Recent Blog Posts

9 Tips: How to Prepare Children for Their Inheritance

 Posted on January 18, 2023 in Uncategorized

Two things are of critical importance when it comes to wealth: how to build it and how to keep it. If you have a family, then at some point, you may wonder how to talk to your kids about the family's wealth and how it will affect them. If you are looking to make life easier for yourself, we are happy to help with the following list containing nine tips on how to prepare children for their inheritance.

Tip #1. Educate your children about finances from an early age.

It does not matter if you are one of the 8.5% of the richest world citizens who inherited all their wealth, one of the 25% who has combined inherited and self-made wealth, or if you one of the 75% whose wealth is completely self-made. What your children learn in school about finances (if anything) does little to nothing to help them cope with the sudden inheritance of money. All children need to know and understand the value of money, the value of philanthropy, and that money is just one implement in their survival toolbox that can help accomplish their goals.

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What You Need to Know About Medicaid Estate Recovery in Louisiana

 Posted on January 18, 2023 in Uncategorized

Medicaid often provides a necessary bridge between what private insurance, and/or Medicare pay for in terms of long-term care for seniors. What many people are unaware of is that once a senior accepts Medicaid payments, they are subject to estate recovery in Louisiana.

How Does Medicaid Estate Recovery Work in Louisiana?

Once a nursing home resident who is covered by Medicaid dies, the state has a right to reclaim the expenses which were paid under Medicaid for their care. These estate recoveries apply to any care the person received beginning at age 55 and continuing through their death. The expenses may include hospital care, prescription drug payments, and facility services received in a nursing home. Estate recovery by the state may be done in a number of ways including:

  • Filing a claim against the recipient's estate
  • Placing a lien on the family home (if one exists)

There are limitations as to when the state is able to place a lien on the family home. For example, if the home is owned by two spouses (tenants by entirety in Louisiana), as long as the other spouse remains alive and living in the home, the state has no recourse to the property. There are other exceptions to the state's ability to seek recovery as well including:

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How Are Retirement Benefits Divided in a Louisiana Divorce?

 Posted on January 18, 2023 in Uncategorized

Regardless of how long you have been married, divorce is never easy. One of the more challenging aspects of a divorce is property division. Community property laws in Louisiana, complicate property division even further. When pension plans and other retirement benefits are part of an estate, it is important to understand how the community property statutes apply.

Retirement Benefits Prior to Marriage

In some cases, retirement benefits, particularly those related to work-based accounts may have been in place prior to a marriage. In these cases, the benefits earned prior to the marriage would be considered sole property of the person whom the account was set up to benefit. These benefits are not divided between spouses upon division of assets following a divorce. The same rule would apply for any benefits earned after the couple was legally separated.

Retirement Benefits Accrued During the Marriage

Because of the community property laws in Louisiana, any money the couple placed into retirement or pension plans during the marriage is considered owned equally by both spouses. This means these funds will be distributed evenly between the spouses as part of the property division. One complicating factor which you may encounter is the vesting schedule of the pension plan.

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Divorcing in Louisiana? How You Can Protect Your Business

 Posted on January 18, 2023 in Uncategorized

For most people, the single biggest asset they have aside from their home is the business they own. If you started your business before you were married, you may be surprised to learn that the business may become part of the marriage dissolution negotiations. That is possible even if you were the only person whose hard work, valuable time and treasure went into making the business successful.

When Should I Start Protecting My Business From Divorce Proceedings?

The short answer is from day one.

Louisiana divorce law recognizes both separate property and community property. How your property is titled does not determine whether it is separate property or community (marital) property. The default rule in Louisiana is that married couples own property as community property. Community property includes all property acquired during the marriage through the skill, efforts, and work of both or either spouse.  Separate property that loses its identity due to commingling becomes community property. The community property rules determine how assets are divided between the spouses when the community property terminates. Community property terminates upon divorce so that means that your spouse may have a right to at least a portion of the value of business assets that you own. Community property is valued at the time of the community property settlement, or at the time a judge partitions the property.

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10 Important Considerations When Selecting a Louisiana Nursing Home for Your Loved One

 Posted on January 18, 2023 in Uncategorized

Deciding to place your loved one in a skilled nursing facility is never an easy one. There are some steps you should take to ensure their safety, and well-being. Above all else, the care of your loved one is imperative.

1. Make Sure They Have an Updated Will

Whether your loved one is entering a facility because they are no longer able to care for themselves at home, or they have suffered an accident which makes it impossible for you to care for them, you should carefully review their current will.

In some cases, your loved one may have a living will. If this is the case, you will want to review this with them and determine if their wishes have changed. While it is possible to modify a will after admission to a skilled nursing facility, it is generally preferable to make those changes before entering a nursing home.

2. Make Sure They Have a Current Power of Attorney

Despite being in a skilled nursing facility, your loved one's finances must be handled by someone they trust. A financial power of attorney should be drawn up to ensure their assets are protected and their bills outside the nursing home may be paid for from their bank accounts. These documents must be provided to their bank and any brokerage which holds financial assets.

