A will determines what happens to your property once you pass away.
Why do I need a will?
Everyone needs a Will. Without a will, community property (acquired during the marriage) is divided: ½ to spouse, ½ to children, subject to spouse’s right to use the property until remarriage. Separate property goes to the children or blood relatives of the deceased. Further, in Louisiana, we have forced heirship.
What is a forced heir?
- A forced heir in Louisiana is any child of the decedent, (or deceased), who is 24 years old or younger
- Forced heirs are entitled to a portion of your estate, or a portion of all your assets at the time of your death. Specifically, if there is one forced heir, that individual is entitled to ¼ of the decedent’s estate. If there are two or more forced heirs, ½ of the entire estate goes to the forced heirs.
- For example, my Will states that 100% of my estate is to go to my husband Tom when I die. Yet, I have a child under the age of 24 who qualifies as a forced heir. Although I have not included him or her in my Will, he or she will receive 1/4th, or 25%, of my estate (the forced portion). The remaining 75% of my estate (the disposable portion) is divided up according to my Will. My Will states that I wish to give everything to Tom, yet, in reality, Tom will really only receive 75% of my assets.