I gave an estate planning presentation today at my favorite breakfast place nearby in Prairieville, Louisiana. Their hashed browns and biscuits are to die for - no pun intended since I was discussing estate planning.
There was one woman there who said that for the last 30 years, she had been clipping different articles about estate planning and keeping them in a sack. She presented several questions to me before we even started the breakfast event this morning. Fortunately, I wrote her questions down as she asked me. The questions she asked me were the following:
- Does forced heirship still exist in Louisiana? Hint: She mentioned all of her children were over the age of 50.
- Is Louisiana a community property state?
- Is it better to have joint investment accounts or to name a beneficiary on the accounts?
- When you put your assets in a trust, do you give up control over the assets?
- What's the difference between a Living Will and a Living Trust?
My 45 minute estate planning presentation addressed most of these questions that she had. The ones that my presentation did not address, I addressed specifically after we finished the presentation.
One other note she mentioned. She said she was really worried that she did not have a deed to her home property in Ascension Parish. She said that her mother had given her and her husband the land many years ago, and then she and her husband built their home on the land. I told her that she can rest easy because there is no such thing as a deed in Louisiana. As long as the Donation from her mother to her and her husband was recorded in the Ascension Parish property records, then she and her husband were the owners of the land and the home that was subsequently built on the land. Her husband indicated that the property tax notice comes in their name every year, so obviously, the property had been put in their names correctly.
I look forward to seeing this couple in our office in a couple of weeks as we set up an estate legal program that will protect them, their children, and their grandchildren. She said that their main goal as they establish an estate legal program was to provide something for each of their seven grandchildren. I look forward to working with them.