In this article, you will learn:
- Necessary information about forced heirship and lapsed legacy
- Why everyone should consider hiring a probate or estate planning attorney
- How testamentary trust disputes are settled
The forced heir, in Louisiana, is defined as children under the age of 24, or who have a permanent disability. As long as the disability prevents them from supporting themselves, the state has a vested interest in making sure that if they have an inheritance coming, they’re going to get it. The forced heir has the right to a portion of the estate, depending on how many other children there are. So, if it’s more than one child together, they’re entitled to at least half of the estate split by the number of children there are.
Ways To Restrict Forced Heirship
Forced Heirship can be restricted. For example, you could leave it in trust as long as they get the income from it every year, and that can restrict their access to the principal of that inheritance. But other than that, there’s no real way to restrict it.
How Trust Property Is Affected In Louisiana Succession Or Probate
If you have a valid trust and you have property that’s in your trust which is titled properly, then that trust property will bypass the entire succession process. So, we will look to the terms of the trust to determine what happens to that property, and it will never be part of the succession.
Testamentary Trust Disputes
If you have a trust as part of your will, that’s a testamentary trust. So, instead of creating a trust that’s active now, this trust gets created as part of the succession process. It would be like any other inheritance dispute. For example, one way it might come up is if you left something to an individual in trust, and they didn’t want it in trust, they want it outright. In that case they could try to argue that the trust was invalid, and that would be one way to dispute it. In a dispute, it would be just like any successions dispute – they would file a motion or some kind of a legal petition in the succession record, and you duke it out in court and then see who wins.
Lapsed Legacy In Louisiana
A lapsed legacy is something, for example, if you say something like, “I want to leave my truck to my son,” but at the time you die, there is no truck. So again, you can state in your will how you want that handled. If you want your son to say “If the truck is gone, then go ahead and give him $10,000,” that’s one way. If your will is completely silent, then they get nothing.
Why You Need A Succession Or Probate Attorney
It’s challenging to handle a succession on your own. If you have any amount of property involved, the provisions of Louisiana law are very technical, and it’ll just be a lot smoother if you have an attorney. I’m not saying it’s impossible to do it on your own, but you’re going to have to study the law and get the forms to figure out how to proceed.
How Often Estate Planning Problems Need To Be Fixed
We have the estate planning division, and the successions division, in which half of their cases are people doing bad things with the power of attorney, and half of their cases are online wills like that don’t comply with all the technical things that are required in Louisiana for a valid will. The reason it’s so important is that Louisiana’s laws regarding the execution of wills are absolute. That means that if you make a mistake, the entire will is thrown out. It’s either valid or invalid.
So, we have cases like that, and we have cases where it’s like the rocket lawyer will or the Legal Zoom will, where they printed it out, but maybe when they filled it out, they didn’t they did not complete it correctly. Generally, those do-it-yourself wills are just not a good idea.