An estate planning tool that provides a grantor with a way out

Overall, more people will likely die in Louisiana without ever signing final estate documents than those who execute solid plans ahead of time. Why this is remains a mystery, although some people simply do not like to discuss matters associated with their own mortality. Others understand the importance of estate planning but procrastinate or hesitate because they aren't sure where to turn for help in navigating the process.

A basic estate planning tool that isn't too complex is a revocable living trust. This is a good place to start if someone wants to begin building a secure estate plan. Revocable means this type of trust can be modified or changed as needed, which is a key benefit that makes it favorable over irrevocable trusts for some people. The latter relinquishes the grantor's ownership of property and cannot be changed once signed.

An estate owner can provide for his or her own care through a revocable living trust, meaning assets contained therein can be specified as set aside to meet financial expenses related to medical or assisted living care should an estate owner become incapacitated. Another benefit of a revocable trust is that property titles can be transferred while an estate owner is still alive, which may be used to head off any concerns of probate litigation later on. Many parents choose to place money in revocable trusts for their children, especially if they think their children are at risk for squandering their inheritance.

In a revocable living trust, a parent can control when assets are accessed as well as how they are to be used. Estate planning laws vary by state, so Louisiana residents will want to seek clarification of this state's particular regulations before executing a formal plan. An experienced probate and administration attorney can provide all necessary guidance and support regarding any aspect of the estate planning process.

Source: FindLaw, "Revocable Living Trust", Accessed on Feb. 1, 2018

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