Are There Different Types of Wills?
Under Louisiana law, there are only two forms of valid wills (testaments) - Olographic Wills and Notarial Wills.
An olographic will (handwritten testament) is a will that is entirely written, dated, and signed in the handwriting of the testator (a person creating the will). The testament must be dated with the exact day, month, and year that it was created by the testator.
A notarial will is a will dictated by the testator, drawn up or written by a notary, and dated and signed in the presence of two witnesses. According to the Louisiana Civil Code Article 1577, in the presence of a notary and two competent witnesses, the testator shall declare or signify to them that the instrument is his testament and shall sign his name at the end of the testament and on each separate page.
Commonly Inherited Assets
Commonly inherited assets in a Louisiana Will include:
- House or any other real estate property
- Personal belongings
- Household items
- Family heirlooms
- Motor vehicles
- Money in a bank account
- Trusts and shares
- Pension or life insurance payout
Why Having a Will Is Important
Having a will is important because it:
- Protects your assets and loved ones
- Provides specific instructions about how your estate will be distributed
- Specifies who will care for your minor children
- Specifies who will care for your pets
- Simplifies the probate process
- Prevents intestate succession (without a will, your property will be distributed using Louisiana's intestate succession laws)
- Mitigates or prevents family conflict and disputes
- Allows you to give gifts and donations to schools and charities
- Reduces state and federal estate taxes
- Prevents false creditor claims or possible legal issues
Unfortunately, many individuals hardly ever consider drawing up a will or estate plan until it's too late. In contrast, it’s never too early to begin planning for life's uncertainties.
How Experienced Legal Counsel Can Help
It is never too early or too late to make preparations for after you’re gone. In the event that you are unable or unavailable to voice your wishes, your surviving family members can benefit from knowing exactly how you would like your wishes to be carried out. A knowledgeable Louisiana wills attorney can help you determine the right estate planning option that is best for you and your loved ones.
As the founder of my firm, Robert B. Dunlap Attorney at Law, I am committed to providing experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel to all of those who are interested in setting up an estate plan. I have devoted my career to assisting clients through the complex estate planning process. As your attorney, I will provide the clarity you need to determine the ideal estate plan that fits both your unique needs and protects your family's interests.
Using my extensive experience, I will diligently guide you through the process of drawing up a valid will, address all of your needs and concerns, and do everything I can to protect your legacy and ensure your family is taken care of long after you’re gone. Together, we can work to ensure a safer future for you and your loved ones for the days ahead — whatever they may bring. So don’t wait. Reach out to my office today to get the process started.