- Date 21 May 2017
ABOUT THIS PRACTICE
Because good health and longevity of life is so uncertain, it is important that everyone has a plan to protect their assets. Estate planning is the process of getting your affairs in order before the inevitable happens. Proper estate planning is essential if you wish to play an active role in your healthcare and the distribution of your assets upon your death.
In Louisiana, if you pass away without a Will, Louisiana law will determine how your estate will be divided among your heirs. In order for your assets to be distributed according to your wishes, you must have a properly executed Will. Due to the complexities of creating a valid Will, the fact that Louisiana is a community property state and the only state that has forced heirship laws, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney to assist you in preparing a valid Will.
SUCCESSIONS & PROBATES
The succession and probate process is used to transfer ownership of the decedent’s assets to his or her heirs or legatees. If the decedent left a valid Will, it will need to be probated in a court of law so that the named legatees can be placed into legal ownership of the property left to them. If the decedent had no Will, Louisiana law, through a succession proceeding, will determine how the decedent’s assets will be distributed.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY
A power of attorney is a document that you sign which gives another person, known as your “agent”, the authority to act on your behalf under certain circumstances. This document can be as limited or as general as the need may be; however, it is an important document to have in place, whether the need is current or at some unknown time in the future. If you do not have a power of attorney in place prior to becoming incapacitated, your family may be limited in their ability to assist you medically, financially, or otherwise, and you may therefore be at the mercy of the court during an interdiction proceeding to determine what relative will be the best person to oversee your affairs. This is a costly and burdensome proceeding that can be avoided by having a power of attorney in place.
Medical directive statements are legal documents that allow a person to make decisions about his/her own health care in advance of an incapacity. A person has the right to make his/his own health care decisions, however, in some situations, such as dementia, coma, stroke, etc., the person might not have the ability to understand their options or communicate their desires. If you desire to make known your health care wishes should you become incapacitated, it is recommended that you complete a medical directive statement in advance of a medical emergency.
Again, life and health are uncertain. If you do not want to leave your family burdened with tough medical and financial decisions as well as the headache that can sometimes come with distribution of a person’s estate, do not procrastinate with getting your affairs in order. Pitre Law Firm has the experience needed to guide you through your estate planning process allowing you to continue your days with a certain peace of mind knowing that all your wishes and desires are clearly laid out and that those you seek to speak on your behalf have been given the legal authority to do so. Let us give you the representation you need! Call today for a FREE consultation!