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Shreveport Estate Planning Blog

Using a trust to leave assets to a troubled child

When your children were born, you likely had visions of happiness, success and love for each of them. Though you knew that they would live their own lives and have different experiences, you still hoped that each road would lead them to positive futures. Unfortunately, not all of your children had such outcomes, and you may have one child in particular who had more troubles than the others.

Specifically, you have a child who lives with addiction and substance abuse issues. Over the years, you have undoubtedly done what you thought best to help your child overcome this problem, but you likely also know that the choice to beat addiction has to come from him or her. Now that you are estate planning, you do not want to leave your child without but also do not want to enable the addiction by providing funds after your passing.

Is a living trust right for your estate plan?

If you are considering writing a will and believe this will complete your estate planning, you may be overlooking a valuable and useful tool that can protect your family and your assets. A living trust can offer you an alternative for passing certain assets in your estate to your loved ones in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

You may be like many in Louisiana who believe trusts are only for the very wealthy. However, this is not true. In many situations, the use of trusts can be a prudent method for accomplishing your estate planning goals and protecting your loved ones from a long, expensive probate process.

Here's why elders procrastinate with estate planning

The aging process does not typically unfold the exact same way in any two people's lives. As you get older, it's natural for your concerns in life to shift. For instance, when you were in your twenties, you likely focused on building a career in Louisiana or getting married. Now that you are in the later years of life, you might focus more on your health and how to provide for your loved ones when you're gone, which estate planning helps you do.

You might be one of many people who tend to cringe when they hear the words "estate planning." There is definitely a lot of stigma attached to the term, which causes many people to procrastinate when it comes to executing an estate plan. The problem is that, if you wait too long, it can affect your options.

Your organizational skills can come in handy when estate planning

Organization can often make any task easier. You may enjoy having everything neat and in order, but you may not yet have taken an important organizational step that could help you and your family later: estate planning. You and many other Louisiana residents may not consider creating an estate plan as an organizational effort, but really, having your affairs in order through legally binding documents can go a long way in ensuring that certain actions go smoothly.

If you want to start on your plan but do not feel entirely confident in where to start, that is not a problem. Many people put off estate planning because they believe the process will be overwhelming. Fortunately, you can start organizing your affairs before you even begin dealing with paperwork.

Estate planning allows you to make your own decisions

Many people can feel put off by the idea of planning their end-of-life affairs. This feeling may contribute to the fact that the majority of adults do not have a will. If you are among this majority, you may want to consider getting those affairs in order before it is too late.

Certainly, the idea of thinking about your death or possible incapacitation is not lighthearted. However, if you do not plan ahead, you could put yourself and your loved ones in a difficult predicament. Even if you are just at the point of gaining information about estate planning, you have already taken a useful step in the right direction.

How to handle the responsibility of a succession representative

As a succession representative, your estate holder has placed you in a position of great trust and responsibility. The role of a succession representative is not an easy one, and the duties of the role can easily sideline you.

A succession representative, or an executor, is primarily responsible for the probate and distribution of all the assets of an estate. Carrying out this responsibility can be a lot, especially immediately following the death of a family member of close friend. This article is meant to give you an overview of the typical duties of the role to help you be better prepared. However, if you have concerns, reach out to an estate attorney to help you navigate your responsibilities, as you assume quite a lot of fiduciary responsibility by taking on the role.

Estate planning mistakes and how you can avoid them

The start of a new year naturally makes people start thinking about their future. If you are one of those people, you may have thought about the coming year, maybe even thought about what next year at this time will look like. You may be someone who has even thought about 10, 20 or even 40 years from now, and not how that may look to you, but what will be in store for your family.

If you have done this, that means you are thinking of an estate plan. If that is the case, then congratulations, you are making sure you are taking care of your family right now for a time in the future when you are not around. As you begin your estate planning you want to make sure you are doing the right thing, this not only includes making sure what you should be doing with an estate plan, but what mistakes and mis-steps you need to avoid.

Estate planning for business owners

As a small business owner, the hard work and focus you put into your business ever day most likely consumes you and leaves little time to be thinking about the future. However, since the future is not guaranteed to anyone and your business is your pride and passion, you should be looking out for your business by establishing a comprehensive business estate plan.

Consider the alternatives if you neglect having a plan in place, if you pass away you will be leaving your heirs without clear instructions regarding your wishes. This can severely jeopardize the business you have worked so hard for.

Estate planning is not just for the wealthy

When you hear the term “estate plan,” you may think that only wealthy people need one. After all, they have a lot of assets and money that all need to be distributed appropriately.

You, on the other hand, do not have a lot of assets - and you don’t consider yourself overly wealthy. So why would you need an estate plan?

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