Small Successions

In the past, many heirs were reluctant to open legal succession in Louisiana due to the fees and costs. There is a perception that opening a succession even for a small one, is expensive.

However, recent Louisiana legislation now makes completing a small succession relatively easy without having to file succession pleadings and incurring expensive fees and costs.

If the decedent died without a will and the net value of the decedents estate is worth less than $ 75,000.00, then this type of small succession may be done by affidavit.

The heirs will be required to follow the statutory requirements as to its execution and form for this affidavit.

This small succession procedure affidavit is not the answer for all small successions. If the heirs are fighting, if there is litigation, or if the assets and debts are not known, it may still be necessary to open a legal succession with the courts.

As always, heirs should consult an experienced succession attorney before taking any action on their own regarding a succession.

 

 

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Secrets You Need To Know

Please join us for a informative workshop on Tuesday May 22, 2018 at The Blake at Lafayette 400 Polly Lane, Lafayette, La.  We are having 3 sessions at 9:30 am, 12:00 pm, and 6:00 pm.  To register please call 225-892-9702

I Moved to Louisiana And Have A Will Executed in Another State. Should I Get A New Will Done in Louisiana?

It is common for people to move to different states. Potential clients come to my office asking if it is necessary to execute a new will in Louisiana. The answer to the question is somewhat complex.

The legal answer is that the law does not require that you have a Louisiana will. The will of another state can be probated and recognized by a Louisiana Court. There is a special procedure under Louisiana law that allows heirs and legatees to have these out of state wills recognized legally.

The problem with out of state wills is that they are drafted according the laws of that other state. Louisiana law can be very different from other states. Terminology can be very different state to state. Also, certain legal concepts may exist in one and may either be very different or not exist in another.

Although Louisiana courts will attempt to comply with the wishes of the decedent in their out of state will, they still may be unable to implement the directions due to the difference in the law. Sometimes, it may be difficult to implement the intent because there is no such legal concept under Louisiana law.

It is advisable that you have your out of state will examined by a Louisiana attorney to determine whether you need to have a Louisiana will drafted and executed to make sure your intentions are recognized and implemented.

If you have any questions concerning wills, you should contact an experienced estate planning attorney.

 

Kent S. DeJean

Free Senior Workshop

You are invited to attend our Free Senior Work Shop on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 12:00pm and 6:00pm at the East Baton Rouge Library – Goodwood, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA. Please RSVP seating is limited.  Please call to reserve 225-892-9702

When Can I Get My Full Social Security Retirement Benefits?

 

When you can obtain full retirement, benefits are determined by your date of birth. If you were born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66. Between 1955 and 1959, full retirement gradually climbs toward 67 if your birthday falls between 1955 and 1959. For those born in 1960 or later, full retirement age is 67. When you turn 62, you can apply for Social Security retirement benefits but, taking benefits before your full retirement age results in a reduction of as much as 25% of your benefit. Further, this reduction would be permanent. If you have any questions about Social Security, you should consult an experienced Social Security attorney. Kent S. DeJean

Putting Off Getting A Will till You Fly? Think Again!

 

One of the biggest things that motivates people to our law firm to engage in estate planning or updating their wills is when they go on an airplane trip. The thoughts to traveling high in the air in a large aircraft scares people into executing wills and powers of attorney. The perception is that flying is very dangerous. However, human perception is sometimes not based in reality.

 

What is your probability of dying in a commercial airplane crash? According to statistics, you have a one in 3.5 million chance of being involved in a commercial airplane crash where at least one person dies (not necessarily you).

 

In comparison, statistics show that you have a one in 100,000 chance of dying in an automobile accident. That’s right. You are at least 35 times more likely to die riding in a car accident today than if you got on a commercial aircraft.

 

So, what is the moral of the story? Instead of waiting to estate plan when you are taking a trip on a plane, you should be much more worried about estate planning today if you are riding in a car. One should not put off estate planning or the execution of powers of attorney. Our health and/or capacity is not guaranteed. Plan today!

 

If you have any questions about wills, estate planning or powers of attorney, contact an experienced estate planning attorney.

 

Kent S. DeJean

What Is A Living Will?

A living will is probably the most misnamed legal document.It has nothing to do with “living” and it’s not a “will”.

To put it bluntly, it is a directive to be allowed to die. A person that signs a living will is declaring that they be allowed to die if certain facts are present.  In Louisiana, euthanasia is illegal. Certain elements have to all be met before a living will becomes effective.  The required elements are as follows:

  1. The person must have an incurable injury, disease or illness
  2. This injury, disease or illness must be certified to be a terminal and irreversible condition by two (2) physicians (one of whom is the treating physician of that person) who have personally examined the person

 

  1. The physicians must determine that my death will occur whether or not life-sustaining procedures are utilized; and

 

  1. The application of life-sustaining procedures would serve only to prolong the dying process artificially

If all of these elements are met, the person may direct that all life-sustaining procedures be withheld or withdrawn. The person can also express a directive as to whether to allow food and water to be administered invasively if all the above elements are met.

The most common example of where all these required elements are met is if a person is in an incurable coma and whose life is being artificially prolonged by the use of a respirator.

A person interested in executing a living will, powers of attorney and a will, should consult an experienced estate planning attorney.

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Health Care Directives

A Health Care Directive is a legal document where a person can express whether they want or don’t want to try medical treatment in certain specific medical situations. These documents can be very lengthy and can cover wide ranges in hypothetical medical situations. It can take a long period of time to complete these lengthy documents.

This document is very important because it does two very important things:

  1. It allows the person who executes this document to remain in control of their medical treatment even though they become incapacitated. By expressing their preferences, family members or friends know what the person wanted and didn’t want in medical treatment.
  2. It removes very difficult medical decisions for family members and friends to have to make. Medical decisions can be very difficult because they have to be made during very difficult emotional times. By executing a Health Care Directive, the decisions are made for the family members and friends. This makes it easier for family members and friends during this difficult time.

 

A person interested in executing a Health Care Directive as well as powers of attorney, living wills and wills should contact an experienced estate planning attorney.

Can I Discharge My Student Loan in Bankruptcy?

The general answer is no. Student loans are not automatically discharged in bankruptcy. In fact, they are exempt from discharge.

In order to discharge the student loan, a debtor must file a special lawsuit called an adversarial proceeding to prove that the student loan poses an “undue hardship”. This is a very difficult burden to prove since the debtor must show that not only the debtor cannot pay the loan payments now but, that they will be unable to pay them in the future as well. Because of the high burden, discharges on student loans are limited to persons with health or disability issues.

If you have a question concerning bankruptcy, you should contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

 

Kent S. DeJean

 

 

2018 Veterans Benefits

Monthly Pension Rates

 Single Veteran

Basic Improved Pension:                                          $1,097

Housebound:                                                             $1,340

Aid & Attendance:                                                     $1,830

Standard 5% VA UME Deduction:                           $54.92

Married Veteran

Basic Improved Pension:                                          $1,436

Housebound:                                                             $1,680

Aid & Attendance:                                                     $2,169

Standard 5% VA UME Deduction:                           $71.92

Surviving Spouse

Basic Improved Pension:                                          $735

Housebound:                                                             $899

Aid & Attendance:                                                     $1,176

Standard 5% VA UME Deduction:                           $36.83

Veteran Married to Veteran

Basic Improved Pension:                                          $1,436

One Housebound:                                                     $1,680

Two Housebound:                                                    $1,923

One Aid & Attendance                                               $2,169

One Housebound and One Aid& Attendance          $2,412

Both Aid & Attendance:                                            $2,903