Many people here in Louisiana want to protect as much of their assets as possible to pass down to future generations. However, one aspect of estate planning that many do not think about initially is how taxes on one's estate will affect the final outcome. The following discusses estate tax laws for the Bayou State as well as federal tax laws for tax planning purposes.
Louisiana readers who have worked hard to build wealth, earn a decent living and save for retirement often overlook the importance of planning for long-term financial and legal needs. Estate planning is a critical step for people of all income levels, including those who do not consider themselves wealthy or those who do not own any assets that are exceptionally valuable. One of the main benefits of taking this step is that it allows a person to have control over what happens to his or her property in the future.
Writing an estate plan can be a bit confusing. There are a lot of terms that likely aren't too clear, but having some knowledge about what they mean may make estate planning decisions for Louisiana residents much easier and less time-consuming. For instance, many people might not be aware of what an AB trust is in an estate plan. An A trust is sometimes referred to as a marital trust or a marital deduction trust, while a B trust is sometimes called a bypass, credit shelter or family trust.
Loved ones usually expect to be included in a close family member's will. But in certain situations an inheritance is neither expected, nor wanted. Most Louisiana residents don't realize this during their estate planning, but there are things a beneficiary can do when he or she doesn't want to accept an inheritance -- even a surviving spouse.
Writing an estate plan is necessary, but can also be confusing. It can be doubly so when that estate planning happens after a divorce. But with knowledge comes wisdom and divorced Louisiana residents need to have comprehensive estate plans that speak to many important issues. Residents who already have estate plans, should revise them after a separation or a divorce.
Not all people who have estate plans were in the best frame of mind when creating the various documents that go into those plans. In Louisiana for estate planning documents to be legally binding, the person must be of sound mind. In other words, they must have the mental capacity to understand what it is that is being written and what they are signing. People can have off days, it's true, and the matter of capacity is more important for certain documents like wills.
Let's face it, everyone gets older, and sooner or later everyone may need some help managing life. Some may need more help than others and so Medicaid planning is essential in case the future holds taking up residence in a nursing home or a long-term care facility or if help may be needed for aging Louisiana residents to stay in their own homes. In order to be considered for Medicaid, a person has to meet certain criteria.
Entrepreneurs are busy people and usually don't have the time to think about unforeseen events, especially their own deaths or retirements. However, if Louisiana business owners don't do some estate planning regarding how their businesses can outlive them or live without them at the helm, chances are they won't be able to survive for long. Planning for a transition in ownership is crucial if a business is to continue on for many years.
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.
Estate plans are vitally important for every adult. But it is particularly important for women in Louisiana to give the estate planning process some consideration. Many women don't pause to take stock of their financial lives. Many dismiss that part of their lives altogether, or leave it up to a spouse or a partner. Experts say that is a mistake.