What happens to property without a will?

What happens to property without a will?

| Jun 21, 2019 | Wills And Trusts |

Without a will, the State of Louisiana might still distribute your property as you wish. Nevertheless, it is usually beneficial to make some sort of estate plan. You should probably think of the default succession laws as more of an informative context rather than a replacement for good planning. Your will in Louisiana has the power to do other things apart from distributing your assets. For example, you could probably name an executor for your estate or guardian for your children. Please read the following Louisiana succession rules with this in mind.

The order of inheritance for your property if you do not have a will would depend on whether the assets belong to a marriage or to you individually. Basically, assets that belong to your marriage would have your spouse in the line of succession. Your children would be the primary beneficiaries, but your spouse could use your property to a certain extent.

If something is community property without a surviving spouse, then the courts will treat it as separate property that you own individually. According to the Louisiana governor’s office of elderly affairs, the standard property succession happens in the following order:

  • Children or their descendants
  • Siblings or their descendants, with reasonable use by parents
  • Parents
  • Spouses
  • Grandparents, great grandparents and so forth

If none of these initial benefactors could be located, then the estate would go to your nearest relative. Without any relatives, your property would go to the State of Louisiana.

This structure may not work for you if you intended for someone outside of your legal family to be the benefactor of your estate. Without statements or state plans from you to the contrary, the court would not distribute money or property to charities, friends or anyone who is not on the official list of succession for those who pass away without a will. This is not meant as specific legal advice. Please use it only as general information.