New Orleans Estate Planning & Successions Attorney
Successions & Estate Planning in Jefferson Parish
Estate planning is a process by which an individual arranges for the transfer of assets in anticipation of death. The purpose of estate planning is to preserve the maximum amount of wealth possible for your intended beneficiaries while still providing you with flexibility and control during life. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be wealthy in order to need an estate plan. Estate planning is critical to everyone's overall financial plan, especially if the individual is married, has children or grandchildren, or if they own any real estate property.
Your estate consists of the total property that you own, real and personal, and this includes your automobiles, cash in checking and savings accounts, household items, furniture, jewelry, and collectibles. With an estate plan, you can ensure that your financial goals are met after you die and that your family can enjoy financial security, which is a worthy endeavor no matter how large or small of an estate you have.
At Brown Weimer LLC, our New Orleans estate planning and succession attorneys
have over 30 years of collective experience assisting clients with every aspect of estate planning, succession and estate administration. Whether you need assistance managing your wealth through comprehensive estate planning, or if you need assistance with administrating an estate through succession proceedings, or if you are an interested party involved in a contested will or estate, we have the knowledge, tools and experience to provide you with superior legal representation with your matter.
An Introduction to Estate Planning
Everybody needs a will. A will clearly explains exactly where you want your assets to be distributed after you die. It is also the best vehicle to name guardians for your children. When you die without a will, which is called dying "intestate," it can be costly to your heirs and it leaves you with no say over who gets your assets. Even when you have a trust, you still need a will in order to address the disposition of property held outside of the trust.
Another valuable component to an estate plan is the trust. Trusts are legal mechanisms that allow you to place conditions on how your assets are distributed or used upon your death. For example, you can set aside funds that are to be used strictly for the purposes of paying for a grandchild's education. Trusts also allow you to reduce estate and gift taxes and they allow you to distribute assets automatically to heirs without the delay and expense of succession proceedings, which administers wills. Some trusts also offer greater protections against creditors and lawsuits. Other benefits of an estate plan include:
- You get to name a succession representative to administrate your estate.
- You can set aside funds for a special needs child without risking their government benefits.
- You can appoint an agent to make health care and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
- You can maximize your estate while reducing taxes as much as possible.
- You can improve your chances of Medicaid eligibility.
- You can ensure that you qualify for Medicaid while still passing down your legacy to your spouse and loved ones.
- You can plan for long-term nursing care while preserving your estate for future generations.
When someone passes away without an estate plan in place in Louisiana, their hard-earned assets are distributed according to Louisiana's intestate succession laws. However, a will can change the people who would inherit in the absence of a will, thereby making a will very powerful. A will can create a trust for grandchildren, special needs or spendthrift heirs; and for larger estates it can make provisions to save estate taxes. Regardless of the details of your situation, you should discuss it with an estate planning attorney from our firm to find out how we can help you maximize your estate and provide your loved ones with financial security.
Representing Succession Representatives
Louisiana laws are very different than any other state and Louisiana has very strict laws that govern where property goes after someone passes away. Succession is the process of settling a decedent's estate and distributing the decedent's property after their debts and taxes are paid.
This process is referred to probate in other states.
If you have been appointed as a succession representative, we urge you to speak with a New Orleans succession lawyer from our firm regarding your duties. With over 30 years of experience handling successions, we can guide you through every step of the estate administration process in order to streamline things for you and ensure that you carry out your duties effortlessly.
In addition to handling estate planning and successions (probate), we assist clients with will contests and estate litigation.
Will contests are not uncommon in succession proceedings, especially when there are questions over a "death bed will," undue influence or fraud. If you are having a problem with a contested will, we urge you to contact Brown Weimer LLC for assistance. We gladly offer free consultations to all prospective clients throughout New Orleans and Jefferson Parish and would be happy to help you gain insight and direction into your matter.
Please contact our firm today at (504) 662-1798 for further assistance with your estate planning, succession or estate litigation matter.