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How beneficiaries could derail estate planning efforts

The intent of an estate plan is to have control over what happens with assets and wealth after passing. Through specific strategies and properly implemented tools, a Louisiana adult can manage his or her wealth long-term, as well as health care preferences. However, it is prudent to ensure that lost heirs and other complex circumstances are not able to undermine estate planning efforts at any point. 

Complications with beneficiaries 

A lost heir is one who is not easily located when it is time to settle the estate. It can be costly and take a significant amount of time to locate a lost heir, and it’s best to avoid this possibility. This is possible by taking the following steps while estate planning: 

  • Make sure heirs and beneficiaries are clearly spelled out in the will to avoid any confusion. 
  • Have an address list for all heirs and beneficiaries, and keep it regularly updated.  
  • Create a family tree to make sure it is easier to locate interested parties when it’s time to settle estate. 
  • Understand the difference between a beneficiary and an heir as this could affect notifications and other matters. 

For some Louisiana families, it may be necessary to employ an heir locator. This can be expensive, and it is much simpler to avoid the need to locate heirs completely. 

Focus on the future 

The intent of estate planning is to have plans in place that help one care for loved ones in the future, as well as manage medical wishes and assets. With experienced guidance during the planning process, it may be easier to avoid problems in the future. This includes issues with lost heirs or confusion over the terms of the will.