Estate planning is something that people too often overlook, but it is never too early to take steps to protect your family and your property. When someone in Louisiana dies without a will, the rigid rules of Louisiana succession law apply, and these may not align with a family’s needs or the desires of the deceased.
Where Property Goes When Someone Dies Without a Will
When a person dies without a will, the Louisiana succession rules dictate that their assets go. This generally means that biologically closer relatives inherit property at the expense of all others. The order of inheritance under Louisiana succession law is as follows:
- Surviving children and their descendants;
- Siblings (with a usufruct to parents);
- Nieces and nephews;
- Surviving spouse;
- Grandparents and other remote ascendants; and
- If there are not surviving family members in the above groups, then to the closest surviving relative.
If a person dies with no surviving family members, the State of Louisiana assumes ownership of property by a process known as “escheat.”
Why You Should Establish an Estate Plan and Have a Will
Although the Louisiana succession rules are designed to create a common-sense inheritance scheme, they can lead to unfair results. Through a will, family members that need or deserve certain assets will be sure to get them. Moreover, a will can direct assets to non-family members, charities, and other organizations that a person may wish to give to.
It’s Never Too Early to Establish a Will
If you work with an attorney to draft a will, you can always go back and change it later on in life. A will only becomes legally binding after a person dies and it is probated. For this reason, it is never too early to establish a will.
Call Shreveport Successions and Wills Attorney Mark J. Miciotto
If you would like more information about this issue, or if you would like to success your estate planning, call the Law Office of Mark J. Miciotto, LLC, to schedule a consultation at (318) 221-7806 today.