Coreil discusses wills and estate planning during Rotary meeting
By: HEATHER BOGARD
December 15, Meeting
Rotarian Brent Coreil addressed the December 15, meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club with a discussion on the importance of estate planning and wills.
Coreil stressed that everyone should make arrangements and have a will drawn up to take care of loved ones and any inheritance and property left behind, especially in the cases involving multiple marriages. He said there are two types of wills: a statutory that is normally prepared by an attorney, typed and signed and read in front of witnesses; and an olographic will, which is a simple will prepared by the person. Coreil noted that an olographic will is handwritten and must be dated by the person and signed on every page. The signature must be verified with an affidavit signed in front of a judge. This type of will is legally recognized in the state of Louisiana.
Coreil said that in the cases of second marriages, it is important to get legal and financial advice from professionals, especially if they wish to make a specific bequest in the will.
Getting into estate planning, Coreil said the person should make a list of all assets and debts, as well as how to locate them, in order to make things as easy as possible. He also said they should tell their bank to disburse payment on death in order to avoid the family having to wait to move funds around. This will remove liability from the bank once funds are disbursed.
In order to avoid the family having to deal with a lot of fees and red tape, Coreil recommended naming an independent administrator/executor of the will to handle the succession of your estate, as well as an alternate. The executor will carry out the wishes outlined in the will. A letter of executorship may be presented to the banks. Coreil said if all of this is handled in advance, the family can avoid having to go back and forth with attorneys and fees while managing the estate.
Coreil noted that people are worried about estate taxes, but he said that Louisiana does not have estate taxes and that federal estate taxes are not assessed unless the said estate has a value of over $5.4 million dollars. He said that it is important to be careful with life insurance if the policy is large enough to push the estate over that threshold.
Another issue Coreil mentioned is that in the past, people entering a nursing home facility would have to sell their home because they could not have more than $2,000 in the bank in order to qualify for Medicaid. However, Congress has since passed a law stating a person can keep their home while living in a nursing facility. Under the law, they can allow someone to live in the home but they may not rent it.