I was working recently with a couple from the New Orleans, Louisiana, area, setting up an estate legal program that would protect themselves, the surviving spouse, and their children. They each had children from a prior marriage. Some of the children lived in Louisiana and some lived out of state. They wanted to make sure that:
- When the first spouse dies, the surviving spouse would remain in control of the assets. Specifically, the wife indicated that she would like want to sell their big house if her husband died first, and then she would move into a smaller home or condo. She wanted the ability to be able to sell the house right away (without government or court interference), and she didn't want to have to seek out the permission of any children, or give them money, if she were to sell the home.
- They also wanted to make sure that after both spouses died, that the remaining assets would be divided equally among all of their children. We put some things in place so that after the first spouse died, the surviving spouse would not be able to exclude the children of the first spouse to die.
- A significant amount of their net worth was in their paid-for home. They were worried that if one or both of them needed long-term skilled care in a nursing home in the future, that Medicaid would enforce its Estate Recovery rights after they both die to force the sale of the home to reimburse Medicaid for what the government spent on them while they were in a nursing home. We titled the home in a way that gave them that protection. And since this couple was not yet in their 70's, it looks like they will easily beat out the five year look-back period for Medicaid eligibility.
After our first conversation, I'm pretty sure that the couple felt relieved that they were getting all of this taken care of, and they new that everything would be in compliance with all of the Louisiana estate planning laws as they relate to inheritance, property, taxes, trusts, and Medicaid.
If you live in Louisiana and would like to have the confidence that you have an estate planning legal plan in place to protect yourself and your family, you may want to call our office at our toll-free number to have a conversation about how easy it is to put this in place. Just call 866-491-3884.