Did you know that everyone has an estate, regardless of their wealth? Your estate includes everything you own, including motor vehicles, real estate, bank accounts, and investments. However, estate planning is not limited to just your possessions. It involves taking steps to prepare for any situation that may arise during your lifetime, such as incapacity, illness, or death. The ultimate goal of estate planning is to ensure that you take care of yourself while also taking care of your loved ones.
What Is Estate Planning
Estate planning is the process of creating a plan that indicates who will receive your assets after you pass away. These plans also dictate how your affairs will be handled in the event you cannot do so yourself. As a result, estate planning covers not only the transfer of property at death but also numerous other personal matters, including tax planning.
Most Common Estate Planning Documents in Louisiana
There are several documents that could make up your estate plan. However, some of the more important estate planning documents that often make up an estate plan include the following:
A Last Will and Testament
A Last Will and Testament is a legal document outlining your desires regarding how you want your property to be distributed and how you want your minor children to be cared for after you pass away. However, if you pass away without a will, it is important to realize that your desires may not be fulfilled, and your loved ones may have to spend a significant amount of time, money, and energy trying to resolve your affairs with the courts.
An Advanced Health Care Directive
An advance directive is a legally binding document that allows you to dictate your preferences for medical care in the future by guiding doctors and other healthcare personnel as to the treatment you want or do not want. It also enables you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf in case you cannot make decisions for yourself.
A Living Trust
A living trust, also known as an intervivos trust or a revocable trust, is a legal agreement that allows you to dictate how your assets will be managed and distributed, both during your lifetime and after you pass away. After you create a living trust, you transfer ownership of your property to the trust while still retaining control over it. This means that you can modify or revoke the trust at any time. However, when you pass away, the assets in the trust will be passed on to the beneficiaries you have specified.
Contact Losavio & DeJean, LLC Today To Learn More About Creating an Estate Plan
While the above documents are some of the more common parts of an estate plan, various other estate planning documents can also be added, including a power of attorney and even a HIPAA release form.
That is why, to better understand how estate planning can help you or what documents you should include in your estate plan, contact Losavio & DeJean, LLC today, and let us review your legal options