Estate planning can be complicated, but it can help prepare your family for the unexpected. For Louisiana residents, managing family inheritance includes another concern.

If you are preparing an estate plan, you must understand forced heirship and how it impacts your family. Louisiana is the only state in America with forced heirship. That could significantly impact on your estate plan.

What is forced heirship?

Forced heirship is a law that requires that a portion of your estate must be left to your children. The law says a forced heir is a child of the deceased who is 23 years old or younger or children of any age who cannot care for themselves.

What about estranged children?

You can disinherit a child for a variety of reasons, including:

  • No communications for over two years. Active military duty is an exception.
  • Committed/threatened bodily harm against you.
  • Committed a cruel act, a crime, or a grievous act towards you.
  • Falsely accused you of a crime punishable with capital punishment/life sentence.
  • Used violence to prevent your testimony.
  • A minor who married without your consent.
  • Convicted of a serious crime punishable by death/life sentence.

An estate plan can provide for your loved ones

Forced heirship guarantees members of your family (who meet the criteria) a percentage of your estate, you choose. You need to understand forced heirship and develop a forced portion. The rest of your estate is disposable, and you can distribute it to whomever you choose. In Louisiana, it is an important part of your estate plan.