Having Multiple Wills in Louisiana: Good or Bad?
There is a common misconception that a single will is all one needs for comprehensive estate planning in Monroe, LA. However, life circumstances change. The will you create in early adulthood, your 40s, or 50s might not represent your latest intentions for the bequeathment of your assets.
Let’s take a quick look at whether it makes sense to leave a will intact, modify it, or even create a second will.
Estate Planning is Dynamic
Having a will can help you sleep soundly, knowing your assets will be distributed according to your desires. However, fast forward a couple of years or decades, and your life might be different. You may reach life milestones or experience life changes like:
- Expanding your investment portfolio with additional accounts
- Buying a second home
- Inheriting assets from a parent
Like life, estate planning is dynamic. Both can change over time. If you leave your original will intact as your life changes, this critical legal document may no longer reflect your latest desires for asset distribution upon death.
Is It Easy to Change a Will?
It’s not enough to cross out the language used in your will, replace it to reflect your current situation, and initiate the changes. You need (and deserve) the guidance of a Louisiana estate planning attorney to modify your original will with a second one. And possibly with a third or fourth will as time progresses.
However, conflicting or poorly-modified wills pose significant legal hurdles for family members. If you attempt to navigate the complexities of estate planning alone, you’ll only sabotage your will and loved ones. Thus, it’s important to take utmost care in changing your will.
Our estate planning attorneys in Monroe, LA is here to help you rewrite your will as desired and under state law. We will carefully rewrite the language of your last will and testament to reflect your recent wishes. This will ultimately reduce the chances of contestation by an unhappy family member, a friend, or other parties.
Is It Okay to Have Multiple Wills?
Ideally, each estate plan will be comprehensive, clear, and unambiguous. Though it seems counterintuitive to create multiple wills, doing so might make sense as long as it is done under the guidance of an estate planning lawyer.
Having Multiple Wills
There are some situations in which it makes sense to have several wills. For example, wills can be written in one state yet enforced in other states, triggering succession spanning multiple jurisdictions.
Writing multiple wills also makes sense in the quest to reduce estate taxes. For example, if you own real property outside Louisiana or in another nation, creating additional wills bypasses anticipated tax payments owed by beneficiaries.
Such a legal strategy might seem burdensome and unnecessary on the surface. Yet, it has the potential to result in a sizable net gain for your loved ones and favored charities after passing away.
Modifying an Original Will
Modifying your current will in Monroe, LA is not a Herculean effort if you have an experienced lawyer on your side. Our estate planning attorneys in Monore, LA are here to help you review all options, including forming a codicil (a supplement that alters or revokes the terms of a will).
Creating a New Will
Creating an entirely new will is also an option. As a codicil can potentially make the succession process more complex, it’s better to create a new will that fully complies with the nuances of Louisiana law.
Schedule a Consultation With Niswanger Law
Many residents make changes to their wills on their own. This can ultimately sabotage the original legal document. You can bypass such legal complications and negative ramifications for your loved ones by tapping into the expertise of an estate planning lawyer.
At Niswanger Law, we can help you with will creation, modification, and additional estate planning tools. Our estate planning attorneys can create a comprehensive estate plan on your behalf. We can also update your estate plans after life milestones and other events.