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Avoiding Pitfalls of Social Media During a Divorce

 Posted on January 18, 2023 in Uncategorized

It seems like social media platforms are everywhere in today's digital world.  In these days of COVID-19 isolation occasioned by state shutdowns and extreme social distancing, the collective comfort of friends and followers promised by platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and others has provided the much-needed social contact we all crave. It's also true, however, that for people enmeshed in divorce proceedings or even the specter of a future divorce, your spouse's attorney can use your own social media involvement as evidence against your interests.

Around the world, the trend to use social media technology results in about 2.77 billion users. In some cases, people seem addicted to social media platforms and often spend hours online. That addiction can make spouses feel unconnected and jealous. And those feelings will color actions in divorce cases.

Studies have shown that suspicious spouses turn to social media platforms to confirm and/or get illumination on their doubts. The platforms provide easy access to what users believe is private information. Today, such information is now public for all to see — and to draw their own conclusions.

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New Orleans Succession Laws: Tips on Avoiding Family Battles

 Posted on January 18, 2023 in Uncategorized

Louisiana's laws regarding the transfer of a deceased person's (decedent's) property their heirs after death are unique among the 50 states. It always helps if family members take a few preparatory steps to cope with the awkward and sometimes lengthy legal process. Preparation can also relieve some of the stress following the death of your loved one. Brown Weimer, LLC can help ease some of the burdens at this difficult time. In fact, we created the following tips to make the Succession process easier here in New Orleans: How to Avoid Family Battles After a Loved One's Death.

Let's start with a few basics.

What is the Succession process? The term Succession refers to Louisiana's legal process to transfer the ownership of the deceased person's property to their heirs. It's what other states call Probate. Heirs or descendants cannot take possession of the deceased's property until the Succession documents are filed with the court and the court grants the heirs' Petition for Possession.

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Emergency Last Will and Testament

 Posted on January 18, 2023 in Uncategorized

Our world has changed whether we were ready for it or not. Coronavirus (you might also see it called Covid-19) has created urgency in our financial and estate planning that may not had existed before the virus. Like you, we are hopeful the virus will go away soon and leave us alone. But we (especially the sick and elderly) must consider what can happen if the virus strikes us.

Most of us think we have plenty of time to do our Last Will and Testament—until we don't. If you are worried that you or a loved one is not adequately prepared for the onset of the virus and the estate problems that may be created by your or a loved-one's death, Brown Weimer is offering our emergency Last Will and Testament services.

We offer immediate telephone and video-conferencing to answer questions, give advice, and take the information and guidance that will allow us to prepare a legally enforceable Last Will and Testament. After we gather the needed information, we will draft the Will and travel to you to have the Will executed. That means we will travel to your home, hospital, assisted living-facility, or nursing home so that you may finalize your last Will and Testament and enjoy the peace of mind that such an action brings.

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Inheriting Property in Louisiana? Be Aware of the Basis Consistency Rules

 Posted on January 18, 2023 in Uncategorized

When a property is inherited, there are often conflicting interests when it comes to determining the basis of that property. For executors, it is beneficial to value the property as low as possible in order to minimize associated estate taxes. However, for beneficiaries, it is in their best interest to value property as high as possible, for capital gain, should they decide to sell it down the road. This conflict of interest results in a lower basis being reported to the IRS, yet distributing the asset on a higher basis than was reported for tax purposes.

Louisiana's Estate Basis Consistency Rule was put in place to eliminate these inconsistencies and is a law that you need to be aware of when it comes to inherited property. This is your guide to everything you need to know about this little piece of legislation that can make a big impact on how inherited property is handled.

What is the Estate Basis Consistency Rule?

This legislative change went into effect on July 31, 2015, and ultimately affects how executors and beneficiaries file reports with the IRS concerning inherited properties. According to the CPA Journal, the Basis Consistency Rule states that the beneficiary's basis for the inherited property must be consistent with the property's estate tax value. The basis of a piece of property is considered to be the original cost of the property with adjustments made for varying factors such as depreciation.

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Louisiana’s Law of Intestate Succession

 Posted on January 18, 2023 in Uncategorized

If a person dies without a will, they can neither determine what happens when they pass nor select who inherits their assets. Instead, assets are distributed according to state statute. These statutes are known collectively as the law of intestate succession, which varies from state to state. More than 70% of American adults today do not have a will, so the law of intestate succession comes up often. If you live in Louisiana and do not have a will, there are two rules governing how assets will be distributed after death.

Rule 1: The Deceased was Married at Time of Death

A “surviving issue” refers to any of the deceased's children or grandchildren, and to the surviving spouses' children or grandchildren. If there is no surviving issue, then the entire estate including both separate and community property passes to the surviving spouse.

If there is at least one surviving issue, who is not also issue of the surviving spouse, one-half of the deceased's separate property and the entirety of their community property are inherited by the surviving issue.

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