If property is held in your Louisiana estate at the time of your death, it will likely be subject to state probate laws. The probate process is used to determine how those assets should be distributed to beneficiaries. It may also be used to appoint a guardian for your children. If you die without a will, state law will typically determine who gets your belongings or who cares for your minor dependents.
Who typically inherits your things if you die intestate?
In many cases, your children will inherit a home, car or other property that was titled in your name at the time of your death. If you don’t have any adult children, your parents will likely be next in line to receive a portion of your estate. Alternatively, a sibling, cousin or more distant family member might obtain whatever was not accounted for in a will.
Who might be appointed to care for your children?
In most cases, the child’s other parent will be appointed as your son or daughter’s guardian. However, if that person is not capable of providing a stable home, a judge might ask an older sibling, grandparent or other family member to fill that role. In the event that a family member isn’t available to raise your child, he or she may be placed in the foster system.
Do you have a trust?
For some, trusts are more effective than wills when it comes to meeting their estate planning goals. If you have a trust, it may be possible to protect assets from creditors while also exercising greater control over where they go after you pass. This type of document can also be used to appoint a guardian for a minor in the event that you become incapacitated.
Ideally, you’ll create a will, trust or other estate plan documents the day that you become a legal adult. An attorney may be able to help you execute them in accordance with state law. Legal counsel may also review any plan documents that were executed at some point in the past.