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Theus Law Offices is rated 5 out of 5.0 stars based on 5 review(s).

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Most people have many questions about estate planning but never make a move to go see an attorney. Before Theus' free seminar I did not even know their were attorneys that specialized in only estate planning. Thank goodness I attended...as I did not even know what asset protection was, even though I had assets. Most people think a written will is fine and pass away thinking that things will be as they wished/stated. Most times that is not the case. I urge you to go Theus Law Offices for consultation. They are friendly and down to earth with your wishes being #1. I cannot say enough good things about them. Now that I have gone to Theus I rest so much easier knowing that my wishes...are going to be held up...just as I wanted...no doubt about it....Thanks to the Theus family !

- Peyton Guillory

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The Theus Law Offices’ Family Estate Planning is a must from my perspective. I had recently lost my dad when I decide to attend the in-person Workshop at the time. My dad and I had attended a similar workshop some four (4) years prior but my dad didn’t elect at the time to move forward. I so wished that he (my dad) had done so because now I am helping my mom go through the Succession/Probate steps with a lawyer currently. If you or your loved ones haven’t made this decision with Estate Planning, I would strongly encourage you to attend this web-based workshop/webinar. Graves Theus is a great attorney to go with for this important step in you and your family’s planning for the future in many, many ways!!!

- Mark Johnson

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The Theus Law Offices’ Family Estate Planning is a must from my perspective. I had recently lost my dad when I decide to attend the in-person Workshop at the time. My dad and I had attended a similar workshop some four (4) years prior but my dad didn’t elect at the time to move forward. I so wished that he (my dad) had done so because now I am helping my mom go through the Succession/Probate steps with a lawyer currently. If you or your loved ones haven’t made this decision with Estate Planning, I would strongly encourage you to attend this web-based workshop/webinar. Graves Theus is a great attorney to go with for this important step in you and your family’s planning for the future in many, many ways!!!

- Mark Johnson

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They are a wonderful Team!

- Jessica Cole

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Estate planning is a complicated process, but my wife and I feel it is valuable and necessary. We started by attending an Estate Planning workshop offered by the Theus Law Offices and led by Jim Theus. That was about the wisest decision we have made in some time. We engaged the services of Theus Law Offices and have benefitted enormously from the direct working relationship with Jim Theus. They did not sign us up and then pass us off to a staff member. We worked with Jim Theus personally. When it was time to work with others of the staff, we found them friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. Jim Theus is exceptionally competent and patiently answers questions. His due diligence is admirable. We found their fees for estate planning reasonable and fair. You would be wise to consider using the services of Theus Law Offices if you are interested in estate planning. We are grateful for their help and recommend them to you without reservations. Our loved ones will also be the beneficiaries of a comprehensive plan, as are we. Doyle L Bailey

- Doyle Bailey

Blog

2 Trust Types to Consider when Estate Planning for a Blended Family


03 March, 2020

No one said estate planning is easy, and this is especially true if you have a “blended family.” The good news is that there are two trust types — a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust and an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) — that can provide for your children from a previous marriage while also taking care of your current spouse and any children from your current marriage.

QTIP trust

At minimum, you should have a will in place that specifies how your wealth should be distributed. Otherwise, a significant portion of your estate may go to your children from a previous marriage — even if they’re now adults and don’t need the assets as much as your current spouse and any other children.

To implement your wishes for wealth distribution, you may find it helpful to establish a QTIP trust. This trust qualifies for the estate tax marital deduction, meaning that assets you transfer to the trust aren’t taxed when you die, and the entire amount is available for your spouse’s support. But unlike an ordinary marital trust, a QTIP trust can provide your spouse with income for life while preserving the principal for your children (from either your current or previous marriage, or from both) or other beneficiaries.

When your spouse dies, though, the trust assets will be subject to tax as part of his or her estate, even if the assets are to pass to your children as instructed in your will.

ILIT

In some cases — particularly when one spouse is considerably younger than the other — a QTIP trust may not be the best solution. That’s because the children from a first marriage, who may be much older than those from the second marriage, may have to wait years until the younger spouse dies and they can receive their inheritance.

In situations like this, an ILIT may be a better solution. The ILIT purchases life insurance on the older spouse, who makes annual exclusion gifts to the trust to cover the premiums. If the ILIT is designed properly, there won’t be any estate tax on the insurance proceeds.

When the older spouse dies, the trust collects the death benefit and pays it out to the children from the first marriage. The older children receive their inheritance immediately, and the other assets remain available to provide for the younger spouse and children.

Discuss your plans

Before choosing any estate planning approach, discuss your plans with your loved ones. Even if your plan is inherently fair, it may not be perceived that way without an explanation. In addition, consider the consequences of different wealth transfer strategies. QTIP trusts and ILITs are only two of the many tools available to control the distribution of your wealth in a way that minimizes taxes and maximizes benefits for everyone involved. Contact us with any questions.

Theus Law Offices specializes in a complete range of estate planning and elder law services, including wills, trusts, probate, successions, estate administration and probate litigation. If you need a Louisiana wills and trusts lawyer or succession attorney in Alexandria, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport, Monroe, or elsewhere in Central Louisiana, let our certified estate planning specialist and probate lawyers help you.

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