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Common emotional roadblocks to estate planning

One of the hardest conversations that a Louisiana family can have is determining what will happen if someone in the family, especially the parents, were to die. No one likes thinking about their mortality, but it is inevitable. While the conversation of an estate plan may be difficult to have, it is necessary. Here are a few of the most common emotional roadblocks that families experience when establishing an estate plan.

Determining the right individual to assign as a trustee

A lot of work goes into determining if a trust is right for certain Louisiana residents. They usually work closely with an adviser to help them find the right trust, and they may do extensive research to be sure that the trust they have decided upon is right for their needs. One step that seems to be easy but may be a bit more complicated than one at first thinks is choosing the right trustee.

Estate planning complications in blended families

Blended families may face some complicated emotional and legal issues when it comes to estate planning. For example, some adult children in Louisiana might wonder what may happen if a parent decides to leave an entire estate to a stepparent and whether they would be able to inherit any assets.

Articulating thoughts and desires clearly in a written will

People who take adequate time to write a will that effectively outlines their desires should anything happen to them, may feel a resounding peace of mind with the surety that their legally signed document will provide their surviving family members with direction and clarification. For individuals seeking to write their own will in Louisiana, they can benefit from recognizing the value of keeping their content understandable and organized. 

People who prepare for death can protect their loved ones

Many people wonder how planning for death is a productive thing to do. However, the people that actually do it and factor in decisions such as what will happen to their assets, who will close out important financial accounts for them, what will happen to their home and how any dependents will be cared for, can compile their thoughts in an estate plan. When properly coordinated, a legally signed estate plan in Louisiana is an excellent way for people to protect their surviving loved ones and to have peace of mind. 

What is a health proxy?

When thinking about the future, many people in Louisiana will often make financial decisions and name the beneficiaries of property and money, but not as many make decisions relating to their own healthcare. A health proxy is helpful in the event someone becomes unable to make important medical decisions, and it ensures family members and medical teams follow their wishes.

What are the primary advantages of trusts?

You worked hard over the years to leave a lasting legacy behind for those you hold dear, and now you want to see that as much of your fortune as possible goes to your Louisiana loved ones after your passing. While there are many different things you can do as you work on your estate plan to accomplish this objective, one popular way many people do so is by establishing trusts.

Understanding “undue influence”

When a resident of Louisiana drafts a will, he or she must do so using his or her own free will, and if this does not happen, someone unhappy about its contents could potentially attempt to invalidate it. Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law, recognizes that allegations of “undue influence” are a common cause of will contests, and we have helped many people involved in the probate process determine whether a will is or is not, in fact, valid.

Are no-contest clauses enforceable?

As you prepare your will, your thoughts will likely turn to the potential of their being discord amongst your beneficiaries in Baton Rouge over its terms. You certainly do not want to see them fighting over your assets, as your wish is no doubt to benefit them as opposed to creating unneeded tension. Some might tell you that the easiest way to avoid this is to include a no-contest clause in your will. A no-contest clause is language stating that any beneficiary who challenges the terms of your will risks the chance of having their interest in your estate reduced (or being disinherited entirely). 

Finding help with decision making when family is obsolete

There is a lot of information out there to help people plan for their future when they are coordinating an estate plan. Often, this information focuses on recruiting family and friends to provide support when the time comes that independent decision making is no longer an option. However, what about the people in Louisiana who for whatever reason lack the support or availability of their family? Finding reliable help in preparation for the times when they become incapacitated and are no longer able to manage their health and finances is still critical. 

Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
11777 Justice Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70816

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