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The composition of a last will and testament is essential to the estate planning process. In the event that someone passes without the benefit of a certified will to express his or her wishes then his or her possessions will be divided and dispersed as established by state law.
The construction of a last will and testament is a highly personalized process and can be as varied as the individuals who create them. The Louisiana estate planning attorneys at Grand Law Firm understand that every individual has his or her own requirements and wishes that need to be accomplished and work with each of our clients to ensure those goals are accomplished. In addition to establishing how and to whom your estate is distributed, a well-crafted will can have your family and estate thousands of dollars that would otherwise be spent on probate and administration fees.
Start discussing your plans for a will during a free initial consultation at Grand Law Firm. Call (504) 608-5208 to schedule an appointment.
Why Do You Need a Will in Louisiana?
Simply put, a will is used to establish and promote your personal wishes for your property, possessions, and even funeral services that take place upon your passing. Without a certified will in place, it is impossible to ensure that your wishes are observed. Additionally, without the proper documentation, the state that you live in will distribute your personal and real property as established by state law.
A will can establish the following:
- Care of any minors or disabled dependents
- Distribution of monetary assets including cash, stocks, bonds etc.
- Distribution of personal property including jewelry, furniture, etc.
- Distribution and title transfer for “Real Property” such as your home
- Distribution of charitable contributions such as gifts to religious institutions and charities or non-profit organizations
In addition to the distribution of property and possessions, a last will and Testament can be used to establish limitations or restrictions for distribution of said property and possessions. A will can also establish your personal funeral service requests and burial instructions of provisions.
Finally, the proper construction of a last will and testament can vastly reduce the costs of probate and save your loved ones and estate thousands of dollars in taxes and other legal fees.
Wills should be Updated Every Few Years
Circumstances and relationships change and develop as life progresses, if one of those changes impacts how you plan to distribute your possessions or finances upon your death, then it is critical that your will be corrected with fresh information.
Reasons you may want to change your will include:
- Your family has grown
- Your children have gotten older
- Someone you named in your will has passed away
- You recently sold or acquired new property
- There has been a substantial change in the value of your estate
- There were changes in state or federal law that affect your will
- You’ve moved to a new state
What Happens if I Die Without a Will?
If you die without a will in Louisiana, assets that would have passed through a will are given to your closest relatives based on the intestate succession laws of the state. This typically includes any assets that only you alone owned in your name.
Who gets what depends on if you have living children, parents, or other close relatives after your passing. Below are a few examples of who gets what if you die without a will:
- Have children and no spouse? Your children will inherit everything.
- Have a spouse, but no children, parents, or siblings? Your spouse will inherit your assets.
- Have parents and no children, spouse, or siblings? Your parents will inherit everything.
- Have siblings, but no children, spouse, or parents? Your siblings will inherit all assets.
- Have a spouse and parents? Your spouse will inherit all your community property and your parents will get your separate property.
For more guidance on this, reach out to a will attorney in Louisiana at Grand Law Firm. You can speak with us to get started on writing a will or creating an estate plan to ensure that the future of your family and your assets are secure when you are gone.
The Grand Law Firm Difference
At Grand Law Firm, we have a client-based practice, which means we take the time to get to know our clients so that we can establish an estate plan that best meets each individual’s needs. Most individuals have three main goals in drafting a will: to direct the distribution of their property, to save money, and to keep things simple for the family remaining. Unfortunately even those simple goals can require more than one or at least one well-crafted document(s). In almost every situation, it is more difficult for an individual to accomplish these goals with a handwritten will, rather than one prepared by a knowledgeable will, trust, and estate planning attorney.
Call (504) 608-5208 to start planning your will with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney in Louisiana.
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