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No estate plan often results in family disputes over inheritance

When people are in the prime of their life, enjoying family, a good job and a stable living situation, it can be difficult for them to get into the thought process of planning their estate. However, it is in these moments that planning an estate is so critical for folks in Louisiana. Families who take the initiative to begin planning when life is calm and pleasant can potentially divert disaster and family feuds after their death by having a coordinated, organized and understandable plan in place for what they want to be done with their estate and inheritance. 

Failure to plan one's estate can have long-lasting effects even for those who are rich and famous. Two recent Hollywood deaths have highlighted the concerning need for people to plan their estate even in the most basic way. Aretha Franklin and Prince were both impeccable talents no doubt, but their sprawling fortune is still hanging in the balance as courts are trying to work with anxious heirs who claim that they are the rightful descendants to each star's estate. 

The need for estate planning is critical for anyone no matter their upbringing or background. Some of the reasons it is so important are because it allows people to designate someone to function as their proxy if they become incapacitated and unable to make decisions regarding their health care. They can also disclose who they wish to be gifted specific valuables that hold sentimental value, as well as whether or not they want to donate any of their inheritance to a charitable cause. They can exert some control over estate taxes and select someone as an executor who will be responsible for overseeing the execution of their will following their death. 

If people are interested in beginning to plan their estate but are unsure of where to start, they may benefit from hiring an attorney. Legal professionals have the tools and resources to provide families with insight into the planning process to develop an estate plan that is customized to their needs. 

Source: MarketWatch, "Opinion: Life lessons of the rich and famous: Why you need an estate plan," Adam Grossman, Nov. 19, 2018

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Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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