According to a recent estate planning and wills study from Caring.com, only about 32 percent of Americans have a will or estate planning documents. Settling the final affairs of the deceased and distributing their assets to any heirs and beneficiaries can often be a complex process. Without a valid will, the asset distribution process can become convoluted and may even be contested by potential beneficiaries. Regardless of how big or small your estate is, having a properly drafted will in place is an essential step toward protecting your assets, making adequate provisions for your loved ones, and preparing for life’s unexpected turns.

If you’re considering drafting an estate plan and want to understand how drafting a will works, it is imperative that you speak with a knowledgeable Louisiana estate planning attorney for detailed guidance. For over 30 years I have dedicated my time and legal resources to clients seeking experienced legal guidance and advocacy in matters related to estate planning. As your legal counsel, I will assess the unique details of your situation, help you explore all of your estate planning options, and guide you through every step of the estate planning process.

My firm is also proud to represent clients across Shreveport, Bossier City, Mansfield, Minden, DeSota Parish, and Webster Parish, Louisiana, as well as Marshall, Texas — so reach out today to get the reliable legal guidance and support that you deserve.


A will is a legal document that provides detailed instructions concerning how a person’s assets should be distributed or disposed of upon their death. Drafting a Louisiana last will and testament allows you to:

  • Determine who gets your property after your death      
  • Determine how to distribute your assets to any heirs and dependents
  • Provide instructions about how your property should be managed
  • Name a trusted person to manage any property left to your children if they are minors
  • Choose a personal guardian to take care of your children if they are minors
  • Give specific personal items to certain loved ones
  • Name a personal representative or executor to handle your estate and carry out the terms of your will
  • Give gifts to charities and schools
  • Choose a caretaker for any surviving pets

Other things that you may include in the will are:

  • Details about beneficiaries
  • Important details about your assets
  • Funeral and burial arrangements
  • Donation requests



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 in a Louisiana Will include:

  • House or any other real estate property
  • Personal belongings
  • Household items
  • Family heirlooms
  • Motor vehicles
  • Land
  • Money in a bank account
  • Trusts and shares
  • Pension or life insurance payout


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.


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.



If you are considering drafting a will or estate plan, contact my firm, Robert B. Dunlap Attorney at Law, today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. As a knowledgeable Louisiana estate planning attorney, I can provide you with the comprehensive legal counsel, advocacy, and assistance you need. I’m proud to serve individuals and families throughout Shreveport, Bossier City, Mansfield, Minden, DeSota Parish, and Webster Parish, Louisiana, as well as Marshall, Texas.