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Elder law: Will may offer protections useful to Louisiana estates

Estate plans often help individuals get their end-of-life affairs in order. However, some Louisiana residents may find aspects of elder law intimidating and feel uncertain as to what documents they should include in their plans. Often parties may believe that trusts could be the best option as they may help surviving family avoid probate, but a will may better suit some cases.

With a will, one of the main pros is that creating this document is cheaper than setting up a trust. Of course, there are many other aspects to consider as well, such as certain protections that could come along with a will. Because an estate will go through probate, the court has some authority. Though some individuals may think that court involvement may hinder the process, it may prove useful should any disputes or administration issues arise. 

Additionally, a will could help when it comes to potential creditors the deceased may have left behind. After a death, there is a 9-month period in which creditors could file a claim against the estate. However, if a notification of estate administration is published, that time frame is reduced to three months. Because a trust administration does not go through a publication, creditors would still have nine months to come forward.

Of course, there are pros and cons to each type of estate planning route; therefore, individuals may wish to find out more information about their options. Determining the best documents to utilize for specific needs could help individuals avoid potential complications. Speaking with experienced elder law attorneys could assist interested parties in creating the estate plans that work best for them.

Source: nwitimes.com, "Wills vs. trusts: some advice", Christopher Yugo, Jan. 15, 2017

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