents for errors and offer suggestions for your best interests. Your instructions in the estate plan must be clear, concise, and readable so that the chances of a dispute arising in the future is minimal. Estate planning is a great resource for people who want to protect the legacy they have built over their life, and want to ensure their assets are distributed to future generations of family, friends, or charity organizations.

When Should An Estate Plan Be Updated

Developing an estate plan is a critical step; however, it doesn’t mean it can be set on the back burner and forgotten. Over time, estate plans can become out of date, and estate owners must regularly update their estate plans as life changes occur. Failure to do so can leave the estate plan outdated and, in some cases, lack the necessary details that must be included over time. Regardless of whether there have been any significant life-changing events, an estate plan should be reviewed with a lawyer at least every 3-5 years or; if any of the following have taken place: 

  • To update beneficiaries
  • The birth or adoption of children
  • To review the appointed estate executor
  • To review the appointed guardian
  • The purchase of property
  • Marriage or divorce
  • You have moved to another state
  • Inherited significant wealth
  • Had a change in financial circumstance

A person’s life is ever changing, and because of this, an estate plan is reviewed and updated per the changes in their life. A Louisiana estate planning lawyer can assist in reviewing these documents and ensuring they still reflect your wishes.  

When planning for the future, a lawyer can play an integral role, but it’s essential to choose a lawyer with experience in the estate planning process. With help from our firm, we will listen to your needs and provide guidance regarding the documentation needed to develop an estate plan and help outline your wishes by creating documents that make up an estate plan. Our team can help ensure that the estate plan keeps your interests in mind and is developed following state and federal laws. To learn more, contact our Theus Law Offices to schedule a consultation.