If you die without a will in Louisiana, the state determines the distribution of your estate, regardless of your wishes. It also appoints a guardian for your minor children if both of their parents die in an accident. At Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law, we can help you get your affairs in order if the unthinkable happens.

Careful estate planning can ensure your beneficiaries receive the assets you choose. According to U.S. News & World Report, if you have a blended family or are part of an unmarried couple, it is critical that you have a final will and testament. If you are married and without a will, your estate may go entirely to your spouse or split between them and your biological children. As part of an unmarried couple, your assets may go to your relatives instead of your partner. Having a will can remove the uncertainty of who gets what.

An executor is a person chosen to carry out your wishes, as stated in the will. If your estate is simple, a friend or relative may be appropriate. However, if you have a range of assets in a variety of locations, you may want to consider appointing a professional to manage the process. In addition to specifying the distribution of your property, separate documents designate a medical and financial power of attorney.

The medical power of attorney is a health care directive. It is typically carried out by the person you trust to make your medical decisions if you are incapacitated. Doctors rely on this person to make your care and treatment decisions. By appointing a medical power of attorney, it can avoid conflict among family members and ensure the execution of your wishes.

A financial power of attorney appoints the person who is legally permitted to take care of commitments such as your monthly bills, sort through your mail and keep an eye on your investments in the event you cannot.

Having a will can give you peace of mind, knowing that your family is taken care of if tragedy strikes. Adding a trust can help ensure your children’s financial future is secure. Once your will is official, it is a good idea to review it every few years and update as needed. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.