Wills & Successions
The Robichaux Law Firm, LLC offers legal services for wills and successions. We can assist you with the creation and amendment of wills, as well as the process of succession.
Louisiana has specific requirements that must be satisfied before a document may be considered a valid will. If a will is incorrectly drafted; it will be unenforceable and the deceased person’s assets will be distributed under Louisiana intestate law (as if no will existed). Creating a valid will is important in order to legally enforce a person’s preferences as to how their estate should be handled after death. In addition, a properly drafted will can ease the transition for survivors by transferring property quickly and avoiding many tax burdens.
Successions are the process by which a decedent’s assets will pass to his or her determined heirs. Successions are required under Louisiana law. It is important to hire an attorney that understands how to handle succession matters, properly informing heirs and creditors of the succession plan and how to protect the interest of business owners dealing with succession. A succession can occur without a will, in which case state laws in Louisiana will govern who inherits the estate.
Important Terms When Speaking With Your Inheritance Lawyer In Louisiana
When you enter the world of inheritances and estate planning in Louisiana, you will inevitably come across a slew of new terms that are unfamiliar to you. Before you decide on a wills and successions attorney to discuss your options with, you may find it helpful to familiarize yourself with the following terms and definitions:
- Will: A person’s will is a legal document specifying how they want their assets distributed after their death.
- Decedent: The person who has died.
- Beneficiaries: The friends or family members who will inherit assets from the decedent’s estate, either as directed in their will or as decided by the court.
- Estate: The sum of all a decedent’s assets, from real estate to bank accounts to personal belongings.
- Executor: A person assigned in a will to perform certain duties, such as inventorying the decedent’s assets, paying off all the estate’s final debts and taxes, filing any necessary lawsuits for any debt collection, and distributing all the assets to the intended beneficiaries.
- Administrator: A person who has been named by a court to administer an estate when someone has died without a valid will.
- Trust: An estate planning tool directing the ownership of particular assets to be transferred to a trustee, who will accept a fiduciary role in managing and distributing those assets for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries.
- Trustee: The person in the fiduciary role holding title to all the assets put into a trust. He or she will manage and eventually distribute those assets according to the trust’s terms upon its creation. A trustee can be an individual person but can also be a bank or a professional trust company.
- Fiduciary duty: The legal responsibility imposed upon a person by a will or trust that requires them to display the highest level of integrity when managing the assets that they have been entrusted with.
- Advance Medical Directive: The legal document wherein a person can name a certain individual to be entrusted with making their medical decisions for them if they are unable to do so; it also expresses the person’s wishes concerning the receipt or refusal of life-extending medical treatment.
The Importance Of Hiring An Experienced Wills And Successions Attorney In LA
The sections of Louisiana law that pertain to wills, successions, and inheritances are incredibly elaborate and difficult to understand. More than that, these laws are especially subject to ongoing change on an incredibly abrupt basis. As a result, you don’t just need an inheritance lawyer to assist you with ensuring that your will and other estate planning documents are in accordance with all the most recent laws. You also need professional help to make absolute sure that those documents stay in compliance with the law until the end of your life. Once you specify your final wishes in a legally valid will or estate plan, you need to keep working with your wills and successions attorney throughout the rest of your life.