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Estate planning: The merits of keeping some assets separate

There is an old adage that says don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. According to some financial experts, the same could be said about the assets of each spouse in a marriage. Louisiana residents who have tied the knot, don’t have to have all their assets tied together and estate planning can be reflective of that. Keeping some things separate might also be wise when planning for unforeseen events like divorce.

Keeping some assets separate in an estate plan could provide an extra safeguard in the event of a testator’s death. It may ensure beneficiaries’ inheritances are protected in the event a spouse remarries. Keeping some property separate ensures a testator maintains some control over that asset and to whom it should go after death. This separate property could constitute cash, any real estate, or investments made before marriage, or inheritances or gifts received during the marriage.

When wanting to separate property within a marriage, it might be best to confer with an experienced lawyer since there are ways that property — even when kept separate — could become marital property. For instance, if inheritance funds are placed into a joint bank account, they could become a joint asset. A lawyer will have a firm understanding of Louisiana laws and would guide a client accordingly.

There are many laws that govern estate planning. Going it alone might not be the most prudent decision. An experienced attorney may be able to explain complex issues like the benefits of keeping certain assets out of the marital pot and how to go about doing that within state laws. One of those ways may be having a postnuptial agreement drafted. In any case, a lawyer can review a client’s particular situation and make recommendations based on them. 

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