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Louisiana Estate Planning Law Firm

Planning for your death may be something you find frightening.  However, having the right plan in place is financially prudent and will ease the stress for your loved ones.  Estate planning in Louisiana is unique because of certain concepts such as forced heirship, usufructs, and the community property regime.  You should have an experienced Louisiana estate planning attorney to ensure your last wishes are carried out.

estate planning in Louisiana


The only way to truly ensure that your wishes at death are known and carried out is to have a will.  Estate planning does not have to be complicated in order to be effective.  If you own property, have children, recently married or divorced, or would like to make a specific bequest at your passing, then now is the time to prepare your will.  Likewise, if you have an existing will but have not reviewed it in years, now is the time to make certain that your will fits your current needs and desires.

Power of Attorney

In addition to drafting wills, we can help you draft a durable power of attorney.  Powers of attorney can be general or specific and are designed to ensure the continued management of your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated during your life or in the event you know you will be absent for a specific transaction.  A general power of attorney may confer full power to make financial decisions.  A real estate power of attorney may grant an agent the ability to buy, sell, or lease immovable property.

A medical power of attorney gives authority to another person to give consent to healthcare providers on your behalf if you are unable to do so.  A living will specifies the type of medical care a person wishes to receive or not receive if one becomes incapacitated or seriously ill and unable to communicate.


Trusts are juridical entities that can have ownership of property.  One benefit of trusts in estate planning is allowing money and other assets to grow tax free until disbursed to the beneficiaries.  There are many types of trusts, but one of the most common is a testamentary trust which may be included in one’s will.  These are sometimes beneficial when a person has significant assets or life insurance policy and/or they have minor children.  The trust allows periodic disbursement rather than leaving it all at once and is beneficial to minor children as they will have a trustee to manage the assets for them.

Special needs trusts are commonly used when an heir has a disability for which they receive public assistance.  It can help ensure that the special needs beneficiary does not lose their benefits upon inheritance.  

Another common trust is a living trust, which is put in place during one’s lifetime and serves as a way of giving part of an estate to a loved one prior to death while still maintaining control over the assets as the trustee.  An act of donation is similarly used during one’s lifetime, but the property is wholly transferred and the donee can then do with it as he or she pleases.

New Orleans Estate Planning Attorneys

Bowes, Petkovich & Palmer, LLC is a Gretna law firm that has served the New Orleans area since 1980.  Our experienced estate planning lawyers can analyze your situation and advise you throughout the process.  We take pride in offering a personal and trusted experience.  Call us today for a free consultation and find out why so many of our clients come back to us.

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Update My Will - estate planning

Common Estate Planning Instruments:

Last Will and Testament
Power of Attorney
Living Will
Act of Donation


Related Articles:

Updating Your Will
Everyone Should Have a Power of Attorney
Forced Heirship and Collation


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Estate Planning News

  • successions and probateWhat Happens When a Legatee or Heir Dies?
    In Estate Planning, Successions
    Successions When a Legatee or Heir Dies: Successions are either intestate or testate.  Intestate successions occur when there is no will, the will is invalid, or the will does not dispose of all the decedent’s property.  Testate successions occur when there is a valid notarial or olographic will.  An heir is a person who inherits property in an intestate succession.  A legatee is a person who is bequeathed property in a testate succession. In Louisiana there are three [READ MORE]
  • wills - successions - estate planning - forced heirshipWhat is Forced Heirship and Collation?
    In Estate Planning, Successions
    Forced Heirship and Collation Forced heirship is unique to Louisiana and can dramatically impact your estate plan.  Likewise, collation can have a profound impact on the forced portion and on your succession proceedings.  Forced heirship is designed to prevent a person from disinheriting certain children or grandchildren.  It was born under the presumption that parents desire to treat their children equally. What is forced heirship? Per La. Civ. Code art. 1494, a forced heir must [READ MORE]
  • Louisiana power of attorneyWhy Everyone Should Have a Power of Attorney
    In Estate Planning
    Importance of Power of Attorney Most people recognize the importance of comprehensive estate planning, although they may choose to avoid it for as long as possible.  One important part of your estate plan is your power of attorney (POA).  Basically, a POA is a document that empowers an individual to make legal decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated or are unable to do so for yourself.  You can choose the extent of the authority you grant in the [READ MORE]


Bowes, Petkovich & Palmer, LLC

2550 Belle Chasse Highway
Suite 200

Gretna, Louisiana 70053


Need additional assistance? Please contact us:


504-368-2700 (main)

504-368-2900 (fax)


We are open Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

We are available by appointment during non-business hours.