If you have yet to set up a Louisiana estate plan, your main reason probably is because you think you do not need one. After all, you are not a particularly wealthy person, and only wealthy people need estate plans. Right? Wrong.

FindLaw explains that virtually every family needs a good estate plan. Why? Because if you fail to at least execute a Last Will and Testament, the State of Louisiana will determine who receives your assets when you die regardless of whether or not those distributions are the one you would have made yourself.

Estate planning benefits

Your estate plan can and should, however, settle more issues than just who will inherit from you. For instance, you likely will want your plan to include several if not all of the following legal documents:

  • Your Last Will and Testament specifying not only your heirs and what you want them to receive, but also who you want to care for your minor child(ren) in the event that you and your spouse die before they reach majority
  • Your health care directive, often called a medical power of attorney, stating which medical procedures you want and do not want when hospitalized and who you want to carry out your wishes if you cannot make your preferences known yourself due to your injuries, illness or incapacity
  • One or more living trusts for the benefit of yourself, your spouse, your children, your favorite charity, etc.
  • One or more tuition plans for the benefit of your child(ren)’s future education

Keep in mind that you can change and update all of your estate planning documents except for any irrevocable trust(s) you establish as your needs and those of your family change over time.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.