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Tax and Estate Planning Attorney

Developing a comprehensive plan for life is an essential part of ensuring that the future works out according to personal goals. Although most individuals take time to work out a retirement plan, set aside funds for a child’s education or prepare for other major events in life, estate planning and estate taxes are often forgotten. It is just as important to work on an estate plan with Louisiana tax attorneys as it is to save for retirement. 

Determining When to Start Estate Planning

Working with Lake Charles tax litigation attorneys can seem unnecessary, but it is important to start planning against tax disagreements or complications that may impact estate planning at an early age. The best time to start estate planning and working out potential complications with taxation varies based on the situation and the risks associated with individual needs. 

A good rule of thumb is to begin planning after starting a family. The reason is simple: estate planning attorneys can help create wills and ensure that children are properly cared for if an accident or unexpected event results in the death of the parents. 

Estate planning attorneys can help parents work out the details of tutorships or guardianship if children are still minors at the time their parents die. Trusts power of attorney and other details are also discussed and put into official documents. 

Although it is a good idea for new parents to make initial arrangements to set up a will, working with an attorney is not limited to just young families. Individuals who do not have responsibilities to a younger generation or another person may still want to work with Lake Charles tax attorneys to organize their estate. 

When children reach adulthood, concerns and plans will ultimately change. Staying in contact with Louisiana estate planning lawyers can make the process of updating information a little easier. The lawyers can help work out the details of power of attorney, setting up a living will and ensuring that estate taxes are handled before an inheritance is provided to loved ones who are left behind.

Dealing With Additional Concerns 

Limiting the complications that are left behind for family members, friends and other individuals who are mentioned in a will is only part of the reason it is important to talk to Louisiana estate planning lawyers. The attorneys can also assist individuals who own a business or otherwise have a partnership that may be impacted by a death or severe medical problems that arise. 

Creating partnership agreements and working out the details of what will happen to a business is an important part of tax and estate planning. A partnership in any business can complicate an estate plan, especially when tax obligations and disagreements arise. 

Post Mortem Planning

Creating a will and taking steps to plan for the transfer of wealth is only one part of the planning process. After an individual passes away, family members or loved ones will be tasked with several important issues.  Tax planning and succession issues are necessities and even litigation is a possibility in post mortem planning.

The factors that may be included in a post mortem plan include:

  • Working out the details of an estate tax
  • Identifying tax exemptions that may apply in a specific situation
  • Determining if it is appropriate to disclaim the inheritance
  • Identifying any alternative valuations that may exist
  • Preparing tax forms on the federal and state level

Each situation is different, so Louisiana estate planning lawyers focus on providing a post mortem plan after identifying all of the complications that may arise.

IRS Form 706 is an Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return.  This is the tax return that certain estates must complete within 9 months of death to determine if there is a an Estate Tax or GSTT due. It is also necessary if a spouse of a decedent would like to use the portability election that the IRS offers.  Our firm helps clients navigate the difficult and complicated process of properly submitting the form 706 along with all of the required attachments. We also help by providing guidance on the portability election. The exemption amount changes each year , so talking to a lawyer can help determine if it is necessary to file additional tax paperwork. A lawyer can help simplify the paperwork process and determine when additional tax forms are necessary based on the size of the estate and the potential complications that may arise."

Details to Consider During the Planning Process

Tax and estate planning is different for every individual. Some individuals may have specific responsibilities that must be considered during the planning process. Others will have limited obligations, but may have certain wishes that they want to fulfill.

Louisiana estate planning attorneys may ask for certain details before providing the appropriate legal documents and helping to create a realistic plan. The details that may be important include: 

  • How many children there are
  • Whether it is necessary to set up a trust or several trusts 
  • Who will receive certain belongings, funds or assets in the event of a death 
  • What legal documents may complicate the process, such as a partnership agreement 
  • Who will receive power of attorney and medical power of attorney 

In general, it is best to bring every legal document that may be related to the plan. For example, it may be appropriate to bring a marriage certificate, the birth certificate of every child and any written agreements with other parties.

Louisiana estate planning lawyers are professionals who help work out wills, arrange an appropriate trust and get legal documents ready to reduce the potential complications that family members may face. It is hard to think about dying, but it is just as important as planning for retirement or setting up a child’s college fund.

The Lake Charles Law Firm - Hunter, Hunter & Sonnier provide legal representation in the following Louisiana communities: Lake Charles, Sulphur, Cameron, Jennings, Oberlin, Crowley, DeRidder, Leesville, Oakdale, Lake Arthur, Abbeville, Eunice, DeQuincy, Vinton, and other communities in these parishes: Calcasieu Parish, Vernon Parish, Jefferson Davis Parish, Cameron Parish, Beauregard Parish, Vermilion Parish, Evangeline Parish, Acadia Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Allen Parish and St. Mary Parish.

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