If you are considering creating an estate plan in Louisiana, you likely have numerous questions about your options and which plans will best protect your family and assets. However, when you work with an experienced Louisiana estate planning attorney, you do not have to figure out these answers alone. Instead, these legal professionals can decide which estate plan is right for you and help you better understand the differences between certain plans, such as a Last Will and Testament and a trust.

living will paperwork

The Differences Between a Trust and a Will

Will refers to a legal document that provides instructions on how to divide assets and property among loved ones after a person’s death. In comparison, a trust is a complicated legal arrangement that allows a person to transfer ownership of property, distribute it to beneficiaries at any time, and is managed by a third party. In addition, while a Will does not go into effect until the person who created it passes away, a trust is effective as soon as the creator signs it.

What Is the Purpose of a Trust?

A trust serves numerous purposes. For instance, they are often used to:

  • Manage, receive, and own various assets, such as motor vehicles, real estate, and art collections
  • Condition inheritances
  • Protect certain assets from another party’s claims
  • Reduce an estate’s tax liability

In addition, many individuals decide to establish a trust to avoid probate. Probate is a stringent process that formally dissolves a person’s estate. During this process, an authorized representative will petition a Louisiana probate court to begin succession. Once succession starts, the representative will have to inventory the estate’s assets, pay off any debts, and disperse gifts to the beneficiaries and heirs.

When Should You Consider Creating a Trust?

In Louisiana, individuals often form a trust for the following reasons:

  • Children: A parent may consider creating a trust if they have children from a previous marriage and have re-married. This can help ensure their biological children receive assets the surviving spouse may otherwise inherit.
  • Conditional Inheritances: Parents may also consider creating a testamentary trust, which limits a minor child’s ability to access their trust funds. Only when a child reaches a certain age will they receive their entire inheritance. This helps minimize the risk of a child wasting a trust’s assets.
  • Privacy: A trust gives families greater privacy, especially if disputes arise regarding the inheritance. 

Contact Losavio & DeJean, LLC, To Go Over Your Legal Options

At Losavio & DeJean, LLC, we offer services to our clients in a caring, prompt, efficient, and cost-effective manner. We know that you have put your trust in our team, and our goal is to get you the results you deserve, including helping you live securely and independently for as long as possible.
If you have further questions about creating a Will or a trust, do not wait any longer to get your questions answered. Instead, contact Losavio & DeJean, LLC today and find out how our team can help you.