Louisiana's intestate succession laws are unique in the U.S., combining a mix of statutory or civil law and the common law, with old concepts such as forced heirship and usufruct. Just like our beautiful culture, Louisiana's estate law is a mix of old and new and many countries' legal heritage. While we are proud of our heritage, Louisiana's laws regarding intestate succession and wills require a skilled Louisiana attorney's knowledge.
Wills and Successions
A will can help protect your family and ensure that your assets pass to your heirs according to your wishes. But Louisiana law has some quirks that you should discuss with a skilled Louisiana estates attorney. Generally, you can leave all of your assets to anyone you choose. Unless you have a "forced heir."
Under Louisiana law, any child under 24 or one of any age who is permanently incapable of caring for themselves becomes a forced heir. A forced heir is entitled to a portion of your estate, even if you left everything to someone else in a will, including your spouse.
Community and Separate Property
When married, your Louisiana estate consists of your shared and separate property. Your separate property includes such things as:
- The property you had before marriage;
- Property inherited by one spouse during the marriage; and
- Property gifted to just one spouse during marriage.
Community property is any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage that isn't separate property. Each spouse owns half of the community property in the marriage without a marriage contract or prenuptial agreement.
It is important to remember that estate planning is not just about wills and what happens when someone dies. Estate planning is also about planning for your future and the future of your family. A good estate plan can ensure that you and your family are cared for if you become incapacitated and account for your wishes for end of life care and finances. Finally, an estate plan can ensure that your heirs inherit your assets according to your wishes, with as little cost and as much efficiency as possible. At Kallio Law, we can help plan for all of these eventualities.