In Louisiana, a person can will their property to anyone or anything (such as a charity) that they so desire as long as there are no forced heirs. Forced heirship only applies in Louisiana if the decedent dies leaving a child under the age of 24 or a child of any age that is permanently disabled. If there is no will, the undisposed property of the deceased devolves by operation of law in favor of his descendants, ascendants, and collaterals, by blood or by adoption, and in favor of his spouse not judicially separated from him as follows:
If you die with:
1) Children but no spouse, parents, or siblings then children inherit everything.
2) Spouse but no children, parents, or siblings then spouse inherits everything.
3) Parents but no children, spouse, or siblings then parents inherit everything.
4) Siblings but no children, spouse, or parents then siblings inherit everything.
5) A spouse and children then spouse has the right to use your share of the community property for life; this is called a "usufruct". Then the children inherit your share of community property subject to the surviving spouse's right to use it for life, plus all of your separate property.
6) A spouse and parents then spouse inherits all your community property and parents inherit your separate property.
7) A spouse and siblings, but no parents then spouse inherits all of your community property and siblings inherit your separate property.
8) Siblings and parent, but no spouse then parents have the right to use your intestate property for life, then your siblings inherit everything.
As you can see, if you don't want your assets to go as mentioned above, then it is crucial that you have a Last Will and Testament done by an attorney. I have had numerous people come in my office with a will that the decedent got off of the internet and it isn't worth the paper it is written on. As a general rule, documents from websites that you get off the internet are not good in Louisiana (even if they say they are) and can cost you way more in the long run. Many times I even ask what they paid for the document and it is MORE than I would have charged. Wills are not expensive to prepare. You can give me a call, set an appointment, and walk out with your will. If you would like to make an appointment to discuss me making a will for you or any other matter, give me a call at (318) 387-2201 or send me a private message.