Why a Will is Crucial for Louisiana Residents in 2024


As we start the new year, it’s a great time to accomplish those little things that we have been putting off for so long. If you were like me, one of those things was preparing for the inevitable, by ensuring that I had a valid Will. While in Louisiana there are two ways to accomplish this, for numerous reasons, the best way to accomplish this is to visit your trusted, experienced attorney and execute a Notarial Testament. I know I put it off for so long because no one wants to think about death, but, if you don’t execute a valid will in the State of Louisiana you may leave your loved ones in a mess. So, why do you need a will? There are SO MANY reasons, but here, I will highlight just a few: 

To name your heirs, especially your SPOUSE.

Many in Louisiana believe that if they pass away, their spouse will automatically get everything they own. That is FALSE! Your children will inherit your property equally to the exclusion of your spouse. While your spouse is a half-owner of any community property you own together and would get their half share of that property when you pass away, your half of any of your community property would go to … your children! Not your spouse. All of your separate property would go to your children – not your spouse. Without a will, your spouse could be left out in the cold.

Allow your spouse to live in a separately owned home.

If the home you own is a separate property home, for whatever reason (i.e. you purchased it before marriage, it was inherited by you, etc.) that house would automatically go to your children if you did not have a will. However, let’s pretend you wanted ownership of the house to go to your children, but you wanted your spouse to remain living there until their death – you can provide for that in your will. It’s called a Usufruct.

Name your executor.

Who do you trust the most to ensure that your wishes are carried out? You can name that person as the executor of your estate. And, my suggestion? Name a second, and a third, executor, should those persons either predecease you or refuse to take on that responsibility. Without a will, you will not get to choose who manages your estate after you pass away.

Name guardians for your children.

This is what finally prompted me to act. Should you and your spouse (or the other parent of the child) pass away, who would you like to raise your child? Again, my suggestion, name a second and a third in the event any of those persons predecease you or refuse.

There are so many other reasons to execute a will (waive executor’s bond, make special provisions for a child with financial issues, preserve family harmony, make a charitable bequest, make a declaration of cremation, and the list goes on and on). However, without an experienced, trusted attorney to ensure that it is an invalid form and takes into account all of your individual needs, you may end up with an invalid will. We try to make the process as easy and painless as possible, knowing you would rather be doing just about anything else than taking care of this type of paperwork. Let us help check this off of your “To Do” list!