Succession Law Firm Shreveport, LA Succession Law Firm Shreveport, LA

If you are grappling with the estate of a loved one who has recently passed away, please connect with our Shreveport, LA succession law firm as soon as you possibly can. Similarly, if you have not yet drafted an estate plan and you need to ensure that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes after your death, schedule a consultation with the reputable team at Theus Law Offices as soon as you are able to do so.

Why is it so important to connect with our Shreveport, LA succession law firm if you are managing the estate of a loved one or if you are seeking to put your personal affairs in order? Louisiana has very specific legal mandates when it comes to a process commonly referred to as “succession.” If you don’t seek legal guidance proactively, you may cause either yourself or your loved ones far more stress than is necessary in the wake of a loss.

4 Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Estate planning can be confusing and complicated, but avoiding it altogether is the worst mistake of all. Sadly, we don’t live forever, but some of our cash and assets do live on. It’s important to make a detailed procedure about who gets to control these things just in case something happens to us and we are no longer able to. Here are some of the more common mistakes you could make regarding the world of wills and estates.

1. Don’t Wait Too Long

If you’re 30 or older I’m sure someone has suggested to you by now how important it is to write a will, especially if you have kids, real estate, or you own a business. Truth is, an accident can occur at any time which could render you unable to control your property anymore. Speaking with a succession law firm in Shreveport, LA, should be considered an essential step of the process so that your documentation is in compliance with state law. 

2. Don’t Choose Poorly

If a procedure in your estate plan requires trusts or annuities, you will need to choose a person who can be the executor of that section of your assets. Choosing an executor who turns out to be unable to fulfil that duty can leave your family in serious trouble. A reputable firm, such as Theus Law Offices, has experience with this sort of procedural law and could offer some guidance. The idea should be to leave your family with wealth, safety and comfort – not headaches and legal fees.

3. Don’t Lose Your Will

Believe it or not, some people go through the trouble of making a will, only to accidentally hide it so their family can’t find the documents or the succession law firm in Shreveport, LA, that might be involved with the procedure after death. The state is required to involve themselves if a will can’t be found. The last thing you want is for the state to get involved. Make sure your loved ones know where the documents are kept which inform how to begin the estate plan.

4. Don’t Misalign Life Insurance

An important reason to choose a succession law firm in Shreveport, LA, is because your life insurance could inadvertently trigger an estate tax. Proceeds of a life insurance policy shouldn’t be taxed as income, but they could be subject to estate taxation if certain conditions exist. A professional who has experience with these nuances of the law, such as Theus Law Offices, should be consulted when planning out a sound estate plan.

Three Common Misconceptions About Succession

If You Have a Will, You Avoid Succession

A will only sets out your final wishes, including what property you own that you want to give to certain heirs. You can avoid succession by having an estate worth less than $75,000. You could also avoid it if you put all your assets in a living trust. Another way to avoid succession is to have beneficiaries other than your estate named on your life insurance and retirement accounts. A succession law firm in Shreveport, LA from Theus Law Offices can help you determine whether you can avoid succession or not.

The Last Will and Testament Needs To Be Notarized in Order To Be Valid

In Louisiana, there are two types of wills that are accepted as valid. The first, a notarial will, does have to be witnessed by a notary and signed by two witnesses. The second, an olographic will, must be completely handwritten, signed, and dated by the testator — the person whose will it is. An olographic will needs to have two people willing to testify that the handwriting is the testator’s, but only the testator may sign the will. A succession law firm in Shreveport, LA at Theus Law Offices can help you sort out the details of creating your will.

If There Is a Will or a Trust Then No One Can Contest It

On the contrary, wills and trusts are frequently contested. If someone believes they were disinherited or is unhappy with the division of property, they may contest the will or trust. There are three grounds on which you can contest a will in Louisiana.

  1. If you believe the testator was under undue influence when writing their will. This means you suspect another heir was pressuring the testator to rewrite the will in that heir’s favor.
  2. The will wasn’t created in line with Louisiana law. It doesn’t meet the criteria for a notarial or olographic will, or tries to combine elements of the two together. The burden of proof is on you to show that the will doesn’t meet either of the legal criteria for a will.
  3. The testator didn’t have sufficient mental capacity to write a will. If you can prove, usually with medical records, lay witnesses and expert witnesses, that the testator didn’t have the mental capacity to write a will, you may be able to successfully contest the will. 

If you want to contest a will or trust, you’ll likely need the help of a succession law firm in Shreveport, LA.

Succession Law Firm – Shreveport, LA

“Succession” in Louisiana is – essentially – the same process as “probate.” Although other states refer to this process as probate exclusively, the terms “succession” and “probate” are generally interchangeable in regards to Louisiana state law. Succession is, therefore, the process of legally proving the validity of a will and/or related estate planning documents, distributing the assets of the deceased, and resolving the estate’s debts. In Louisiana, the succession process is generally required in all cases involving estates worth more than $75,000. Some estates qualify for a less formal succession process than is used in most cases. Our firm can clarify whether the unique scenario that you’re facing may be eligible for this less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming process.

