Some people in Louisiana might think they do not need to create a will because they have so few assets. However, a will can also be used to name a guardian for any minor children. Family members may go to court if a guardian is not named, but the relative who is granted guardianship might not be the one a parent would have chosen. This is also true if the person is responsible for the care of an adult who is mentally incapacitated.
The prevalence of opioid addiction in Louisiana and throughout America rightly concerns people who intend to bequeath an inheritance to someone troubled by serious substance abuse. A benefactor worried that money given to an heir addicted to narcotics will encourage drug buying can explore the potential of setting up an incentive trust.
Louisiana residents and others may find that a trust is an effective estate planning tool. In fact, individuals can create more than one trust to meet their needs. Unless a new trust is created specifically to nullify an existing document, both trusts can be valid at the same time. However, there may be no need to create a second trust to amend or revoke an existing one.
Before former President George H. W. Bush passed away, his wife and longtime companion Barbara preceded him in death less than eight months earlier. While some say it is touching that the husband passed away fairly soon after his wife, it serves to highlight the importance of proper estate planning for Louisiana couples.
For Louisiana residents who want to protect and pass along assets, having an estate plan is vital. However, it's also important to update these documents and arrangements over time. While there is no "standard" time to update estate plans, it's typically advised that plans be reviewed every two or three years to confirm that everything is still valid and appropriate. There are unique circumstances or life events that could also warrant an update to an existing plan.
Louisiana fans of Stan Lee might know that near the end of his life, the comic book artist had several issues with his estate and the people around him. Among them were his claim that $1.4 million was missing from his account and an accusation that his daughter was befriending men who tried to take advantage of him. He took back the latter accusation even though he had signed a notarized document making the claim.
Most trusts created in Louisiana are done so as an estate planning tool to transfer property upon the passing of the settlor, the person who created the trust. Typically, the estate is settled reasonably quickly and the trustee distributes the assets to the beneficiaries without incident. In some circumstances, however, there may be a reason the estate remains open and the trustee is charged with administering the assets for the benefit of beneficiaries throughout a period of time. If problems arise with a trustee, a beneficiary may have grounds to object.
Many people in Louisiana consider how they can leave a legacy behind to their children or other loved ones. Because of their flexibility, trusts can be an excellent option that allow people to transfer their wealth while avoiding the exposure and delay of the probate process. Trusts can also provide people with significant tax incentives during their lifetime. However, some people hesitate when creating trust funds for their children. Parents worry that knowing that there is a large sum of money waiting for them in adulthood will discourage their child from pursuing academic or career excellence.
Some estate plans can lead to family conflict, but there are steps people in Louisiana can take to avoid this. For example, it is important to choose the right executor. Some people may simply choose the closest family member, but it is best to choose someone who is right for the job. The person should be ethical, organized and responsible. One possibility is a professional fiduciary or a corporate trustee.
Setting aside money for the college education of a child, grandchild or other loved one in Louisiana or elsewhere is a smart and compassionate thing to do. A trust is one way to accomplish this goal as it provides a lot of flexibility with its terms and conditions. One of these types of trusts is called a pot trust. It is essentially a pot of money from which beneficiaries can take funds when they need them. One issue with this type of trust is that the assets may be distributed unequally, causing division among the beneficiaries.