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Estate Planning

What are your wishes for your family once you pass?  A will is instrumental in assuring your estate is distributed in accordance with you wishes.  Under Louisiana law, if you do not have a will, your estate will be transferred to certain classes of heirs under the Louisiana Laws of Intestacy.  You will have no say in which relatives inherit your possessions once you pass.

In order to ensure your loved ones are provided for in the future, a will may be necessary.  An example of a situation necessitating a will is when you have a significant other or friend who you would like to receive something when you die. Only relatives by blood or marriage will inherit from you if you do not have a will.

In order for a will to be valid, there are several formalities that one must abide by or the will can be challenged and may cause your estate to be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy.

Most people know that they need a will, however many people are not aware of the importance of a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a legal document that names a person to handle your financial and/or health affairs if you are unable to handle them yourself.  A Durable Power of Attorney controls even if you are disabled and have lost capacity, as defined by law.  Once you lose capacity, you are legally unable to name a person to handle your affairs and it is too late to make sure the person making decisions for you is someone you trust.

Another important document is a Living Will. A Living Will directs health care professions to adhere to your wishes regarding whether you want to be kept alive by artificial means and whether you want a feeding tube as one of those artificial measures.

In addition to a will, a trust may be a beneficial component to an estate plan.  In order to see if you can benefit from a trust, Mandeville attorney, Rachel C. Schmidt can evaluate your assets to determine an estate plan to protect your assets.

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