Estate Planning


Rest assured that we do not need a comprehensive list of your assets to do your estate planning--those will change before you die.  What we do need is a general idea of your net worth because we need to know what type of Will to draft for you.  Most of the other information we need you will know off the top of your head. 

Here are some things to consider before your first appointment:

    In most families, assets are given to all legatees equally, but this is not always the case.  Do you have an heir that you want to favor for any reason?  Do you have an heir that you want to disinherit?  Do you want to leave assets to charity?

    Who will receive any jewelry, collectibles, guns, antiques, etc.?  Often making this determination in a Will avoids conflict between the legatees.

    Who will be the executor and alternate executor of the estate to carry out the Will?

    Who will be the tutor (guardian) and alternate tutor of minor children?  This is often a major sticking point between a couple with young children.  In fact, many young couples avoid estate planning altogether because they cannot agree on a tutor.  This is an important decision to make together.  Do not allow the potential unpleasantness of this decision keep you from making a Will.  Have the conversation.

    Consider leaving assets in trust if any legatees are minors, battle alcoholism or drug or gambling addiction, have financial problems, marriage problems, or receive Medicaid or SSI.  An inheritance is the separate property of the person who inherits it, but often people are not very diligent about keeping separate property from becoming commingled with community property.  A trust can prevent inherited assets from being caught up in a community property settlement in the event of divorce.  If a legatee receives SSI or Medicaid, these benefits will likely be lost if the recipient of these benefits receives an inheritance unless we do special planning to attempt to protect these assets.

    If a trust is necessary, who will be the trustee?  The job of a trustee is not only to manage the assets, but also to listen to the beneficiary’s demands for money and to decide which to meet and which to decline.

    Who will be the Agent(s) in a Power of Attorney?  A Power of Attorney is necessary for the agents to handle business in the event of incapacity.

    Do you want to execute a Living Will, a document that tells how you feel about life support and feeding tubes when they artificially prolong the dying process?

    Do you have someone who can make your funeral arrangements?  The law allows the following people in order of privilege to make funeral arrangements:  spouse, adult children, parents, siblings.

    Are there beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries for life insurance, IRAs, retirement plans, annuities?


    Where do you plan to keep your Last Will and Testament and other important estate planning documents?  If there is a safe deposit box, does someone know about it and where to find the two keys?


    Will your executor be able to find information about your assets necessary to complete your succession?

    We will talk you through all these important decisions at your estate planning appointment.



What you need to know about your estate planning appointment

Cancienne Law Firm

515 Barrow Street

Houma, Louisiana 70360

ph. (985) 876-5656

fax (985) 876-5659


  1. L.Milton Cancienne Jr.

Troy D. Cancienne