I met with a gentleman yesterday and he told me when I asked him what was most important that he accomplish. He said he wanted two things. He wanted to:
1) Avoid taxes when he passed away, and;
2) He wanted to avoid probate
Those were his concerns. We always ask people what they want. Everybody gives us a different answer, but that was his answer. So we accomplished both. We avoided taxes. That one was actually pretty easy because we have this estate tax exemption and he wanted to avoid estate tax. Currently, and possibly even in 2013 and beyond, if the law stays the same, you can only leave $1 million free of estate tax. We added up everything that he had and it was safely under $ 1 million dollars so just by that very nature there's not going to be any tax. So he asked if he had to do anything. I told him, “No, you don't have to do anything. What you have is under $1 million so there's not going to be any tax."
Regarding the probate, he had some property; he had some real estate (several different tracts). He had been through a difficult probate before so to allow him to avoid probate we're setting up a Revocable Living trust and putting his property in there so that trustee that he named will be able to handle it immediately after he passes away without having to go through the courts or probate or succession stuff that families have to go through when a family member dies with something in their name.
So be aware it can be that simple to avoid probate and avoid taxes. Sometimes it’s simple; sometimes it's not so simple. Our job is to make it simple. If you have any questions you can call us 866-491-3884. Have a great day
There's quite a bit local, state, and national press about how to make it simple for your surviving family members through setting up a Living Trust to avoid probate. This is not another one of those "on the surface" articles that simply advocates getting a revocable living trust to avoid probate. I'd like to take this opportunity to "dig deeper" so that you REALLY know what you need to do to make it simple for your loved ones when you die, and avoid the stress, confiscation, drudgery, months/years delay that other families go through when the well-thought-through plan is not perfectly in place when you need it most.
For those of you wanting to keep things as simple and private as you can for your spouse, children, or other loved ones, you'll want to consider using a Revocable Living Trust as the vehicle to manage and control your assets during your lifetime, and then provide for a seamless transition of what you own when you die - leaving a legacy behind and enriching your treasured family relationships.
I met and was working with a nice woman today. Her husband died a while back and she had to go through a Louisiana Succession in order to sell her home and move into a new condo she is renting. She said the Succession was a lengthy experience.
She wanted to set up her affairs so that when she died there would be no Succession or probate. Funny thing was that she and her husband had set up a living trust before her husband died. The home, however, was not in the trust.
The couple had named a bank as the trustee of their trust to handle the trust investments. The problem was the trust instrument stated that after the couple dies, the trust assets are payable to the executor of the estate - this will require a Succession which is what she is trying to avoid.
While our new client was in our office, we called the Trust Department of the Corporate Trustee who agreed that we need to "merge" the provisions of her Will and her Trust so that all dispositive provisions are in her trust eliminating the need for a Louisiana Succession when she dies.
So we are helping her accomplish her wishes of providing for the disposition of her estate while eliminating the necessity of a Succession at her death.
Louisianian's left and right are asking about the revocable living trust. So much so that it appears that the revocable living trust is now the new "Last Will."
Traditionally, people would go to an attorney and have their Will prepared to designate who would inherit from them and who would be their executor. But lately, people are findout out the benefits of the revocable living trust, and they want to take advantage of them.
People who seem to have the most desire to create a living trust include:
Individuals or couples who have little or no desire to form a living trust include:
In Louisiana, living trusts are popular because:
If you live anywhere in Louisiana and would like your loved ones to obtain the benefits of having a living trust (such as quick and easy estate settlement without court proceedings), give us a call at 866-491-3884. You'd be surprised how easy it is for us to walk you through the steps to get this taken care of and provide for your spouse, children, or other loved ones.
We've had quite a bit of interest lately from folks wanting to avoid the Louisiana Probate/Succession procedure by establishing and maintaining a revocable living trust.
I was working with a nice couple last Friday finishing up their trust when the discussion turned toward which of their assets they needed to transfer to their trust. They were under the false impression that everything they owned needed to go into their trust, including their multiple IRAs and their life insurance.
