Livingston Parish Wills Lawyer

Livingston Parish Wills Lawyer

Livingston Parish Wills Attorney

Estate planning is an effective way for individuals to plan for their estate’s future and provide financial security for their loved ones. For beneficiaries to receive the benefits of establishing a will, the document must be legally enforceable. It must also address potential issues such as will contests to ensure your wishes are followed after your death. The most effective way to make a strong and enforceable will and estate plan is to work with a Livingston Parish wills lawyer.

Complex estate planning can provide many benefits and protections. Even a simple estate plan that consists of a will can be beneficial for your estate and your family. Although a will does not prevent assets from entering probate court, it can make probate go more quickly when done correctly.

At Magnolia Law, we have proudly helped individuals and families in our community plan for their future. An estate plan, which can include trusts, powers of attorney, and other documents, can protect an individual during their life and give their loved ones more benefits after their death. Our knowledgeable attorneys help you determine what you need from an estate plan and help you draft the proper documents to meet those needs.

We know it can be overwhelming to plan for your future. We work to ease the process and help you feel confident in the will and estate plan created. We can help you create a will that is enforceable in court and will distribute your assets the way you want.

Understanding the Purpose of a Will

A will is a document that provides legal instructions for the distribution of the assets in your estate. When done properly, a will can determine the heirs to your estate and safeguard the needs of your family. A will can address specific issues for your estate, including:

  • Determining the executor who will manage and distribute your estate in probate
  • Limiting the success of will contests
  • Providing terms for contingencies, such as the death of an heir

Without an established will, your assets will still enter probate after your death, but they will be distributed according to intestate succession laws. In many cases, these laws do not reflect how you want your estate distributed.

It is important that your will is legally valid, or it will be as if you didn’t take the time to make a will at all. If the probate court finds your will invalid or an interested party contests your will, which is then voided, your estate will then be distributed according to intestate succession laws.

Who Benefits from a Will in Livingston Parish?

Some people believe that wills and estate planning are only necessary if you have a significant number of assets. This isn’t the case. If you have any assets, you can benefit from drafting a will. It gives you control over your estate past your death and enables you to provide benefits to family members and organizations.

Wills are also important for individuals who:

  • Are married
  • Have children
  • Have a family member or heir with special needs

A will can benefit nearly any individual who owns assets.

Louisiana Intestate Law

Without a will, your estate is subject to intestacy laws. If you are married, community and separate property are distributed differently. Community property is any property gained during the marriage, while separate property is anything owned prior to marriage or after separation. Individuals who are not married do not have any community property.

Community property is distributed according to these guidelines under intestate laws:

  • If you are survived by children or grandchildren, they will inherit half of the community property, and a surviving spouse will retain their one other half. The surviving spouse will have ownership through a usufruct, which is the right to use the property without having full ownership. The usufruct ends if the surviving spouse remarries.
  • If you do not have any surviving descendants, your surviving spouse will inherit all community property.

Distribution of separate property is managed according to these guidelines:

  • If you are survived by children or grandchildren, these descendants inherit separate property with full ownership.
  • If you have no descendants, then your siblings or their descendants inherit the property. If you have surviving parents, there is a usufruct in favor of your parent. If you have no surviving parents, your siblings have full ownership.
  • If you have no surviving descendants, siblings, or parents, your surviving spouse inherits full ownership of your separate property.
  • If none of the prior relations are alive, your separation property is inherited by your closest collateral relative.

Intestate law attempts to provide your property to any person you are related to before the state retains ownership. However, there are still situations where your estate could be inherited by the state. By creating a will, you can ensure that the heirs you want to benefit from your assets will do so. There are many reasons why you may not want your estate to be subject to intestate succession laws, and you need a legally valid will to avoid that.

The Importance of a Wills Lawyer

Although it is possible to draft a will without the aid of an attorney, it may be a waste of your time and resources. If your will is not found to be valid, then it will be voided in probate court, and your estate will follow succession laws.

A will lawyer knows how state and local laws impact the drafting of a will and knows how to make it legally enforceable. If you are worried that heirs or interested parties will try to contest the validity of your will, an attorney can provide potential solutions, such as creating trusts, no-contests clauses, and other estate planning tools. By working with a qualified attorney, you can feel confident that the time you put into creating your estate plan is worthwhile.

An attorney can also help you determine if your estate will enter probate court and whether it is beneficial to avoid probate through specific estate planning documents. Your attorney can help you create a unique estate plan and draft a will that protects your estate.

Contact an Experienced Wills Lawyer in Livingston Parish

At Magnolia Law, we can help you create an effective and enforceable will. It’s important to plan for the distribution of your estate sooner rather than later, and it can give you peace of mind that your interests are protected. Contact our team today to see how we can help you navigate estate planning.