Wills, Trusts & Successions

Question: Do I Need a Will?

Answer: Everyone needs a will.


Joshua S. Guillory, A Lafayette, Louisiana, Estate Planning Lawyer That You Can Count On

Those who have children or a spouse who depend on them know the importance of planning. However, preparing for the future is not limited to such individuals. The area of "estate planning" encompasses many areas of law, to include wills, trusts, special needs trusts, probate and successions.

We plan so that we are better prepared for the future. Should something happen expectantly, you would likely want to know that your medical decisions were carried out in a manner desirable to you, your family is taken care of, and your estate is distributed the specific way that you wished.

Wills

Many people ask, "Do I need a will?"

Wills are not simply for the rich or for those who have a lot of property. Wills allow for your estate to be distributed according to your wishes and intent. If you do not have a valid will, your assets will be distributed by a judge after you pass away.

A will is also important if you have young or disabled children. You can specify who you wish to take care of your child if you are no longer able to do so. A will can simply provide you with control and peace of mind as it pertains to your future and the future of your family.

Trusts

Trusts may be of benefit in situations where a person can no longer take care of his property or when a minor is involved who cannot take care of his property. A trust can be created during life, which is called an "inter vivos trust." A trust can also be created as of the time of death in which the trust is referred to as a "testamentary trust." All trusts that are not testamentary trusts are inter vivos trusts regardless of the time of creation.

Special Needs Trusts

People who have disabled children or spouses may be subject to being required to "spend down" their assets to qualify for state or federal assistance.

Special needs trusts allow you to avoid spending down your assets, which allows a better quality of life for your disabled child or spouse without jeopardizing government benefits.

Probate And Succession

Being named executor of a will is a great responsibility. An executor may have many questions throughout the process of opening probate and administrating the estate. For example, an executor must identify assets and accounts, transfer title to legal heirs, and liquidate assets to pay outstanding debts.

Some successions involve real estate. The legal requirements and documents for title transfer can be complex when real estate is involved.

To discuss your estate planning or probate matter with a dependable Lafayette attorney, call us at 337-233-1303. You may also contact our office by clicking on the "contact us" tab at the top of the website.