Trust Lawyer Shreveport, LA
If you plan to transfer any of your assets to your children – either while you are living or after you have passed away – schedule a consultation with an experienced Shreveport, LA trust lawyer at Theus Law Offices. Once our knowledgeable legal team has evaluated your wishes, priorities, assets, debts, and property, we will provide you with objective feedback concerning your estate planning options. Our firm has extensive experience with asset transfer from parent to child(ren) in ways that preserve the value of the assets in question, reflect intelligent tax strategy, and reflect the wishes of the parent to the letter of the arrangement.
One of the estate planning strategies that the trusted legal team at Theus Law Offices will consider when evaluating your estate planning needs is the process of creating a trust. Trusts can be constructed to transfer assets while you are still living or may alternatively be constructed to transfer assets after you have passed away. The kind(s) of trusts that may benefit you and your children will depend upon your financial situation, your needs, and your priorities.
Do You Need a Trust and a Will?
If you die with a will in place in Louisiana, that will must be subjected to the probate process. The probate process helps to prove the legal validity of the will in question and helps to ensure that the wishes of the deceased are properly carried out. The aims of the probate process are honorable. However, the practical reality is that probate can be time-intensive, costly, and stressful for surviving loved ones and the administrator of the deceased’s estate. It is partially for this reason that some Louisiana residents choose to forgo creating a will in favor of a living trust.
A living trust functions much like a will does, in that it allows an individual to pass along their assets to various beneficiaries subject to specific instructions. However, the legal structure of a living trust is such that it bypasses the probate process. With that said, living trusts cannot necessarily serve all the functions that wills can. As a result, it is important to connect with a trust lawyer Shreveport, LA residents rely on before committing to a specific estate planning “plan of action.” Depending on your unique needs, you may benefit from creating a will, a living trust, or both documents.
Will You Still Need Other Estate Planning Documents if You Create a Trust?
Even the most comprehensive trust will not govern all of your estate planning needs. A living trust can replace a will, under some circumstances. However, even after you have one or more trusts in place, you’ll want to work with an experienced Shreveport, LA trust lawyer to draft the remaining elements of a comprehensive estate plan. For example, you’ll need an advance healthcare directive in order to inform your loved ones—in a legally enforceable way—how you want to approach medical care at the end of your life and/or in the event of incapacitation caused by injury or illness. Additionally, you’ll want to designate a power of attorney (or multiple powers of attorney) for your medical, financial, business, and/or general affairs in the event of incapacitation. These are just a few examples of additional estate planning tools that help to comprise a comprehensive estate plan. Trusts can accomplish significant goals but they are not an estate planning panacea.
Is Creating a Trust a Time-Sensitive Task?
Nobody knows how long they will have before illness, injury, or death will make their estate plan a critically important reference for their loved ones and for the courts. If your estate plan is incomplete, is not up to date, or doesn’t exist yet, it is time to connect with an experienced Shreveport, LA trust lawyer to explore your options.
Preparing for a Trust Creation Consultation
In advance of your trust creation consultation with the experienced Louisiana legal team at Theus Law Offices, spend some time thinking about your estate planning needs, priorities, and goals. Doing so will help you to make the most of your time with our team. Additionally, if you can draft a list of all of your major assets (financially significant, emotionally significant, etc.) that will require special attention within your asset distribution instructions, that will be helpful to our team as we craft a strategy for your estate plan.
How Creating a Trust Can Benefit Your Children
Estate plans are meant to serve largely as “living legal tools,” meaning that they may generally be updated, edited, or revoked for as long as you live. Some trusts are irrevocable, while others are not. In either event, our Shreveport, LA trust lawyer team will be able to advise you concerning how each kind of trust functions, what potential benefits it brings to the table, and its potential drawbacks. Some of the reasons why setting up trusts (as opposed to simply transferring assets via a will) are such an attractive option is that certain trusts help to minimize tax burdens, help to preserve the value of certain assets, and help heirs to largely forego the probate process… at least concerning the assets governed by the trust. Assets not governed by a trust – and instead gifted through a will – may be subject to certain tax liability, sale for the benefit of creditors, and other hassles connected with the probate process.
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.
Why You Should Start a Trust
You Have Real Assets
If you have a net worth that is at least $100,000, you should consider creating a trust. Your trust lawyer in Shreveport, LA, can help you build one if you have extensive real estate holdings or other assets. For example, if you have a significant stock and bond portfolio, valuable artwork or antiques, it is better to put them in a trust.
