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estate planning Archives

Why it is important to fully fund a trust

When people in Louisiana plan for the future, trusts can be an essential part of an estate plan. The flexibility and control that they provide can help people to create a comprehensive plan for their assets that supports their loved ones over time and avoids the difficulties that can come with probate. However, in order to make a trust operational, it is crucial to not only create the relevant trust documents but also to make sure that the trust is fully funded with all of the property that is to be included.

Trusts that have become unpopular with the increasing rates

It is important to keep up with the changing times. For instance, even though low interest rates have been the norm for the past decade, the fact that rates have been increasing lately means that estate planners need to adjust their strategies accordingly. A client living in Louisiana might be advised to use a different type of trust today than they would have been a year ago.

Estate planning for separated spouses

Celebrity deaths like those of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have drawn light to a particular issue in estate planning that can be just as significant for everyday families in Louisiana. While many spouses separate before divorcing and may hesitate to file divorce papers even as they lead separate lives, this can have unanticipated impacts on how key decisions and assets are handled in case of one spouse's death or incapacity. There are a number of reasons that can delay a formal divorce filing, especially if the separation is amicable; these can include informally handling child custody or sorting out the complications of businesses or other investments.

Proper valuation of collectibles important for estate plan

People who are considering estate planning in Louisiana should think not only about financial and real estate assets but collectibles and other assets as well. The Internal Revenue Service defines the term collectible to include works of art, antiques, precious metals and gems, rugs and other things that people might collect. The IRS has the power to make the determination whether a particular item is a collectible.

How to create a successful estate plan

Often, estate plans fail to produce as their creators believed that they would. The good news is that many of the failures can be prevented. Typically, an estate plan doesn't work because of human error or some other human element to the plan. For instance, a Louisiana heir may not be ready to inherit a home, money or other property from a parent or grandparent.

Estate planning errors that should be avoided

There are a number of people in Louisiana who could be making estate planning errors. Of course, one of the most common errors is neglecting to have an estate plan at all. If property owners die without a will or a trust, the state determines who gets what assets. Ultimately, this may not be in line with the person's wishes.

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