Having an estate plan is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. Creating a plan that’ll be valid in court and can protect your loved ones for years must adhere to all legal and procedural requirements in Louisiana. Unfortunately, many myths about wills and probate exist that can make the process more confusing or even cause you to fumble with your plans.
A will is enough for everything
A common misconception about wills is that it is enough to cover all of your estate planning needs. While this may be true for some, it’s not always the case. Louisiana requires a will as part of an overall estate plan, but you’ll need additional documents like power of attorney and living trusts to fully protect your assets and guarantee that everything goes according to plan after you pass away.
You must notarize your will
Even though it is very important to have a state-authorized individual registered with the Secretary of State’s Office to notarize your will, it is not always required. Louisiana probate courts can still use your will if your two witnesses can attest to its creation, signatures and date of signing.
You can always avoid probate
Probate is an inevitable process that must occur after someone passes away if they haven’t created an estate plan or trust before their death. It’s impossible to avoid probate completely because it serves as a way for creditors to make claims against your estate and for your executor to distribute your assets according to your will. However, you can make this process easier by creating a comprehensive estate plan before you pass away so that everything is already taken care of.
Executors cannot be beneficiaries
This is not true. There are no laws in Louisiana that prevent executors from being beneficiaries of the estate they are administering. This can be beneficial if the executor is a close friend or relative as it allows them to benefit while also fulfilling their duties.
Creating an estate plan and understanding the probate process in Louisiana is essential for anyone who wants to make succession easier for their loved ones. By debunking these four myths, you will gain an understanding of what’s required, allowing you to make informed decisions about your future and your loved ones.