Useful Information For Estate Planning WRITTEN BY CHRISTIE TOURNET
ESTATE PLANNING INVOLVES
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more than having a Will. An estate plan should include: Last Will. Yes, this is usually the main component of your estate plan. Careful attention should be devoted to wording and consequencesâ€“especially in Louisiana with usufruct and forced heirship concerns. Further, your Will should be consistent with your intentions for transferring non-probate (IRA, life insurance) assets. In addition, parents of minor children need to consider Guardianship and Trustee appointments. Durable Power of Attorney (POA). Arguably, this is the most critical component of your plan for your lifetime. The POA allows another person to act on your behalf (it does not take authority away from you), especially if disability or illness later prevents you from acting. The POA can also prevent your family from filing an interdiction. Beneficiary Designations. Many of your assets, like retirement accounts, can pass to heirs without a Willâ€™s direction. Thus, maintain primary and contingent beneficiary designations that align with the other aspects of your plan. Letter of Intent/Ethical Will. This document can be extremely useful in clarifying your legal documents. You can better direct your Executor (for example, where sentimental items should go), you can point loved ones to a list of assets and accounts, and you can share life lessons. A Living Will or Advance Directive. This document allows you to state your wishes about withholding or withdrawing artificial, life-sustaining measures when you are terminally and irreversibly ill or are in a continual comatose state and you can no longer make your own decisions. An estate plan considers more than simply dividing assets. And while having a Will is a good place to start, it is important to consider the other estate planning tools.
Christie Tournet & Associates, LLC, provides estate planning, estate administration and commercial law services. The practice is located at 1795 W. Causeway Approach, Suite 103A in Mandeville. 985-951-2177, tournetlaw.com.