Wills are important testamentary documents that can ease the process of succession when a Louisiana resident dies. In Louisiana, two types of wills are recognized: olographic and notarial. This post will discuss each and the requirements mandated for their successful execution. When preparing one’s final will, however, it is recommendation that independent legal consultation be sought to answer individual legal questions.
The olographic will
An olographic will is a handwritten will. Instead of preparing the will with electronic or typewriting means, or having a separate party do the writing, the will is prepared in its creator’s own handwriting. An olographic will must be dated with the month, day and year it was prepared. At the end of the will, the creator must sign their own name. If the creator adds any additional information after their signature, that information may not be considered part of the will and will be evaluated by the reviewing court.
The notarial will
A notarial will is a written will that is not made in the creator’s own handwriting. It is signed by the individual in the presence of two witnesses, and those two witnesses must also declare and sign that they saw the individual sign their own will. Not everyone can serve as a witness to the signing of a notarial will. For example, a person who has been deemed insane, who is under 16 years of age, or who cannot sign their name cannot serve as a witness.
Testamentary intent and legal guidelines
The structure and preparation of either kind of will is important and will be evaluated by a court once the process of succession begins after a death. However, there are other legal matters that must be met for a will to be considered valid. In some cases, survivors of the decedent may challenge a will based on the testamentary capacity of the individual who passed away. If a person did not understand their will, could not read it, or was otherwise unable to comprehend the contents of their will or the outcomes it would achieve, the will may not survive the challenge.
Most people want to have some control over what happens to their estates when they die. A will is an important testamentary document to include in one’s estate plan. Most adults can benefit from having a will, and some adults may be in a position to need to update their wills. When these questions and needs arise, individuals may seek the counsel of trusted estate administration lawyers in their communities.