Met with a couple in our Baton Rouge estate planning office today. They lived in Gonzales. They has a number of different rental properties throughout Ascension Parish and East Baton Rouge Parish and Livingston Parish.
The couple has four children. Their son works in their rental property business and handles all of the books for them. Their second oldest child has had substance abuse problems and has caused the family lots of grief.
One of the things that they wanted to accomplish was to set up an estate legal program so that after both the husband and the wife died, that 60% of their estate would go to their son in their rental business, and the child who had the substance abuse problems would only get 5% of their estate, and the 5% would remain in the trust until the child proved that he was clean and sober to his three siblings.
The couple feared that if their drug-abusing child got her hands on any money when the couple died, that the money would simply be used to support their daughter's drug habits. So, this was a scenario where we helped a couple in several different ways:
- The drug-abusing child will not get a lump sum handed to her. She will have to prove that she is clean and sober before she gets a nickel;
- They made the proper allocations to the four children to reflect how much certain children have helped them over the years;
- Their estates will not have to go through the Louisiana probates when they die because certain assets will be held in trust, bypassing the probate process;
- They won't have to sell any of their rental property if they go into a nursing home since they are setting their legal affairs up in a way so that their "Countable Resources" for Long Term Care Medicaid purposes are minimized; and
- Their responsible son who helps them manage and account for their rental property will have the authority to manage things if the couple becomes incapacitated or when they die.
If you live in Louisiana, whether it's in Metairie, Covington, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, Alexandria, or Shreveport, and you have particular family circumstances and you want to make sure that you have a simple but thorough estate legal plan to preserve all that you've worked for, give our office a call at 866-491-3884 to start a conversation with an estate planning attorney who - I guarantee - will put your mind at ease.