There are things most people would like to keep private. Estate planning is likely one of them. There are ways to keep estate plans private in Louisiana. The first thing to know is the differences between wills and trust-based estate plans. Wills have to go through the probate process and, as such, become public record once they're filed in probate court, and that means anyone can go in and ask to see the contents of any will on record.
Making the decision to write an estate plan is a wise one. However, Louisiana residents who have made that decision would be well-advised of a few potential faux pas to steer clear of when in the throes of estate planning. No one likes to plan for his or her demise, but to minimize the impact on family members, doing it the right way is crucial.
Prior to this year, financial planning during divorce was fueled by the alimony deduction. That all changed for divorces finalized after 2018 with new laws prohibiting payors of alimony -- including those in Louisiana -- from deducting those payments on their tax returns at the federal level. Essentially, this means, although the person paying alimony will owe more taxes, he or she may pay less alimony, while the payee won't be taxed on those payments but may receive less in support payments, and there are still ways to minimize taxes.
One of the most important things people want to accomplish when writing their estate plans is to keep the family peace. There is nothing that may cause Louisiana parents more upset than to think their estate planning decisions have caused a rift among their children. One of the best ways parents may be able to keep everyone happy -- in addition to having a comprehensive estate plan -- is to have open and honest conversations with children who will inherit their assets.
There are many things of which people should be aware when sitting down to plan their estates. Having some knowledge of how a revocable trust may benefit them is just one of the questions that might be pondered. Louisiana residents ought to know how these trusts could help them to pass their assets on to their beneficiaries.
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.