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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

Estate Planning in the Age of Coronavirus is Like a Vaccine. It Must Be Administered IN ADVANCE.


17 March, 2020

Estate Planning in the Age of Coronavirus is Like a Vaccine.  It Must Be Administered IN ADVANCE.
The Coronavirus is a wake up call.  It should be considered a system check.

State of the Union in Louisiana

As of this writing, the Governor of Louisiana has ordered the closure of restaurants, bars, casinos, and gyms, in addition to public school.  Colleges have closed their doors moving to remote / video classroom instruction.  Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited.

There are shortages of staples in grocery stores.  Ebay is rumored to have suspended the sale of hand-sanitizer due to price gouging.  People are practicing self-isolation.

Before this pandemic, you might have considered people who actually planned for this eventuality a touch paranoid, or even conspiracy minded.  This too shall pass, but to be honest, an underground bunker stocked with years of canned food and provisions doesn't sound so bad right now.

For the latest information in real time, CLICK HERE to visit the website for Center for Disease Control (CDC).  A few stats as of this writing are as follows:
  • 80% of the cases are relatively mild;
  • 20% of the cases turn more severe;
  • The mortality ranges between 2-3% of for those who contract it;
  • The mortality rate rises as we get older.  Children are less susceptible.
  • It spreads easily, such as through the air and through surfaces that can hold the virus.

Estate Planning Essentials

The tendency to procrastinate with essential estate planning is natural.  Everyone does it.  However, times like these magnify the need to have our legal and financial affairs in order .

From the legal perspective, consider the following:
Bare Bones Estate Plan
You should have at least a bare bones estate plan in place, including:
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Healthcare Directive (aka Living Will)
These essential documents are the most basic in terms of estate planning.  Beware of online sources for these documents, especially in Louisiana.

There are two sources of estate litigation (only two!): (1) plain old procrastination; and (2) thinking you're "all set" when you really are not, which means you simply don't understand what you're document actually do, or you have defective documents and you just don't know it yet.

To avoid these issues, be sure to employ a qualified estate planning attorney, specifically one that is equipped to deliver estate planning services remotely - as we do.  There is no need to risk downloading an unknown computer-generated estate planning document.
Review Beneficiary Designations
You should review beneficiary designations for all non-probate assets like life insurance, annuities and retirement plans.  Beneficiary designations should be integrated with the provisions of your will or living trust.
Trust Funding
If you have a trust (whether revocable or irrevocable), you should review funding to ensure all assets have been properly transferred to trust.  Improper funding is a common problem with trust-centered planning, which is the primary reason our office actually supervises and monitors the process through completion rather than providing "funding instructions."

Virtual Estate Planning (in the Comfort of Your Home)

With current technology, much of the estate planning process can be achieved remotely in the comfort of your own home.  Our office is uniquely positioned for remote operations through cloud-based matter management and communication platforms, as well as video and telephone conferencing technology.  We can provide estate planning services to anyone from any location in the world - and we do.

We are moving client meetings, except those which require the execution of documents in the presence of a notary and two witnesses to an online format or telephone conference.  For Signing Meetings (where documents are executed in the presence of a notary and two witnesses, we are taking the following precautions:
  • The building is implementing high-touch cleaning and disinfecting protocol, including more frequent cleaning of restrooms, conference rooms, and other touchpoints.
  • We schedule thirty (30) minute intervals between in person client meetings to implement disinfecting protocol.
  • Hand Sanitizers are available in the main building lobby.
  • We recommend utilizing the restrooms near our firm’s back entrance for cleaning your hands before and after your visit.
  • The most touched surfaces in our firm’s lobby, reception area, meeting offices and conference room are being disinfected multiple times throughout the day.

Estate Planning Is Like a Vaccine.  It Works When Administered in Advance.

The best time to start an estate plan was before the pandemic hit.  The next best time is NOW, but only before you get sick.  As a practical matter, if you have contracted the Coronavirus, it will be difficult for you to find an attorney that will risk you spreading the virus to the attorney and their staff. However, we can work with you remotely even if you have contracted the Coronavirus, so please do not hesitate to call.  

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 will or trust lawyer, or a 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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