Louisiana Estate Planning Is Not the Same As Other States

By: Andrew Stratton

Estate planning is a serious responsibility. It is a way to make sure that all you have worked for your whole life goes to those you love. It is a way to make sure everyone is provided for. You are never too young to think about drawing up a will. In Louisiana, the estate planning laws and laws of inheritance are somewhat different than those anywhere else.

What Happens If You Don't Leave A Will?

If you don't leave a will, what do you think will happen to your wealth and possessions? Most of us imagine that it will automatically be transferred to our husbands or wives. In Louisiana, that is not the case.

According to Louisiana estate planning law, if there is no will everything goes to the deceased's parents. They own the property and have full usage rights. If the parents are no longer living, everything goes to the deceased's siblings.

Without a will, your accumulated wealth and possessions do not go to your spouse, except for purchases made together during your married life.

Any wealth that the individual has acquired separately of their spouse will be transferred to parents or siblings, and this includes business earnings. Separate property is acquired prior to a marriage; acquired by inheritance or donated to one spouse individually; or acquired by one spouse with separate funds or with separate and community funds where the community funds are very small in comparison to the separate funds.

If there are kids, the kids will get ownership of the estate, but they will not have usage rights. This means that, although they get a share of the inheritance, they have no rights over it being sold or divided among others. Even in the case where the kids inherit the wealth, the spouse still gets nothing.

It is always important to make a will, but this is why it is especially important in the state of Louisiana.

Alternatives To Making A Will

Some people are reluctant to make a will because it becomes a matter of public record after you die. This means that anyone can see what you owned, how much, and who it was transferred to. For privacy's sake, many people look for other options.

There are lots of options to making a will, including life insurance policies, trust funds, "Transfer On Death" and "Payable On Death" plans, IRA's and joint tenancy or common tenancy plans, where an individual can make all of their earnings common property of themselves and their spouse and/or kids.

It is easy enough to make a will. Anyone 18 years of age can do it. But, these alternatives require estate planning legal help.

Finding An Estate Planning Specialist

It is very important to find an estate planning lawyer who either resides in Louisiana or has experience dealing with Louisiana estate planning law. Louisiana operates differently than other states in this regard.

The most important thing is to make sure that your family is provided for after you die. It's something nobody wants to think about, but not taking care of it can be catastrophic for your loved ones.

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