Tips to Strengthen Your Estate Plan 

Figuring out your estate planning goals can be a daunting task. WIth so many parts to estate planning, from communicating with loved ones, deciding your healthcare preferences and securing your assets, there is a lot of serious decision-making involved in the process. If you are at a loss of where to start, the first step that you can take is talking to a lawyer for a consultation. A lawyer who specifically has estate planning experience can help you understand what you are trying to achieve and how to best make a plan that is suitable for you. To make an estate plan that addresses all of your goals, follow these tips so that everything is covered.  

Create an Asset Inventory 

Making an accurate list of your assets is essential if you are estate planning. Many people forget to list important assets when they are making their plan. Do not forget to take your digital assets into account as well so that you have an accurate valuation of your estate. This step can be time-consuming, so check in with a succession law firm for assistance so that you do not forget to include any assets. 

Use Clear and Concise Language 

When you are building your unique estate plan, use specific and clear language as much as possible. When someone is reading your plan, they should not have any questions for what you are trying to achieve. Ambiguous language can lead to legal issues, and the court may have trouble deciphering what your intentions are. This can also open opportunities for outside parties to take advantage of the vague language and attempt to seize your assets for their own gain. 

Designate Your Beneficiary

If you go to a trusted succession law firm, they will explain to you the importance of designating your beneficiaries properly. When you do so, explicitly name the individuals that you are handing your assets down to. This will leave no room for interpretation and makes it much easier for the court to distribute your assets. Your beneficiaries will be able to receive their assets more quickly. 

Talk to Your Loved Ones 

Speaking with your loved ones early on about your estate plan ideas is recommended. Work on your plan while you are healthy and can communicate your needs with your loved ones. They need to be on the same page as you so that they can take care of any urgent legal tasks on their end. Inform them of the kind of medical care you want to receive so they can begin their preparations as well. 

Making an estate plan work for you will take a lot of time and patience but it is crucial that you start as soon as possible. However, if you obtain the help of a qualified and skilled person who is committed to helping you develop a strong and personalized plan, you can go through the process more efficiently. For more information about estate planning, consult with a top-rated and experienced estate planning lawyer to discuss your options. 

What Else Do I Need to Know About Navigating a Succession Case?

With the exception of estates valued under $75,000, nearly all estates in Louisiana must progress through a formal or informal succession process before an estate can be fully resolved. Property subject to the succession process generally includes any assets not held in a trust and/or passed through a beneficiary designation, such as a payout from a life insurance policy. The “trust loophole” often makes the process of creating a trust more attractive to many Louisiana residents, as placing property in a trust means that one’s loved ones will not need to navigate a succession case if all of the property in question has been transferred via a trust.

How Do You Choose a Succession Lawyer To Help You?

If you are looking for a lawyer who can help you with a succession issue, you may be wondering where to begin. There are lots of lawyers available, and you need to find the right one to represent your knee. For example, you might be interested in working with a succession law firm in Shreveport, LA, such as the team from Theus Law Offices. How can you find the right legal team to help you with this serious issue? 

Consider The Practice Area of the Law Firm

The first thing you need to do is consider the practice area of the law firm. Similar to other areas, lawyers tend to specialize in certain areas of the law. Some lawyers may specialize in immigration law while other lawyers might specialize in constitutional law. Some lawyers specialize in criminal law while other lawyers might focus on personal injury. If you have a succession issue, you need to work with a succession lawyer. 

Think About the Communication Between Yourself and the Firm

Next, you should think about the communication between yourself and the law firm. You may have found the best lawyer around; however, if your lawyer does not understand your goals, he or she is going to have a difficult time putting you in the right position to succeed. Do not hesitate to sit down and interview the lawyer ahead of time. Think about this carefully if you are looking for a succession law firm in Shreveport, LA to help you. 

Ask About the Results of Prior Cases

Finally, you should ask about the results of prior cases. You may want to take a look at a few reviews and ratings to see what other people have to say. You should also ask the lawyer how his or her prior cases have turned out. If you are satisfied with the results of those prior cases, you may have found the right lawyer to help you. You may also want to ask for a few references you can talk to.

Find the Right Lawyer To Represent You

Ultimately, there are numerous factors you need to think about if you are looking for a succession lawyer who can help you. If you are looking for a succession law firm in Shreveport, LA, then you might want to work with Theus Law Offices. Make sure you have a strong legal representative who can advocate for your rights and defend your interests. 

Legal Assistance Is Available

If you are either constructing your estate plan or administering the estate of a loved one, please connect with the experienced team at Theus Law Offices to learn more about your rights and options under the law. Navigating a succession case can be stressful and overwhelming. However, our Shreveport, LA succession law firm will do our utmost to ensure that the legal side of your situation progresses in a fashion that is as stress-free as possible; we look forward to speaking with you.