Areas of Practice > Wills, Trusts and Succession Law
Mr. Harvin has always been passionate about the preparation of Last Wills & Testaments, Trusts, and in assisting families in the wrapping up of the financial affairs of a deceased family member call the “Decedent”. Both in his working to timely resolve uncontested and contested (heir litigated) successions.
Mr. Harvin suggests that each person make and modify as they deem fit and proper for them a Last Will & Testament; a Dying Declaration (also called an Advanced Directive or Living Will); and a Durable Power of Attorney to allow their spouse, member of their family or close friend make decisions and handle their affairs if they become unable to take care of their own needs.
Succession is the legal process by which a person’s property (the "Estate”) is transferred from the deceased person’s (the Decedent) possession/ownership to her/his heirs or others she/he specifically designates in a testament or trust document “Probate”.
Mr. Harvin believes that each person has the right to say to whom/how her/his assets and liabilities (called the “Estate”) should be transferred to and handled following that person’s death. Neither the State nor a Decedent’s heirs should decide what becomes of the Decedent’s property. Only the Decedent should make that decision.
IT IS A WISE PERSON WHOM MAKES SURE THAT HER/HIS ESTATE IS IN ORDER AND THAT HER/HIS WISHES ARE CARRIED OUT AFTER THAT HER/HIS DEATH WITH MINIMAL FUSS AND EXPENSES TO HIS HEIRS.
A person may state his wishes before his death by leaving a valid Last Will and Testament and/or a Trust. In Louisiana, a Last Will and Testament mustbe written, and executed (in most cases before a Notary Public and two witnesses) and the language contained in the Last Will and Testament must specifically meet the requirements stated in the Louisiana statutes. Fail to do so and the DECEDENT’S written wishes for transferring your property can be judicially declared NULL AND VOID and YOUR property will be transferred to your heirs as set forth, NOT BY THE DECEDENT, but by Louisiana law.
Means the type of succession when the transfer of the Decedent’s property is by a valid Last Will and Testament. The person whom inherits is called an “Legatee”. The person whom administers the Succession is normally called a Executor (male) Executrix (female).
Under specific circumstances if written in Last Will & Testament or if authorized by all heirs, by law or by the court an “Independent Administrator” can administer the Testate Succession with less direct Court supervision.
Means the type of succession where no Last Will & Testament was written, can be found or has been judicially declared null & void and of no effect. The person whom inherits is called a “Heir”. The Person whom administrates this type of succession is called an “Administrator”.
Means under Louisiana law, those persons whom the testator or donor cannot deprive of the portion of her/his estate reserved for them by law, except in cases where her/he has a just cause to disinherit them.
In Louisiana, prior to 1995, all children under 18 were forced heirs. After 1995, a child is a forced heir if:
A grandchild can be determined to be a forced heir if her/his parent died before the Decedent and her/his parent was under the age of 24 or would have been would permanently incapacitated.
The forced portion is the net value of the Decedent’s estate (does not include life insurance nor retirement benefit, but does include any gifts or thing brought back into estate within 3 years under the doctrine of “collation”).
If only 1 forced heir that child is entitled to receive 25% of the Decedent’s net estate.
If more than 1 forced heir, the total number of forced heirs share 50% of the Decedent’s net estate. One exception if more than 1 forced heir - no forced heir shall get more than he would have if the Decedent died intestate (w/out Last Will & Testament).
If the Decedent died intestate the children would have shared 100% of the Decedent’s separate property and 50% of the Decedent’s community property. This means if 5 children or more, each would then be entitled to share less than 25% of the entire estate.
Thereafter, ANY PORTION OF THE DECEDENT’S REMAINING ESTATE AFTER THE FORCED PORTION IS TAKEN BY THE FORCED HEIRS BECOMES THE DISPOSABLE PORTION and then would go according to the Last Will & Testament or pursuant to Louisiana Intestate Succession laws.
Means the right to use and enjoy a thing and the right to draw from the same all of the profit, utility and advantage which it may produce, although ownership is invested in another. Usually in Louisiana a spouse is given in the Decedent’s spouses Last Will & Testament the usufruct of the deceased spouse’s property during the surviving (living) spouse’s lifetime.
Necessary Steps to Take After A Love One's Death
The Harvin Law Firm is here to help and assist you and your family in preparing Last Wills & Testaments, Trusts, Dying Declarations, and Durable Power of Attorneys and in navigating the Louisiana Succession and Probate process.
Legal documents to insure how you want your estate to pass with some limitations. If you die intestate, without a will, state law controls how and to
Legal device whereby a trustee you select holds/distributes property to provide for one or more of beneficiaries you designate pursuant to terms
Legal method to transfer property at death.
Succession filed by affidavit in official conveyance records of deceased persons domicile if estate worth $125,000 or less and small succession
Allows a person in Louisiana that you appoint as an Independent Administrator in your Last Will & Testament to administrate your estate after your
A trust allows you to protect your financially incompetent children from squandering your property should you choose to leave property to them handled by a competent trustee. A trust also allows you to transfer assets and protect your minor children or grandchildren to provide for their financial and educational future long after your gone knowing that the trustee of your trust will act with full or limited trustee powers as you direct.
Contact The Harvin Law Firm, APLC if you want to have a will and/or trust prepared or if you need representation to open and/or close a succession for your loved one.
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