Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning

Many adults do not have an estate plan, or even a simple will, which can make things very difficult for their loved ones after they die. A good estate plan can help make sure your family members are taken care of. At Richie, Richie & Oberle, L.L.P., we help people with all aspects of the estate planning process, from asset protection to advance medical directives.

Here are questions we often hear about the estate planning process from people who are just getting started.

When do I need to start thinking about a will or estate plan?

Many people first start thinking seriously about estate planning after having children or accumulating significant property. However, it's never too early to draft a simple will, and adults of any age can benefit from the peace of mind of knowing that your wishes will be respected no matter what happens. You can continue to update or rework your plan as you age and your circumstances change.

What will happen to my property if I don't have a will?

If you don't have a will, the state gets to determine what happens to your property. Generally, all or most of your property will likely go to a surviving spouse, if you have one. If you do not have a spouse, your property will likely be divided among your descendants. While the state will attempt to fairly distribute your assets, you have no guarantee that your wishes will be followed.

What do I need to include in my estate plan?

Your estate includes all of your property, from real estate to life insurance policies, and your estate plan will determine what happens to all of your property after your death. In addition to naming who will receive what property, an estate plan can include directions for medical care and funeral arrangements, among other things. Beyond communicating your wishes, a good estate plan also can ensure that your wishes are carried out smoothly and minimize the tax burden on your descendants. There are several different types of wills and trusts that you may want to consider; a lawyer can help you determine which one is best for you.

Who should I name as the executor of my estate?

While many people name their spouse or one of their children as the executor of their estate, that isn't necessarily the best choice for every family. Some people decide to name someone they are not related to as their executor to help prevent family disputes or avoid putting the burden on a loved one.

Work With An Attorney Recognized For Helping Families With Contested Estates

Richie, Richie & Oberle, L.L.P., can help you with all aspects of the estate planning and probate process. The attorneys of Richie, Richie & Oberle, L.L.P., enjoy an excellent reputation for their work in contested or litigated successions and are frequently called upon by other local attorneys for assistance in such matters.

For a free initial consultation, call us at 318-716-7276. You may also contact us by email. Located in Shreveport, we serve clients throughout northwest Louisiana. Se Habla Español.