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A will is an important estate planning document, and yet the majority of Americans don’t have one. It’s a document that will help ensure your estate wishes are respected. A will also protects your legacy and ensures your loved ones are taken care of when you’re no longer around. If you’ve not yet prepared a will, there are essential benefits to doing so.

Minimizing Taxes and Probate Expenses

A carefully crafted will can help minimize or even eliminate estate taxes. Credit shelter and other trusts are particularly helpful in lowering probate expenses and helping your loved ones avoid the worst of the estate taxes. 

Living or Revocable Trusts

A revocable living trust can be a useful planning tool, but is most effective in limited circumstances. The nuances of Louisiana succession law often limit some of the benefits that most other states can take advantage of. If you are considering a revocable or a living trust it is important to work with an attorney who understands the tax implications of such a plan and can explain the complexities of managing a trust. All too often clients some to me with a revocable trust for a family member that was not structured correctly or was not managed. After spending thousands of dollars on an estate plan that falls short many families are upset with the end result. Before spending several thousand dollars on a revocable trust talk to another experienced attorney, look past the song and dance, and find out if there may not be a more effective way to accomplish your estate planning goals. 

Ensuring Proper Distribution of Assets

If you don’t have a will, state laws called intestacy laws are the ones that determine how your property is divided. This could potentially lead to issues for your loved ones. 

When you clearly outline your wishes in a will, you ensure that your assets go to the right people. Not only does this allow you to have your wishes respected, but it also helps loved ones avoid conflicts and lengthy disputes. In instances when there are minor children, having a will protects their interests. 

Appointing a Guardian for Minor Children

If you have a child who is still a minor, having a will ensures that you appoint the right guardian to care for them in the event of your death. The court has the final say in guardianship, but if you leave your wishes in a will, the court will take your wishes into serious consideration. 

Appointing an Executor

In a will, you can appoint the person you want to manage your estate affairs after your death. They can help distribute your assets according to your wishes, pay taxes, handle debts, and much more.

By naming the executor in the will, you know the person managing your estate is trustworthy. You don’t burden loved ones who don’t want to be tasked with this. But it is important to know that by naming someone in a will as an executor that is merely a request. They have no actual authority until properly appointed by a Court through a succession proceeding.

Facilitating Charitable Giving

If you have a cause dear to your heart and would like to leave money to it, you can allocate these funds more easily. This not only allows you to help, but it also provides some tax benefits for your estate. 

Taking Care of Pets

If you have pets, you want to make sure they end up in the care of someone who will properly look after them. In your will, you can stipulate who you want to have them as well as any allowances you wish to make for their upkeep. 

Protecting Digital Assets

It’s not just your money and physical assets you have to worry about, but your digital assets, too. You have online purchases, like music, websites, and images, that can disappear if you don’t account for them in the will. 

Consider your emails and social media, too. Do you want the information there lost or safeguarded?

Safeguarding Your Legacy With a Will

No one wants to think about a time when they’re no longer there to protect their loved ones and manage their estates, but preparing for this inevitability is essential. One of the best ways to do this is by preparing a will

Call Kallio Law Firm today to schedule a consultation and let me put together a sound estate plan that meets your planning goals. It shouldn’t cost you your life savings to protect your life savings. Serving Prairieville, Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area.