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Wills, Estate Planning and Probate (Succession)

With over 25 years of experience, Jane Booth brings substantial experience to bear for her clients when it comes to wills, estate planning and probate/succession.  In layman’s terms, a succession in Louisiana is the same as the probate process in other states. At a high level, both refer to the process of having the decedent’s wishes carried out and seeing that all property bequeathed to heirs is indeed given to them and is able to be properly titled in their name.

In this area, Jane provides the following services:
● Last Wills and Testaments
● Advanced or Special Needs Planning
● Estate Planning for High Net Worth Individuals
● Powers of Attorney and Advance Medical Directives
● Probate and Estate Administration/Successions
● Estate Planning
● Trusts
● Estate Planning for Parents with Minor Children
● Interdictions
● Business Succession Planning

Wills and Estate Planning
There’s not getting around it: talking about wills and estate plans is difficult. But, especially in this day and age it’s crucial that proper planning takes place. While wills deal with what happens to your belongings and property upon your death, estate plans – especially those for high net worth individuals – can be crucial as they cover death as well as what will happen if you become incapacitated or are unable to make decisions for yourself.

By having an estate plan and the accompanying powers of attorney and advance medical directive, your wishes are made clear and the appropriate decision-making authority is passed to the person you most trust. Having a proper will and estate planning in place also ensures your loved ones are provided for as you see best, and that where possible, undue taxes don’t diminish the estate unnecessarily.

Power of Attorney & Medical Power of Attorney
A power of attorney (POA) is when one individual gives permission for someone else to act on their behalf. This can be as limited or as expansive as the individual chooses. For instance, a common example is an older person giving an adult child authority to manage investments or sign checks on the parent’s checking account to pay monthly bills. With a power of attorney, the bank or other agents can legally recognize the appointed person’s authority to act on another’s behalf. A Medical POA is specific to medical issues should you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself, or communicate your wishes. Having a thorough conversation with a loved one regarding what measures you do, or don’t, want should you become medically compromised, and having an associated  Medical POA in place, can be critical to see that your wishes are carried out.

Probate or Succession
As mentioned before, in layman’s terms, succession is the term in Louisiana law for the process of probate which, again at a high level, is to have the will legally recognized by the court and seeing its terms carried out. This also moves property from the ownership of the decedent to the heir. A simple example would be having a home re-titled in the name of the heir so that it truly is recognized as their property.

The process or probate or succession often goes smoothly if proper care and due diligence was executed at the time the will was constructed, but there can be complications which make the process more cumbersome. For instance, if the will is contested or property was not properly titled/re-titled there can additional steps to the process. Clients are well-served with Jane’s vast experience in this field of law and securing a favorable outcome for those she represents.

If you require services to plan your estate or that of a loved one, or need assistance with the succession process, feel free to contact Jane at (504) 482-5292 or by emailing her for a free, confidential initial consultation.