Ascension Parish Estate Planning Lawyer

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Estate planning can be a complicated process. There are some critical laws and regulations that need to be followed for your estate plan to be valid and achieve your aims. Additionally, it’s also going to need to align with how the courts have typically interpreted the law. That’s why when considering an Ascension Parish estate planning lawyer, it’s important that you consider someone who’s also involved with estate administration as well.

Carl Goode of Goode Tax and Estate Planning Law Group, LLC, is a board-certified specialist in estate planning and administration. One of the few attorneys with this distinction in the state, he has an understanding of and experience with both the planning part of an estate as well as the administration process. His experience in administration informs the planning and allows him to help you create a customized, comprehensive estate plan to achieve your goals.

The Tools Involved With Estate Planning

The purpose of estate planning is to express your desires about what you wish to have happen regarding the handling of critical issues in the event of your death or incapacitation.

This includes issues such as what happens with your assets, who should care for any minor children, what should happen with any special needs individuals you’re responsible for, and medical treatment for yourself in the event of incapacitation or an end-of-life scenario. These matters are addressed through the use of specific legal tools, including:

  • Wills. One of the most basic but powerful estate planning tools is a will. However, just because they are a more basic tool doesn’t mean you don’t want to have a skilled lawyer put your will together. A will that’s not well crafted runs the risk of being challenged and disputed during the probate process. If it’s not able to stand up to those challenges, then it’s possible that the wishes you expressed in the will may not come to pass. If you are going to need a will done, then you want to be sure that it is thorough and robust, or else you may leave your loved ones with a mess to sort through.
  • Trusts. Trusts may be the most versatile tool in estate planning. The assets that are placed in a trust are shielded from the probate process, and you often have much more control over how they will be handled. When you die, the trustee will take control of the trusts and the assets within the trust and be required to manage them according to your wishes.
  • Powers of Attorney. For situations where you may be incapacitated, a power of attorney can give someone the ability to make financial decisions on your behalf. You may also create a healthcare power of attorney that gives someone the responsibility of making medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself.
  • Living Wills. Also known as advance directives, living wills express your desires for any end-of-life scenarios that you may face. This will give direction to healthcare providers and families as they manage these situations.

FAQs:

Q: How Do I Avoid Probate in Louisiana?

A: To avoid probate in Louisiana, you will need to have your estate properly planned. Generally, anyone with an estate larger than $125,000 will need to go through the probate process. The key to avoiding probate would be your estate being below that threshold.

The simplest way to do this is through the use of a living trust. The assets in a trust are shielded from the probate process and are owned by the trust. These trusts can be a complicated but powerful tool for avoiding probate and some of the downsides of that process.

Q: What Rights Do Heirs Have in Louisiana?

A: Heirs in Louisiana have a right to an inheritance of some of the property of the deceased if there is no will or other estate planning mechanism in place. The property that they have a right to will depend on the other heirs that are involved. The property will also need to be separated into community property and separate property if there is a spouse involved.

Q: Do You Have to Pay Taxes on Inheritance in Louisiana?

A: Generally, heirs and legatees in Louisiana incur no inheritance tax.

Q: Do All Heirs Have to Agree to Sell Property in Louisiana?

A: All heirs do not necessarily have to agree to the sale of a property in Louisiana. If there is not a solid estate plan in place, it’s possible that a petition to partition the property could result in a forced sale. It’s important to have an estate plan that addresses the issue to avoid this kind of dispute among your heirs.

Work With a Board-Certified Estate Planning and Administration Specialist

You want to make sure that an estate plan is done properly. A poorly designed estate plan risks disputes among your benefactors or your desires not being executed properly. You want peace of mind, knowing that assets will be managed according to your desires.

When it comes to concerns like special needs individuals or minor children, you want to know that they will be cared for according to your plan. You also want to feel comfortable knowing that your wishes will be followed in the event of your incapacitation or end-of-life scenarios.

One of the surest ways to know you are getting this kind of thorough estate plan is by working with a board-certified specialist in estate planning and administration. Carl Goode of Goode Tax and Estate Planning Law Group, LLC, is one of the few attorneys in the state of Louisiana with this kind of certification. If you’re looking for help with preparing your comprehensive estate plan, contact our offices today.

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