You Want Your Wishes Upheld
When you hire a trust lawyer in Shreveport, LA, to build your trust, you can be sure that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes, not the state or a judge’s decision. You can take every asset you own and assign it to a different person if you want.
You can even determine when your beneficiaries will receive their distributions. For example, if your children are too young or have difficulty effectively managing their money, you can set up regular fund disbursements rather than a lump-sum disbursement. You can also have the administrator of your trust, e.g., the Theus Law Offices, use these distributions to pay rent, healthcare or insurance, food, and other necessities rather than giving it to the person directly. You can even designate that the funds be used for higher education expenses.
You Want Your Distributions To Be Safe From Lawsuits
Unlike wills, which have to be validated by a probate judge, a trust does not have to be proven valid. Therefore, however, you and your trust lawyer in Shreveport, LA set up your trust is how it will be distributed. Anyone who is unhappy with their portion of your estate can sue, but a trust is typically resistant to legal action. However, there are two conditions in which a trust can be contested: when it was written under duress or if you were mentally incapacitated when it was created. As long as you understood the benefits, responsibilities, and risks of setting up the trust, it should be found valid in court.
You Want To Reduce Estate Taxes
If you use a standard will, your estate must go through the probate process to transfer to your beneficiaries. A trust transfers it while you are still alive. Therefore, your heirs don’t have to pay estate or death taxes. Trust assets are not subject to these taxes. Your beneficiaries may be subject to gift taxes based on the amount you give them each year, but a reputable trust lawyer in Shreveport, LA, such as those found at Theus Law Offices, can help you reduce the taxes your loved ones pay overall.
How Can a Trust Lawyer Help You?
There can be some contemplating when it comes to hiring a trust lawyer. However, the cost that is required for a trust lawyer could help you plan for the future and ensure that everything is taken care of with your estate.
A trust lawyer in Shreveport, LA can give you legal help and guidance on how to name your trustee, or if you choose to have your trustee your lawyer. If you have a large estate with multiple complexities having a trust lawyer could become very beneficial and will confirm that your trustee is an impartial third party.
A trust lawyer will be able to assist you with creating or even reviewing a trust that you already have in place. Here are some reasons why you may consider creating a trust:
- You don’t want your family to go through probate
- You are attempting to lower your estate taxes
- You would like to dictate when your beneficiaries will receive their inheritance
A trust lawyer will also be able to offer relevant legal assistance to your trustee, which could ensure that your trustee understands the processes and legal intricacies involved with a trust. A skilled lawyer will know how to navigate complicated legal documents and assure the validity of the documents.
Trusts are very useful in the instance that you want to leave your possessions to any loved ones. Consulting with a trust lawyer in Shreveport, LA at Theus Law Offices can help you get a better idea of how to begin planning for the future and setting up a trust today. Working with a trust lawyer will help you clarify your needs and wants through the necessary legal documents for your specific situation.
Oftentimes, people can get confused about all the legal documents and how to ensure that they are done correctly so that their wishes are honored. Working with a trust lawyer in Shreveport, LA ensures that everything will be in order and accounted for. A trust lawyer will be able to give you the confidence that what you decide for the future will be truly put in a place. Even if a dispute were to arise, your trust will be able to hold up in court to ensure that what you decided is what happens.
A trust lawyer has the skills and knowledge about trusts and the documents that need to be filed in order for you to have your wishes carried through. A trust lawyer will be able to assist you with understanding the different types of trusts and other documents like credit shelter trust, charitable remainder trusts, generation-skipping trusts, and many others that should be considered.
A lawyer will listen to your needs and goals and will know the appropriate route to take so that those goals can be met so that you can rest easy. If you believe that a trust is in your best interest then at the very least that you can do today is consult with a trust lawyer.
You have nothing to lose, but only to gain. Schedule a consultation with a trust lawyer at Theus Law Offices today.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have not yet scheduled a risk-free estate planning consultation with the trusted Louisiana legal team at Theus Law Offices, please do so now. None of us knows how much time we will be granted before our estate plans to become an urgent business for our loved ones and creditors.
By taking a proactive approach to the estate planning process, you will better ensure that your assets are transferred exactly as you intend them to be and that your beneficiaries are spared as much stress and trouble as is possible concerning your estate in the wake of your death. Considering a time during which you will no longer be around to care for your loved ones can be undeniably challenging. However, it is important to speak with an experienced Shreveport, LA trust lawyer sooner rather than later for these reasons and more; we look forward to meeting with you.