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Making The Complex Understandable

Discussing probate may lessen elder law fears in Louisiana

When deciding what to do with an estate, many Louisiana residents may wonder whether they should plan in hopes of having their family avoid probate. Though some individuals may prefer this option, avoiding probate proceedings is not a necessity, and the process may not be as intimidating as many parties fear. However, individuals may wish to discuss their options with an elder law attorney.

For those who do want to avoid probate, they may wish to create their estate plans utilizing trusts. The assets that are in a trust go through distribution at the appropriate time -- much like with a will -- but the trust does not have to go through probate proceedings in order for administration to occur. Other options for getting assets directly to surviving family members are adding heirs names to accounts and transferring deeds.

If avoiding probate is not a main goal, individuals may be happy with simply creating their wills. A will is a valuable planning tool and allows people to name an executor who would be in charge of estate administration. Additionally, rather than focusing on avoiding probate, some individuals may wish to find out more about their options for lessening the likelihood of probate litigation after their deaths. Clauses and other steps could be taken as precautions for such potential outcomes. 

There are various pros and cons of the probate process, and Louisiana residents may want to ensure that they have the correct information about such proceedings before deciding that they want to avoid it. Some people may benefit from avoiding probate while it may not have much impact for others. Therefore, interested parties may wish to discuss their circumstances with experienced elder law attorneys who could offer assistance during the decision-making process.

Source: usnews.com, "Will Your Heirs End Up in Probate Court?", Maryalene LaPonsie, Jan. 27, 2017

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