Stuff. It is collected and carried around over the course of one's life. There are certain items that may have special significance to some family members. It is these items that may cause issues during the probate process as one's loved ones may fight about who gets to keep what. Louisiana residents may be able to prevent problems during the probate process by divvying up assets while they are still living and putting together an estate plan.
Most people in the United States die without having wills in place, but why? They think them unnecessary, they do not want to think about their own mortality, or they think they cannot afford to get one. Passing on without a will, without leaving instructions for who is to receive what, can put a real strain on one's family. Creating an estate plan and updating it as needed is always advised and can result in assets being distributed to beneficiaries in accordance with one's wishes. Unfortunately, estate litigation is still a possibility even with a solid estate plan in place.
If there are certain assets one would like to give to specific individuals, it is possible to give them away before one passes away. This, too, may cause some family drama, but at least one will be around to explain one's decisions -- if doing so really becomes necessary. There are a number of ways to go about passing on assets while one is still alive. It can be done quietly and slowly over time, or it can be done by holding a family gathering and giving everyone a chance to claim items important to them.
Now, divvying up assets before one dies does not work for everything. Having an estate plan in place is the best way to deal with the distribution of most assets -- particularly those of significant monetary value. An experienced probate attorney can assist Louisiana residents in creating estate plans that meet their needs and which help avoid disputes over asset distribution.