It isn’t uncommon for adults who live in Louisiana to have a will. The same may be true if they own property in the state that they want to pass down to future generations. For some people, this document will be enough on its own to meet their estate planning needs. However, there are scenarios in which you will want to include additional items to your estate plan.
Do you want to avoid probate?
An effective way to avoid probate is to place assets into a revocable living trust. Assets that are titled in the trust’s name are held outside of your estate, which means that they don’t need to be distributed at the time of your death. You may also be able to avoid probate by attaching a transfer on death (TOD) designation to items such as bank accounts, cars or other eligible property.
Are you looking to make gifts or reduce your estate tax obligation?
A trust may also be an ideal estate planning tool to use if you want to make gifts or reduce your estate tax obligation. If either of these apply to you, it may be best to create an irrevocable trust. Although you have less control over the assets that are transferred from your estate, this lack of control makes it harder for creditors, the government or others to invalidate the document.
What else might you add to an estate plan?
A financial agent may be able to manage your finances while you are incapacitated for any reason. A medical agent may communicate with your doctors to ensure that you only receive the treatment that you would have asked for if you could speak on your own.
When structured correctly, an estate plan makes it easier to manage your affairs before and after your death. Furthermore, an estate plan that is structured properly is less likely to be challenged, which means that there is a lower risk of family infighting after you pass.