Understanding Louisiana’s Forced Heirship

– Guidance from Your Estate Planning Attorney in Shreveport

You work hard for what you have, spending years making investments, saving money, and choosing not to waste your income. It makes sense that you would want to leave your wealth to those you love. Louisiana has a unique set of estate planning laws. If you do not have a will when you pass away, you are leaving the state in control of your hard-earned wealth, leaving it up to strangers to decide who reaps the benefits. Creating a will is crucial to protecting your family. However, a simple will leaving everything to your spouse may violate Louisiana’s forced heirship laws.

You can have your wishes honored with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney in Shreveport. When it comes to navigating the law, David L. White understands the system and can give you the advice you need to protect your assets and family after death.

Forced Heirship Still Exists in Louisiana

Many people are surprised that forced heirship still exists. Louisiana is the only state that utilizes this unique set of laws. Here are the basics to help you better understand how this can apply to your situation:

  • Definition: Basically, a forced heir is a child who is twenty-three-years-old or younger or who is mentally or physically incapable of taking care of themselves at the time of the parent’s death. An attorney can help you with the statutory definition, which is much more complex.
  • Collation: Under these laws, any gifts made to other children within three years of your death can be demanded back by the forced heir. The gift is then divided equally among all your kids.
  • How they must be provided for: When you die with a forced heir, they must receive 25% of your legacy. If you have more than one forced heir they will receive at least half.
  • How this affects your spouse: Many couples believe the surviving spouse should receive everything they have worked hard for. That is not possible with forced heirship in the case of minor or disabled children. Instead, this would violate Louisiana’s laws.
  • Possible options: There are few options to ensure that your eighteen-year-old child does not squander what they have been left with and still provide for your spouse. Leaving the surviving spouse the legal right of their estate and naming their children as the forced heirs is one possibility. Another option is to put everything into a trust until the other spouse dies.

Plan Your Estate with a Dedicated Shreveport Attorney

Leave your legacy to whom you want while still honoring the Louisiana laws when you talk to a dedicated Shreveport estate planning attorney. David L. White has years of experience creating wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents. You can entrust your planning needs to him and know your loved ones will get their inheritance as you envisioned.

Contact your attorney in Shreveport to find out more about planning your estate in Louisiana. Call us today at 318-747-7023.