Louisiana currently has two different types of Wills: the Notarial Will and the Olographic Will. The primary type of will which is used in Louisiana is known as the Notarial Will.  This will is normally type-written and must be executed in the presence of a Notary and two witnesses after the testator has declared to the Notary and witnesses that he or she has read the Will and that the Will is the last Will and Testament of the testator.  The Testament must be dated and all parties must sign in the presence of each other.  This is a self-proving Will.  

The second type of Will which is regularly used in Louisiana is the Handwritten or Olographic will.  The only requirements for this will to be valid is that it be entirely written, dated, and signed in the hand of the testator.  The term “testator” is used for a male who executes a will.  The term “testatrix” is used for a female who executes a will.  A Codicil to a Will is basically an amendment or a supplement to a will which has been previously executed. 

Out of state Wills can be probated in Louisiana.  However, it is suggested that if you previously executed a Will in another state and you move to Louisiana, that you execute another will because of Louisiana’s unusual laws with respect to community property and forced heirship. 

If an individual dies without a Will, known as intestate, and their estate value does not exceed $125,000, then a Small Succession would be required in order to dispose of the deceased estate.

Conditional Bequests and Common Deaths

Louisiana law does allow for conditional bequests if a legatee named in a will does not survive the testator for at least six (6) months.  If the legatee does not survive the testator for at least six (6) months the testator can provide in the testament that the legacy will lapse. 

Similarly, if the testator and a legatee die in a common disaster, such as an airplane crash, Louisiana law provides that the testator can provide in his will that the testator survived the legatee.   

Additional information regarding Estate Planning such as Probate, Federal Gift Tax, Federal Estate Tax, Income Tax Issues relating to Estate Planning is not a specialty of this office.  Any questions regarding these matters should be addressed by an Attorney that specializes in Probate.