When you pass, any assets held in your Louisiana estate will need to be distributed. Assets that were given beneficiary designations will also be distributed per the instructions written on such a form. If you have a trust, property can either be retained within it or given to other parties depending on what best meets your needs.
How assets are distributed if you have a will
If you have a will, any property mentioned in the document will be allocated per your instructions. For instance, you could dictate that a vacation home goes to your adult child while an art collection goes to your best friend or to a local museum.
How are assets allocated if you don’t have a will?
In the event that you die intestate, your estate will be distributed in accordance with state law. Typically, your spouse will inherit the majority of your property while your children, siblings or parents will inherit the rest.
What happens if a beneficiary designation is invalidated?
If a proper beneficiary designation has been made, assets such as bank accounts or retirement accounts can be transferred without the need for probate. Therefore, they can be ideal estate planning tools for those who don’t want to create living trusts. However, if a beneficiary designation form is invalidated, assets will likely revert to your estate.
Why can trust assets be retained after your death?
A trust is considered to be an entity that is separate from your estate. As a trust doesn’t die, there is no need to distribute property held in its name when you pass. However, you can direct the trustee to take such action when you pass, and if all assets are transferred from the trust to other parties, it will likely be dissolved.
Having a comprehensive estate plan may make it easier to ensure that your affairs are settled in a timely manner. It may also help to ensure that children or pets are properly cared for when you are no longer able to be there for them.