I told them that some assets, by their nature, avoid probate. Typically, it is not necessary to transfer IRAs, 401(k) accounts, annuities, and life insurance policies to a revocable living trust if the goal is to avoid probate. These accounts are payable to designated beneficiaries, and, as long as the beneficiaries are correctly designated, the trust does not have to be involved.
There are likely other assets that you own that do not need to be transferred to a revocable living trust and probate can still be avoided:
Assets that require the courts to transfer after your death must be in your trust when you die if your estate is going to avoid probate. These typically include all of your real estate, mineral interests, stock, investments (outside of retirement accounts which have designated beneficiaries), out of state real estate (avoids ancillary probate in that state), Certificates of Deposit, and interests in limited liability companies or other business interests.
Because many people have the majority of their estate in retirement accounts, it can be pretty easy to avoid probate by transferring the home and other probate assets to your trust.
I'd like to thank everyone who attended yesterday's Webinar, "How to Decide Between a Louisiana Last Will and a Living Trust For Your Family". This great live event was designed to give your an opportunity to evaluate your family circumstances and choose which Estate Planning alternative best suits your needs and desires. For those who were unable to attend, I'd now like to offer a review of the topics discussed so you can get the gain the same great information received by yesterday's webinar attendees.
1. Your Two Estate Planning Alternatives
2. How Wills and Louisiana Living Trusts are Similar
With both you can:
3. The Simplicity of Will Based Planning
That does it for Part 1 of our webinar review. Tomorrow I will cover the burdens of probate and how living trusts work to avoid probate as well as factors to consider when deciding between a will and living trust.
If you have any questions or would like to meet with me to discuss you Estate Planning options call me at (504) 274-1980 or send me an email to email@example.com.
Chris Kane, Attorney
Director, New Orleans Office
In the past few months our firm has been preparing an abundance of Revocable Living Trusts for Louisiana residents seeking to avoid probate or succession as it is called in Louisiana. One of the essential parts of a Louisiana Revocable Living trusts is what's known as a pour-over will. Often clients are confused by this term, because their thinking is; "If I have a revocable living trust I shouldn't need a will".
Well I'm here to explain exactly what the pour-over will is used for. When you have a revocable living trust, your Louisiana pour-over will is a essentially the back-up plan for property that is not a part of your trust when you die.
First, The pour-over will governs the distribution of your assets that will not need to pass through a Louisiana succession or probate procedure. These assets include your vehicles and personal effects. The pour over will is in place to dictate what will happen to such assets.
The other assets that the pour-over will covers are assets which should have been placed in your living trust, but for some reason or another, have not made it into the trust. The pour over will is there just in case there are some assets that still need to go thorough probate. The pour -over will typically leaves these assets to your living trust to be distributed according to the terms of the trust. However, the hope, in setting up a Louisiana revocable living trust, is that your estate will never need to pass through a Louisiana Succession.
If you are interested in setting up a revocable living trust in New Orleans, Mandeville, Slidell, Covington, Metairie, Kenner, or elsewhere throughout Louisiana give me a call at (504) 722-3344 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Kane, Attorney
Director, New Orleans Office
Had another packed house this morning for our event in Mandeville. The above photo is me presenting my most closely guarded estate planning secrets. Barely had enough chairs in the room to accomodate everyone in attendance. Before we started my presentation filled with my estate planning secrets for Louisiana residents, I asked the audience if they had any questions that they wanted me to address during the presentation. I jotted them down as they asked. They asked the following:
These were all of the questions asked BEFORE the seminar even began. At the end I answered about another 40-50 questions. Quite the inquiring audience.
Of the three events I've given in the last 24 hours to packed rooms, I'd have to rate this morning's crowd as the most inquisitive. Looking forward to fielding questions from tonight's crowd at the Mandeville Community Center.
For Covington and Mandeville estate planning, give our Mandeville office a call at (985) 246-3020.
I had quite the lively, energetic, and fun crowd this morning at our Living Trust Event in Metairie. We had a crowd that new some stuff and asked some challenging questions like:
Fortunately I had the chance to personally meet many of the attendees before and after the event - several of whom will be coming into our office in the coming days and weeks to get their legal affairs in order for themselves and their family. The following is a photo Erika shot during the presentation.