Posted: August 16, 2015

Can I leave more of my estate to one of my children?

The clients most likely asking this question are coming from a place of sincere concern for one of their children, and not as a slight to others. The answer, generally speaking, is yes.  This is one of the benefits of contacting an attorney and writing a will because it gives you the opportunity to decide how your estate is to be divided upon your death.  The alternative is that if you die without drafting a will, the laws of Louisiana will decide how your estate is divided. 

One limitation on deciding how to distribute your estate is whether or not any of your heirs are considered Forced Heirs by the state. Louisiana law requires a certain portion of your estate to be left to an heir that is under the age of 24, or if the individual is incapacitated and unable to care for themselves. 

Now, the job of the lawyer is to help you draft a will that fulfills your wishes for your estate.  The will can be drafted in a manner to allow for the forced portion to go to the forced heir or heirs, and still allow for the disposable portion to be distributed in the manner that you would desire. It is also the goal of the attorney to make sure that when the succession is opened that it will provide a smooth distribution of the assets, and avoid challenges from the forced heir or the other children.

So, if at the time of drafting your will you have three children over the age of 24 and in good health, you may decide that the youngest one needs a little more, or that the older sibling does not need anything, or you can leave the money to a charity.  That is the great benefit of drafting a will—ensuring your estate will be distributed according to your personal wishes. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss another question regarding drafting a will please do not hesitate to contact our office.

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