It’s not easy to plan for the future, especially when it requires thinking about what will happen to assets and property after passing. Louisiana adults may delay estate planning because they assume they are not wealthy enough or have enough valuable assets. In reality, adults of any income level and health status can benefit from having certain legal and financial protections in place.

With an estate plan, it is possible to protect the interests of loved ones and beneficiaries. It can help them avoid lengthy complications when trying to settle the estate, and it allows an adult to have the final say over what happens to wealth, assets and even health care decisions. For high-wealth individuals, there are certain estate planning steps that may also be useful during their lifetime. In fact, avoiding potential tax ramifications is one of the primary benefits of an estate plan.

Currently, there is a lifetime gift tax exemption of $11.58 million per person or $23.16 million per married couple. Additionally, an individual can give up to $15,000 per year or a couple can gift up to $30,000 per year without the amount counting toward their lifetime exemption. This amount is not taxable for the recipient. Once an individual gifts over $15,000, it is applied against the lifetime exemption. There are also multiple benefits to applying money from an estate plan to a 529 plan for a child’s future educational needs.

Gifting allows a couple or individual to control what happens to their assets. As with any important decision that could affect their estate and finances, it is worthwhile to speak with an experienced Louisiana estate planning attorney first. It is prudent to understand the benefits and potential drawbacks of all options before moving forward.