Thinking about the best way to plan for your future is a complicated matter to consider. Still, if you are thinking about it, you are already heading in the right direction. One of the biggest issues Louisiana residents and those across the country face when it comes to estate planning is not planning at all.
Especially if you are not in a dire situation, you may think that you can put off planning for a little while longer, but it is important to remember that, sadly, a serious illness or accident could befall anyone at any time. As a result, you may want to avoid the mistake of not planning and remain on the lookout for other issues that could arise.
You and many other individuals may think that you can more easily pass on your assets if you just make your children joint owners of your property. That way, after your passing, the children could just take over your portion of ownership without having to go through various legal proceedings. However, this option is not the best. In fact, it could put your assets at risk because any creditors that your children have could make a claim against your assets because of your children’s partial ownership.
Instead, if avoiding probate is something you want for your children, you may want to consider naming them as beneficiaries to payable-on-death accounts or creating a trust that can separate the assets from your estate but also protect them from creditors.
Titling a trust
If you do choose to create a trust or multiple trusts, it is critical that you transfer assets into the trust. That may seem obvious, but far too many individuals create trust accounts and forget to change the titles and deeds of property to the trust, which essentially makes the account useless. As a result, you will want to determine which existing property you want to move into the trust and remember to title any new assets you acquire in the future to the trust if desired.
Though estate planning is not a walk in the park, it is an important process that could help you truly figure out what you want in regard to your end-of-life wishes and help you ensure that your children have the best chance of easily inheriting applicable assets.