Making The Complex

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Naming the right beneficiaries when estate planning in Louisiana

Most people plan their estates to make it easier for their loved ones. Louisiana residents who have been or who are considering an estate planning road map may wish to think twice when naming their beneficiaries. And it’s not just wise to name the right people, but it’s also important to keep planning documents up to date in order to have a comprehensive plan.

The only constant in life is change. Those changes should be reflective in an estate plan. Are beneficiaries still alive and have all the assets been listed? Is everything titled well, adhering to current life circumstances? Correct titling of an account may allow the estate to sidestep probate with assets going directly to beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries should be named for assets like a retirement plan (which usually is a surviving spouse if applicable). Also, not naming beneficiaries can be just as problematic as making mistakes in naming them. An estate could be awarded to a default beneficiary, which may not be in line with what the testator intended. Tax issues can also be avoided by naming proper beneficiaries.

There may also be other issues when it comes to beneficiaries such as naming minors or those who have special needs. A Louisiana attorney can clarify these estate planning issues more clearly so as not to cause loved ones added grief and anxiety. There are all kinds of ways in which to handle beneficiaries in an estate plan. Knowing what it legally appropriate will mean the difference between an all-encompassing plan that may run into few or no legal snags or a plan that spends months in legal limbo.


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