People don’t generally talk about death. It’s upsetting, unpleasant to think about, and usually an inappropriate topic of conversation. So, we avoid it. That’s funny in a way because none of us are getting out of this place alive. Bearing down and forcing yourself to think about what happens is actually a very smart move for you and your family.
For those people that like allowing the State to make major life decisions for them, Louisiana (like all states) has conveniently passed laws that provide directions if someone dies without a will – it’s a government one-size-fits-all default will. If you happen to die unmarried, with no children and with little to no assets, then the State’s will might do just fine – if you really don’t care what happens after you’ve moved on.
However, if you are married, if you have children, or if you have money and property that you care about, it is very possible that you will not like the Louisiana default will. The family you leave behind may like it even less. Dying without a will may lead to costly and unexpected effects to your relatives. Investing a small amount of time, money, and effort now could prevent an unhappy outcome for your loved ones. Confronting the reality of death – difficult as that naturally is – and putting your affairs in order may be a major benefit to your family. It may also offer you the peace of mind of knowing you have taken care of them.
So, why bother making a last will and testament in Louisiana? This series will take on the dreaded death discussion and will provide seven answers to that question. The fundamental answers are:
Answer 1 – Money! Do you want to leave anything to your spouse? Well, if you have kids or grandkids but you fail to execute a will, your spouse will own none of your property.
Answer 2 – Children! Don’t you want a plan for who will take care of your young children?
Answer 3 – Trust! Do you want to protect the money and property you leave to your young children?
Answer 4 – Control! Do you want to try to avert your estate falling into chaos?
Answer 5 – Choice! Do you want to leave anything to a non-family member, like a caregiver or a charity?
Answer 6 – Taxes! Do you want to make sure you minimize potential taxes so that your heirs take as much as possible?
Answer 7 – Timing! All these decisions have to be made in the living years.
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* The content of this page is for informational purposes only. It does not serve as legal advice and should not be taken as such. There is nothing published on this website that is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. If you have a legal issue, you should consult with a licensed attorney directly.