If an individual dies before he or she is able to create a will, any property or assets from that individual's estate will be divided according to the laws of Louisiana. The individual's surviving spouse, children, parents and other loved ones will have no say in the matter. They will simply be subject to the distribution of property and assets under the laws of the land. Since our state is a community property state, any property owned jointly by a married couple will then transfer in full to the surviving spouse upon the other spouse's death. Separate property will usually be divided between the surviving spouse and any surviving children, while assets which do not have beneficiary designation, will be required to go through probate before being distributed.
Individuals, who want to have a certain portion of their estate go to specific family members or loved ones upon their death, are going to need to take the time to prepare a will before their passing. Having a valid will in place is the only truly effective way to direct the distribution of your assets and see to it that your estate is distributed as you wish. If you have minor children, estate planning can help you establish guardianship for your children so that they will have a guardian you can count on to tend to their needs and provide them with the level of care you want them to have. Without a will, the court will be forced to decide who will become your child's legal guardian and it may not be the family member, loved one or other individual you want entrusted with their upbringing.
I am a Baton Rouge estate planning attorney who has helped countless individuals and families ease their worries and quell their concerns about what will happen when they die. If you are worried about providing for your loved ones or establishing guardianship for your children in the event of your death, I can help. Call the Law Office of Wendra J. Moran today so that I can review your estate, discuss your objectives and concerns, then advise you of the estate planning tools best suited to your needs. I understand that preparing a will is not necessarily something you may want to do at this point in your life, but it is something you need to do before it is too late. Let me provide you, your family and your loved ones with the peace of mind which can only be obtained by estate planning.