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.
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.
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. Under certain circumstances, and with a properly drafted estate plan however, a forced heir may be able to be disinherited.
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.
As a senior, you can face complex legal problems, often different from legal issues you faced when you were younger. Preserving your assets, planning for future care, Medicaid planning and qualification, estate planning, and probate issues become far more complex as you age.
Elder law is more than simply planning to keep your money from the government by giving it to your kids. Rather, our main object at Kallio Law is to help ensure that you can maintain your standard of living and care for the rest of your life. If leaving a legacy for your heirs is important to you, we can make both goals a priority.
At Kallio Law, we start with a good estate plan, but we can also ensure that you have plans if you become incapacitated and can no longer make your health care or financial decisions. We can also help you plan if you or your spouse need to qualify for Medicaid, helping you preserve your assets while ensuring that you get quality care in a long-term nursing facility.
We help clients with many aspects of elder care law, including:
- Medicaid planning;
- Nursing home neglect and abuse cases;
- Estate planning;
- Administration and management of trusts and estates;
- Conservatorships and guardianships;
- Probate management and litigation;
- Elder abuse and fraud recovery;
- Health law;
- Age discrimination;
- Disability planning and insurance issues;
- Retirement benefits, including survivor and pension benefits;
- Incapacitation plans and powers of attorney; and
- Veterans benefits law.
ELDERLY PROTECTIVE SERVICES
While it's unfortunate, seniors are often the targets of physical, sexual, or financial abuse. If you or someone you love becomes a vulnerable target or abuse, Kallio Law can help. We represent clients in a wide range of cases involving neglect and abuse, and financial exploitation.
Elderly Protective Services is a Louisiana state agency that investigates allegations of elderly neglect and abuse. Everyone in the state is a mandatory reporter of suspected elder abuse. This obligation to report includes health care providers, nursing home staff, family members, clergy, bank tellers, home cleaning workers, and neighbors. If you aren't sure if abuse is happening, it's better to be safe than sorry. Contact Elderly Protective Services at 1-833-577-6532. For cases of possible nursing home abuse, contact the Ombudsman's Program at 1-866-632-0922.
If you aren't sure where to turn, contact Kallio Law. We can help legally protect you and your vulnerable family members.