You need a Will. It can save your loved ones time, thousands of dollars and, more importantly, grief. You also may need Healthcare and General Mandates, a Living Will, and maybe a Trust. All of these important tools make up your Estate Plan.
Having an Estate Plan is the final gift that you can give your loved ones. Plus, you take the decisions away from a stranger and make them yourself.
At Field Law, we help you legally manage your assets during your lifetime and determine how your assets are distributed after your death. We will also adjust your Estate Plan to minimize taxes and eliminate unnecessary court costs.
A good Estate Plan pays for itself. Your “estate” is just a legal way to describe your family situation, financial assets, liabilities, and the rights you have. There are many different strategies to managing your estate during your lifetime and planning for distributing your estate after your death.
Affordable Fixed Pricing
Field Law charges an affordable fixed price for each Estate Plan or Will. We recommend you talk to three lawyers before hiring someone to handle a Succession. Field Law should be one of them. Here’s why:
- We start with a convenient no-obligation Free Attorney Consultation, either in person or on the phone.
- We focus on Estate Planning so you know you are getting our full attention.
- We provide a holistic examination of your estate to maximize savings down the road.
- Generally our Estate Plans pay for themselves during your lifetime.
- You never pay extra for asking question at Field Law – like with typical hourly billing at other firms.
- We work hard to streamline the process to avoid unnecessary fees and costs.
During your Lifetime
We will draft legally binding documents that ensure you have control of your finances, taxes and medical plans. You can retain complete control over your decisions or share decision-making with a trusted loved one or advisor. Accomplishing this can utilize many of the tools available, including business entities such as LLCs, personal planning tools such as Trusts, and Mandates, commonly known as Powers of Attorney.
The best known tool for determining how your estate is distributed after your death is a Last Will and Testament. But having a proper Louisiana Testament is only the first step of a successful Estate Plan, which can also include other mechanisms to avoid the succession and probate process altogether or to minimize delays and costs.
A Last Will and Testament is required for you to properly notify the Court of who you want to take care of your minor children should something happen to you. A Judge ultimately decides who will care for your children, so make sure the Judge knows who you wanted to act as their guardian (called Tutor in Louisiana). You must also have a Last Will and Testament to protect property for your children in a Trust.
Free Attorney Consultation
Start with a Free Attorney Consultation to briefly discuss what Estate Planning tools are available to you, your spouse and loved ones. We will also discuss the costs involved and provide you with a no-obligation quote. Then you get to decide what is best for you.
Your Last Will & Testament
You have the right to give instructions on how and to whom your property should be distributed. Just having a document titled “Last Will & Testament” does not make it valid in Louisiana. A disposition mortis causa (after death) may be made only in the form of a testament authorized by law.
This is the important legal document, the only one, that allows you to decide how and to whom your estate will be distributed. Most people focus on the to whom, however the how part is where having a Louisiana Estate Planning Attorney makes all the difference. At Field Law, our Last Wills & Testaments give you the options to save time and money – something standard Wills do not.
Louisiana law states, “the formalities prescribed for the execution of a testament must be observed or the testament is absolutely null.” To this end, the law provides that:
The notarial testament shall be prepared in writing and dated and shall be executed in the following manner. If the testator knows how to sign his name and to read and is physically able to do both, then:
(1) In the presence of a notary and two competent witnesses, the testator shall declare or signify to them that the instrument is his testament and shall sign his name at the end of the testament and on each other separate page.
(2) In the presence of the testator and each other, the notary and the witnesses shall sign the following declaration, or one substantially similar: “In our presence the testator has declared or signified that this instrument is his testament and has signed it at the end and on each other separate page, and in the presence of the testator and each other we have hereunto subscribed our names this ____day of _________, ____.”
See La. C.C. Art. 1576 et. seq.
Estate Tax and Property Evaluation
With an Estate Tax and Property Evaluation, which is include with your Complete Estate Plan, a Field Law attorney will determine if you may need to change your estate plan to avoid estate taxes or government required draw-downs. There are many tools available to you to protect your hard earned money from falling to the government because of bad planning. We will work with you and your CPA or financial advisor to make sure you have the necessary planning in place to avoid those losses.
Part of your Complete Estate Plan is the optional Family Consultation. This is time set aside by your Field Law Estate Planning Attorney to share your plan with your family members and loved ones, answer any questions they might have and explain important responsibilities they have. Some clients really appreciate this service, which is not typical of other law firms, because these important decisions can have major effects on family members.
Small Business Evaluation
If you own a family business, operate rental property, or are a part of any privately held company, a Field Law attorney will review each situation with you to make sure that a proper Business Succession plan is in place so that bills are paid, payroll is met, and taxes are filed in case something should happen to you. Don’t let an unexpected event cause you to lose your business, make sure it has the ability to keep the doors open. Our Small Business Evaluation is included with our Complete Estate Plan.
Succesion & Probate Consultation
Our Estate Planning clients often want to know what their loved ones need to do after they pass away. We make it easy by including a Free Attorney Consultation with each Complete Estate Plan so your loved ones can get the professional advice they need fast to make sure nothing falls through the cracks after a loss. Quickly visiting a Louisiana Estate Planning and Succession attorney is important to preserve property, rights, and legal obligations of the decedent and the heirs alike.