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When a loved one dies, unfortunately, the heirs must deal with the assets of the deceased.

When considering where and how to get started when you are faced with a death in the family here are some things to consider:

  1. Did the deceased have a will?

WILL- A will or (testament) is a legal document that outlines your wishes as to how your assets will be distributed after your death and how your liabilities will be paid. It can also provide for who will care for your minor children. It also designates the executor or manager of your estate. If you do not have a will, the law dictates how your assets are to be distributed.

  1. Will you have to open succession?

Succession literally means when one person (successor) takes over or is placed into possession of another person’s (predecessor) property. In Louisiana, a Succession proceeding is a judicial proceeding. A petition (law suit) is filed in the court of the Parish where the deceased’s property is located requesting that the heirs be recognized as the owners of the property.

Other matters to consider before a person dies:

  1. Does the person have a Living Will?

LIVING WILL- a living will is a legal document that a person uses to make known his or her wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatments. The declarant, indicates which treatments he/she does or does not want applied to him/her in the event that they either suffer from a terminal illness or are in a permanent vegetative state. A living will does not become effective unless the declarant is incapacitated; until then he/she is able to say what treatments he/she does or doesn’t want.

  1. Does the person have a Durable Power of Attorney?

This document endures even if the declarant becomes mentally incapacitated (Alzheimers). Also called a “Durable” power of attorney for health care. It can appoint someone you trust to be your health care agent to make any necessary health decisions for you and to see that doctors and other health care providers give you the type of care you wish to receive. It can also grant the appointed attorney power to make decisions not involving health care.

Mike Broussard can assist in this area and guide the heirs so that planning for the inevitable is as painless as possible. Mike can also create Trusts for those whose wish their property to pass to their heirs without a succession proceeding.