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Ensure You Understand The Peculiarities Of Louisiana Law On Wills

Louisiana law on wills is not what you might call typical. If you fail to make a will in Louisiana, the law makes its own decisions on how your assets should be divided. Here's how to avoid this scenario.

Jasper L. Edwards


People all over the world deliberately avoid broaching the subject of Wills or creating a will. In Louisiana, if you decide not to draft a will, the law makes its own decisions on how your assets should be divided. However, drafting a Will will go a long way towards protecting your loved ones, including all of your hard-earnedassets. So instead of passing the responsibilty for your own affairs to the behest of the courts, don't you think now would be a good time to plan your Will before it's too late ?

The thing is, the way you decide to distribute your assets when you're gone is really up to you whenever you've made a Will. If you prefer, you can distribute all of y our estate to just one person, your spouse, relatives or friends. Even making a donation to a charitable organization is an extremely popular bequest. You may bequest cash and other property, such as jewelry, to anyone you care to name in your will.

Beyond regular estate planning, Louisiana law enables you to create a Special Needs Trust for disabled beneficiaries, so as to ensure quality of life for them when  you're gone. Popular with many people is the creation of a Trust or Class Trust for children, therefore, ensuring their inheritance is secured.

You can also appoint an independent administrator to manage your last will and testament, as per LA Act 974. This enables you to circumnavigate the appointment of any  administrator who may not be completely independent and whom may be needed to wade through complex court issues, whilst administering the distribution of the estate.

Independent administrators can be appointed from the outset of your will, or alternatively with the consent of the beneficiaries. Whilst the administrator will handle  the distribution of your assets, this leaves you to decide who and how your beneficiaries will receive your assets.

Louisiana estate planning needn't be complex, however, if you do not draft a will, all assets will be distributed according to state laws. In Louisiana, there are two  kinds of property that included in any estate. These are: 1. "Community property", that is, property obtained during marriage or common law relationship. 2. "Separate  property", that is, any property owned by one spouse only.

Where no will has been made, "Community property" passes to the offspring, whilst enabling the surviving spouse the right of "usufruct" (to enjoy and use the property)  until either they die or re-marry. If there are no offspring and no will, by default, all Community Property passes to the spouse and any Separate Property will be  enjoyed by your parents (if living) through the right of usufruct.

All of the above goes to demonstrate that by making a Will, ultimately you have control over your estate, including how it's distributed. That's why it's good idea to seek advice from an attorney specializing in estate planning so you know your estate is managed to your satisfaction.

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