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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.

New Orleans attorneys



Update My Will - estate planning

Common Estate Planning Documents that we Prepare:

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
What Happens When an Heir or Legatee Dies?
What is a Usufruct?
The Importance of a Will for Separate Property
Naming a Tutor in your Will




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Estate Planning News

  • naming a tutor in your willThe Importance of Naming a Tutor in your Will
    In Estate Planning, Family Law
    Naming a Tutor in your Will is a Crucial Step: It’s difficult to think about the situation where a young child loses both of his or her parents, but this is the time when a tutor would step in to take care of the child.  Naming a tutor is often overlooked when preparing a last will and testament, especially when someone writes their own will.  In many instances though, naming a tutor is the main reason for writing a will.  It is not uncommon for someone’s final wishes to [READ MORE]
  • Louisiana last will and testament; will for separate propertyThe Importance of a Will for Separate Property
    In Estate Planning
    Why Having a Last Will for Separate Property is Crucial: It is common for married couples to acquire property prior to the marriage.  This property is considered separate property.  Because the order of succession is different for community property and separate property, it is imperative to know what will happen to your property if you die without a last will and testament.  Often times, the intestate laws are in direct conflict with the actual wishes of the property [READ MORE]
  • Louisiana law of usufructWhat is a Usufruct?
    In Successions, Estate Planning
    Louisiana Law of Usufruct: Full ownership in Louisiana is broken down into three elements: (1) usus which is the right to use or possess a thing; (2) fructus which is the right to the fruits or income of a thing; and (3) abusus which is the right to abuse or dispose of a thing (either physically or juridically). Per La. Civ. Code art. 535, a usufruct is a real right of limited duration on the property of another.  It combines the first two elements of ownership, usus and fructus.  The [READ MORE]


2550 Belle Chasse Highway
Suite 200
Gretna, Louisiana 70053



504-368-2700 (main)

504-368-2900 (fax)


Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

We are available by appointment during non-business hours.