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Estate Planning

Wills – Living Trusts –Powers of Attorney – Irrevocable Trusts – Special Needs Trusts

A common misconception many people have when it comes to Estate Planning is, “my estate is not large enough for me to do any estate planning.” Nothing can be farther from the truth. Everyone should have some type of estate plan in place, especially those with young children.

Types of Estate Planning Tools

A Last Will and Testament is the primary vehicle used for our estate planning services. In Louisiana there are only two types of recognized wills, (1) olographic will and (2) a Notarial Will. An olographic will is a document whereby the person making the will completely writes out the entire will in his or her own handwriting, and the person must sign it and date it. The Notarial Will is a last will and testament that is signed in front of an attorney or notary public, and two witnesses, along with the person making the will. The major benefit of having a Notarial Will is that the will is now a self-proving document and it has been created with the assistance of a Louisiana Estate Planning Specialist.

The typical process for creating a last will and testament consists of two meetings with our attorneys. At the first meeting, all of the creative ideas and solutions will be discussed and the attorney and client will arrive at a final plan and design for the will. The second meeting will be where the client signs his or her last will and testament.

Who will raise your minor children if you are gone, or how can you protect your children from spending all of their inheritance, or how you can protect your legacy to your children from outside creditors or even unscrupulous spouses.

A Trust is a legal document used to hold property and administer property only as the trust creator desires. If someone is worried that their children may not be responsible enough to handle property that is passed down to them, then a Trust is an excellent way to ensure that the child cannot waste all of funds or property placed into the Trust. We can create many different types of trust, depending on each person’s individual needs, concerns and objectives.

A Living Trust is a Trust that is revocable at any time during the life of its creator. This means that if someone creates a trust, and the trust creator changes his or her mind at a later date, that person will have the right to make any changes they want. One of the major benefits of a Louisiana Living Trust is that it is a way for the client to avoid the entire probate procedure.

Special Needs Trust are trusts that are designed solely to protect a disabled child or relative from losing certain government benefits. The Special Needs Trust is an excellent way to supplement a disabled child or relative’s way of life. There are two types of Special Needs Trust: (1) Self Settled Special Needs Trust, and (2) Third Party Special Needs Trust. A self-settled special needs trust is made up of funds that belong or arise from the individual beneficiary him or herself. A third party special needs trust is made up of funds that belong to a third party, and are gratuitously transferred to the trust for the disabled beneficiary’s supplemental needs.

The rules and regulations concerning these trusts are very complicated, and you should trust a board certified estate planning specialist with these matters.