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Wills offer options for estate planning

People in Louisiana may think that they do not need a will because their estate is simple. In fact, after designating beneficiaries on life insurance policies, some may believe they have protected their assets and provided for their loved ones. However, wills may offer a person options he or she may not have considered.

Relying on verbal agreements for the care of minor children may have devastating consequences. Rather than leave that crucial decision to strangers, many make clear designations in their wills for the raising of their children. Some people may have elderly or disabled family members for whom they are responsible, and a will can provide for them as well. It is also likely that people have beloved pets who will need homes. A will can designate a caregiver as well as provide for financial support through a trust.

For convenience, some people put one child on a bank account although their intention is to divide the account equally among all the children. If no will directs this, the full amount of the account will go to the one child whose name is on it. On the other hand, a person may intend to leave more to one child than another. That person may wish to include a no-contest clause in his or her will to prevent the children from protesting its terms.

In addition to naming particular people to receive certain heirlooms or valuables, wills can establish a level of control over one's estate that may not otherwise be possible. Those in Louisiana who are considering estate planning are encouraged to discuss making a will with their attorneys. An experienced lawyer will answer their questions and help them choose the estate planning tools that will most benefit their families.

Source: nextavenue.org, "Do you really need a will?", Rosie Wolf Williams, Aug. 31, 2016

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