Free Louisiana Last Will and Testament



What is a Last Will and Testament?

A Louisiana Last Will and Testament, when created and executed correctly by an individual who is an adult of sound mind, is a formal document that outlines the way in which your possessions or real estate will be handled and allocated following your passing away. The one who leaves a last will is called a testator. After they die, they could also be called the decedent. In case the decedent has minor children, the Last Will might also be used to designate a person they want to care for their kids and who they wish to manage their children’s inheritance and finances right until each child comes of age (typically 18, but you can indicate a different age) to deal with their finances on their own.

In a Louisiana Final Will, the testator generally also establishes a personal representative-or co-personal agents (several persons acting together in this capacity) to be in charge of the estate matters. A personal agent is an individual who gathers all of the information in relation to the decedent’s financial obligations and assets, pays any unpaid debts with the assets on behalf of the estate, and ensures that the decedent’s property is distributed as provided in the last will, so this is a job with a lot of responsibility. The personal representative decided on is often somebody the testator genuinely is sure of to conclude their final wishes.

Any time someone dies without any valid Louisiana Last Will and Testament (which in most states implies the document must be properly witnessed, not only signed), somebody will typically be designated by the probate court to function as personal agent and pay out the decedent’s outstanding debts, utilizing assets as necessary to do so. Next, the remaining assets will be allotted among the decedent’s beneficiaries in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state the testator lived in.

In certain states, any time one spouse passes away leaving behind their husband or wife, that surviving spouse will get the decedent’s assets in the absence of a Last Will declaring the opposite. In other instances, the decedent could have chosen a specific person to receive a life insurance policy, retirement account, or some other asset, and this inheritor designation will establish who receives those assets in the absence of a Will document.

The important thing to be aware of is that any person who wishes to specify the way in which their assets will be distributed after their passing should create and properly execute a Last Will to make sure that their wishes are known and followed. With no will, you might be leaving it up to chance, the laws of the state, or a lawcourt regarding the way your final matters will be wrapped up.

Legal Requirements for Last Will in Louisiana

The Last Will and Testament document is a paper created by those citizens who want to make sure that their assets after their death will be distributed in strict accordance with their will. The document, often notarized with the lawyer, becomes legit proof of the necessity to follow the Last Will and Testament law. For different states in the USA, however, the rules are different. In some states, for example, an oral version of the Last Will is also a countable document and has to be considered at the inheritance procedure. But for Louisiana, this is not the case — in this state, the Last Will has to be written or printed to become legal. Also, the paper in Louisiana has to be signed not only by the testator (the person who creates the Last Will document) but also by two independent witnesses who are not considered as the inheritors (to ensure their impartiality). After that, the paper has to be notarized (verified, witnessed, registered) with the lawyer at the corresponding establishment.

In any case, every Last Will document has to include the section about the representatives. Representatives are people chosen by the decedent before his/her death (the term “decedent” is legit and is used in the official documents) who will be responsible for the appropriate distribution of the property of the deceased person. The decedent can choose either one or more representatives — they are also referred to as the “executors.” The executors have to make sure that all the debts of a decedent are paid with the private property of the latter and that the remaining property is distributed between the heirs in a proper way.

If it happens that the deceased person does not prepare a Last Will document in advance, the court chooses the representative for oneself. These might be family members (often a spouse or an adult child), other relatives, or close friends. In this case, the chosen executor automatically becomes responsible for the aforementioned procedures.

If the deceased person has children, a necessary point in the Last Will document will be the statement of the guardians. The guardians are people, usually, the closest surrounding of the deceased, who become responsible for the child or children who cannot take care of themselves due to their age (under 18). Choosing a guardian, one has to think carefully and make a wise decision — the potential guardian should better have established positive relationships with the child (ren), be responsible and trustworthy.

The testator also has to prepare a list of private property that will later be transferred to the heirs. The list of the heirs must also be prepared in advance.

Each Last Will and Testament document, to become legal, has to include thus the following points:

  • The list of representatives (or one representative) and the required information about them

  • The list of guardians (or one guardian) and the required information about them

  • The list of assets, in detail

  • The list of inheritors with the concrete description of property distributions

  • The testator’s signature

  • The witnessess’ signatures

  • Verification and registration by the lawyer

It is strongly recommended to keep the document in a well-protected place, like the safe deposit, to make sure no faking crimes are possible.

Last Will Forms for Neighboring States