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Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law

Houma estate and elder law attorney, John Sirois, uses various types of trusts to help his clients achieve their estate planning goals. Whether you wish to avoid probate with a revocable living trust, protect assets from long-term care expenses with an asset protection trust, or have other planning goals Houma-Thibodaux trust attorney, John Sirois, can provide you with expert guidance.

Trusts are versatile planning tools that allow you to plan for and achieve many planning goals, and there are numerous types of Trusts available to Louisiana residents. Many people think that trusts are mysterious estate planning tools. But a trust is really just a set of instructions that allows you to control your assets — money, real estate, investments, etc. — either during your lifetime or after your death.

In fact, a trust will allow you to “control” assets many years after your death to be held and used for the benefit of the individuals you choose. You have complete control over the trust distributions (including the amount and timing) or these decisions may be left to the discretion of the Trustee.

A trust typically involves four parties — the settlor who creates the trust; a trustee who holds and manages the property and follows the settlor’s instructions; the beneficiary for whom the trust assets are used to benefit; and the grantor (who is often also the settlor), a person who transfers assets to a trust.

Thibodaux Trust Attorney

A trust can help protect the assets you leave to your loved ones and allows you to control the assets even after your death. The following are a few types of trusts and their uses:

  • Revocable Trusts are typically used to avoid probate or for managing your assets if you become incapacitated.
  • A Medicaid Asset Protection Trust can provide control and protection from Medicaid spend-down for nursing home expenses.
  • Special Needs Trusts provide for the needs of disabled beneficiaries while maintaining eligibility for Medicaid and/or SSI.
  • Asset Protection Trusts are used to protect assets from lawsuits and creditors.
  • A Children’s Trust provides financial resources to pay for your child or grandchild’s education or other needs (as determined by you) while restricting his or her access to trust assets until he or she attains the age you select.
  • Credit Shelter Trusts allow the use of both spouses’ estate tax exemptions to reduce estate taxes while providing the surviving spouse with the use of both spouses’ assets.
  • A Qualified Terminal Interest Property (QTIP) trust provides income for life to the surviving spouse while allowing the first-to-die spouse to control who will inherit the QTIP trust assets after the surviving spouse’s death. A QTIP trust is useful to a spouse who wishes to guarantee certain assets will be left to children from a prior marriage.
  • An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust removes the life insurance death benefit value and the cash value from the estate to help reduce estate taxes and pay any taxes that are due.
  • Charitable Split Interest Trusts (e.g. charitable remainder trusts) provides income, gift and estate tax savings while paying an income stream to the donor. At the end of the trust term, the donated asset is delivered to the charity.

Metairie Trust Attorney

As you can see, what a trust can do is limited only by the law and your own imagination. Think of trusts as the estate planner’s Swiss Army knife. Different trusts are used for different planning needs, and a single trust can accomplish multiple planning goals. Keep in mind that trusts are not just for people with multimillion-dollar estates. Even more modest-sized estates deserve the protection and planning flexibility provided by trusts.

Houma Trust Attorney

If you have questions about trusts in Louisiana, contact Louisiana trust attorney John Sirois. After learning about your planning goals he can help you determine if a trust is right for you. John works with clients throughout Louisiana including Houma, Thibodaux, Metairie, Kenner, Jefferson, New Orleans, Harahan, Gretna, and the River Parishes.

Call lawyer John Sirois of Houma at 985-580-2520, or e-mail him at for a consultation. His knowledge and experience will bring you peace of mind.

For more information about Trusts in Louisiana, visit the Trusts section of the Estate Planning Info Center.

Click on the Estate Planning Checklist to begin planning your estate.

Click here to order a copy of John’s book, Louisiana Retirement and Estate Planning.