Louisiana residents and others may choose to wait until later in life to create an estate plan. They may also feel confident that a will is adequate to meet their needs. However, it can be a good idea to start building an estate plan as early in life as possible, and it can include trusts, life insurance policies and a power of attorney. Ideally, individuals will draft both financial and medical power of attorney documents as soon as they graduate from college.
Doing so enables a parent or other trusted family member to make decisions for that person if he or she becomes mentally incapacitated. As a person gets older, it can be a good idea to create a living trust for the benefit of a child, grandchild or other family members. It can also be worthwhile to name a guardian for a minor child in a will or trust.
The use of trusts and beneficiary designations may make it possible for an estate to avoid probate. Probate can take up to nine months or more to complete, and assets might not be available to be released to beneficiaries until a case has been closed. Furthermore, it can be a complex and stressful process for grieving family members who may lack legal experience.
Individuals who have questions about the estate planning process may want to ask a legal representative for help. It may be possible for an attorney to review a will, trust or power of attorney form to ensure that it complies with state law. It may also be possible for a legal professional to facilitate estate planning conversations between an individual and his or her family members. This may reduce the chances of family infighting or a will challenge after a person dies.