Although estate planning can be a sensitive subject to discuss, it is important to understand all of your options to ensure the future of your loved ones. Many laws regarding estate planning change over time. New legislation, such as the passing of LA Act 974 in Louisiana in 2001, has opened up opportunities that the uninformed would not be able to take advantage of. |
Without proper estate planning the succession process can be costly and time consuming. Court fees, advertising and the probate process can soak up money that could be used to support your beneficiaries. LA Act 974 now provides for an independent administrator rather than one that is court approved, thereby cutting costs and red tape.
Previously, either an executor or administrator would be appointed to handle all actions taken on any assets. They would have to go through a time-consuming and money-draining court process to receive approval on such actions as selling a piece of property, which included publishing a notice.
The new legislation will save you time and money in administering your estate. Louisiana law says that independent administration is permitted on the condition that all applicable beneficiaries of the residue or balance of your estate consent. This is true in the cases of both testate, with a Will, and intestate, without a Will.
These independent administrators have the same duties as non-independent executor or non-independent court-appointed administrator; however they are not required to go through the court process to have their decisions approved. For example, if you desire your car to be sold after your death, and the profit to go to the estate, an executor would have to go through a long court process prior to independent administration to receive approval.
An independent administrator can simply carry out the action, as long as no heir or legatee contests the decision. If there is a dispute over the handling of an estate, the beneficiaries have the right to demand annual accounting reports from the administrator; although they are not required unless requested.
Louisiana estates planned before the passage of this new legislation in 2001 can be amended fairly easily with a statement to include an independent administrator. However, most people are unaware of the correct phrasing to use. Any estate planning to all Wills should involve the consult of a Louisiana attorney. If already deceased, the beneficiaries can have an independent administration if all consent to this process.
It is also possible to forbid the appointment of an independent administrator if the testator is more comfortable with the more formal process. Either way, it is important to have a Louisiana lawyer review all decisions.
Independent administrators make decisions and move assets quickly. If you believe your heirs need the finances or real estate immediately available at their disposal, being able to bypass court involvement will greatly speed up the process. For many Louisiana estate owners, appointing an independent administrator to handle your affairs has numerous benefits that can save you time and money.
Louisiana estate planning lawyer specializes in creating wills, trusts, estate planning, probate administration, and real estate. Find out how appointing an independent administrator for your Louisiana estate can save you time and money. To know more, visit http://www.melcherslawfirm.com.
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