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Understanding elder law terms could help Louisiana residents plan

Leaving important estate planning decisions up to chance can cause considerable issues in the future. However, many individuals may feel intimidated by elder law proceedings because much of the phrasing relating to planning can seem confusing. Though Louisiana residents may understand certain terms, they may feel less certain as to what counts as part of their estates and how certain tools could be utilized. 

First of all, understanding a personal estate is vital to proper planning. All owned property and assets fall under an individual's estate. Real estate, bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, smaller items and any other personally owned property make up an estate. Additionally, the term "assets" could be used for items that could be used for the payments of any outstanding debts.

There are also several titles associated with various positions involved with the estate. A grantor is a person who creates a trust while an executor is an individual appointed to manage an estate. A beneficiary is an individual or institution who stands to benefit from a trust, insurance policy or will designation. Another position is a trustee, who is a party who manages the assets in a trust. 

In order to create a solid estate plan, it is important for individuals to understand the terms associated with the documents and tools they may need. Because there are numerous options, Louisiana residents may easily feel overwhelmed. Luckily, interested individuals can gain assistance from experienced attorneys who could explain needed information and ensure that parties fully understand the necessary aspects of elder law needed to complete their estate plans.

Source:, "Bonnie Kraham: Commonly used terms for elder law estate planning", Bonnie Kraham, Feb. 23, 2017

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