Most of us have no last will & testament. I would venture to say that over 90% of us adults don’t have one in Louisiana. There are probably three primary reasons that we don’t have one: we’re poor and there isn’t much to give away, we don’t like to think about dying, or we’re just lazy. I would like to discuss why these excuses are bad, and exactly why you need a will.
Hey, I’m basically broke, so why would I need a will? Most of us are more or less poor, but that is no excuse to not have a will. If you have kids, a last will is critical because it is your chance to tell the courts who you want to become the guardian of your children. Even if you’re not rich, a will can explain what you want done with the belongings that you do have. Even if you don’t have much now, that could change in the future, and you want to figure out who should get what now while you can. If a succession is opened in the future, you can state who should be in charge of administering your estate in a last will. Without a will, the courts will have to decide who should be the administrator, without any input from you. If you don’t have much, your will can still be used to explain how you want to be buried or cremated when you die.
I don’t like to think about death, so do I really need a will? Yes, as an adult, we sometimes have to suck it up and deal with reality. We’re all on a one way ticket to the beyond. The only question is if we are prepared for it. The one way that you can really prepare your affairs and family for your eventual death is with a last will and testament. If you don’t have one, Louisiana’s intestacy laws will govern. Under these laws, the state will decide who gets what, not you. The state will decide who gets to raise your kids, without any guidance from you. The state will decide who gets to administer your estate, without your input. Your family will likely argue and fight over what you wanted to be done, without your input. You can settle all of it by spending just a few hours on it now.
I haven’t written a will because I’m lazy, so why should I do it now? I’m lazy too. If it was up to me, I would live on my couch with a stack of pizzas within arm’s reach. The problem with being lazy on creating a will is that the lack of effort on your part can destroy your family in the future. Without a will, there can be massive chaos after your death. I have seen so many families torn apart because their loved one left no instructions for them before they died. You can literally create a will that can state your intentions forever in less than two hours. I under two hours you can avoid absolute turmoil in the future.
With a last will & testament in Louisiana you can:
- Decide who gets what. Without a will, the state will decide for you.
- Declare who you wish to raise your children. The courts will still have to approve your choice, but the odds of having the right guardians rise dramatically if you state your wishes in your will.
- Declare who you want to settle your estate upon your death.
- Tell your family how you want to be buried or cremated.
- Show your family that you loved them and cared about them.
Because the laws in Louisiana are very particular and stringent when writing a will, it is highly advised that you seek help to make sure that the formalities are met. If you are in the Baton Rouge area, and you would like to discuss your needs, feel free to call me at 225-907-5280.