Lake Charles Estate Planning & Succession Lawyer

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Lake Charles Estate Planning & Succession Lawyer

Lake Charles Estate Planning & Succession Attorney

Successions are usually new experiences for most people. Many individuals do not realize the complicated nature of estate planning or succession until they attempt to go through the process themselves. Working with an attorney through this process can lessen feelings of frustration and stress. A Lake Charles estate planning & succession lawyer can help prepare a personalized estate plan to make the succession process easier and faster for your loved ones.
Lake Charles Estate Planning & Succession Lawyer

Why Is an Estate Plan Helpful?

An estate plan is an extremely important document. While most people only think of wills, there are other parts of an estate plan that can help others make decisions for you and your estate, including:

  • Power of attorney. If you become unable to manage yourself or your estate, it is a good idea to appoint another individual to make these decisions for you. The owner of an estate can assign a trusted individual to a medical power of attorney, a financial power of attorney, or both. This person can make decisions on future medical treatment and help manage the estate by paying bills and making sure finances are in order.
  • Living will. A living will is another important document that outlines your wishes in the event that you become incapacitated. You can make decisions about end-of-life care in advance so that your family or loved ones can confidently choose what to do if you are unable to communicate your last wishes.
  • Trusts. There are some elements of an estate plan that can speed up the transfer process upon your death. While assets covered in a will must go through succession, assets held in a trust can be directly transferred to heirs without going through this process. Trusts can also be helpful if you want to add certain conditions on assets for individual heirs.

Even if you already have an estate plan, many individuals do not realize that they should be updated on a regular basis, especially if there have been significant life changes since the plan was drafted. If you have gotten married, divorced, or had children since creating your estate plan, consider revisiting it with an attorney to make sure that it still fits your needs.

What Is Succession?

Succession is the legal process of executing a will. Typically, one individual is appointed to facilitate this process. They are usually called the executor of a will or a personal representative. This individual must gather a thorough inventory of all the assets in an estate and notify all creditors that the individual has died so that they can collect any debts that are owed.

Once all debts on an estate are paid, then the will must be carried out and any remaining assets must be distributed to the beneficiaries in the manner that is outlined in the will. After this process, the estate is closed out. Depending on the size of the estate, this process could be expedited or avoided entirely.

Are There Alternatives to Succession?

Succession is often a long and complicated process, so many individuals ask about alternatives to this process. One way to lessen the burden of succession for your heirs is by establishing a living trust. By creating a living trust, you can make certain assets are not subject to the succession process. Even if you create a trust, however, there are certain assets that must go through succession.

If an estate is small, there might be a way to avoid succession through Louisiana’s Small Succession Affidavit. Once this form is completed and submitted to the court, then the assets in an estate can be passed down to heirs. While this might be a viable alternative for some, it is only available for estates where the owner did not create a will before their death. This is also known as “dying intestate.”

Certain estates might also benefit from strategies to expedite the succession process. For more information on what tactics might work for a particular estate, contact an estate planning attorney.

FAQs

Q: What Does a Louisiana Succession Lawyer Do?

A: A Louisiana succession lawyer can help guide you through the long and often complicated process of succession. There are many detailed laws surrounding succession, and an attorney can make sure that you follow all the rules when executing an individual’s will. There are strict deadlines that are required for a succession, and missing these dates can lead to additional setbacks and headaches.

Q: What Is the Difference Between Estate Planning and Succession Planning?

A: Succession planning typically involves the creation or maintenance of a will that goes through the succession process upon your death. However, there are assets that do not go through succession that can be addressed in an estate plan. An estate plan is a more comprehensive document that can cover additional things like trusts, power of attorney, and more. For assistance in developing your estate plan, consider working with an estate planning attorney.

Q: Why Does Succession Take So Long?

A: Successions can take a long time if there are challenges to an estate or if an individual’s estate is complicated and takes a long time to resolve. Other issues come up if an attorney is having trouble notifying heirs mentioned in the will. In Lake Charles, Louisiana, if a certain parish has more cases to evaluate than others, it can also result in the succession process taking longer. For more information on how long a succession might take, work with a Lake Charles succession attorney.

Q: Do I Need a Louisiana Trust if I Have a Will?

A: It might not be necessary to have a trust if you have a will, especially if your estate is small. If an estate is small enough, it might be able to skip the succession process. However, estates that are more complicated or of a higher value can benefit from a trust. Trusts can help maintain privacy because they are not public records. They can also help when assigning parts of an estate to children of a previous marriage or adding conditions to certain elements of an estate.

Receive Personalized Assistance for Your Estate Plan

Estate planning might seem overwhelming at first, but it can be made more manageable with the help of an estate planning attorney. Creating a comprehensive estate plan in advance can help your loved ones with succession in the future. To learn more about how an estate planning attorney can help plan your future, schedule a consultation with Sanchez Burke, LLC, today.

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