If you die without a will, your estate will likely be subject to Louisiana intestacy laws. This means that assets will typically be given to your children, parents or other family members whether they were intended to receive them or not. It’s also possible that your spouse will inherit your home, car or other property.
A will could be invalidated
The fact that you have a will doesn’t mean that your final wishes will be respected. A judge may agree to invalidate your final will and testament in part or in whole if there is reason to believe that it wasn’t created in accordance with state law. Your will may be invalidated if you didn’t have sufficient signatures or there is evidence that it was created while under duress. In such a scenario, state law may be used to determine how your estate is allocated.
You can sell items ahead of time
If you want your children to take over a family business, it may be worthwhile to sell or otherwise transfer ownership before you die. This can help to ensure that your succession plan is carried out without a lot of drama. It also minimizes the risk that they wouldn’t be allowed to take ownership after your passing for any reason.
Trusts can bypass intestacy laws
Property that is held in a trust is typically considered to be held outside of your estate. Therefore, anything held in its name will not be subject to intestacy laws. Instead, it will be distributed or retained as per any instructions that you left behind. It is worth noting that a living trust evolves into an irrevocable document after you pass away.
Ideally, you will review your estate plan documents routinely throughout your lifetime. Doing so may ensure that they are structured properly and reflect your true intentions. Routine planning sessions also provide you with an opportunity to determine if documents need to be added, edited or removed while you are of sound mind to do so.