Will and Successions

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Writing a will, a living will, or a medical power of attorney can provide your family safety and security, and protect the legacy that you worked so hard to create. At The Donovan Law Firm, we can provide you with the information and legal knowledge to draft a document that is clear and concise, and will provide you and your family with security and peace of mind.  Provided below is a brief description of some of the most common tools used to help clients plan for their family’s future and security.  For more information, please call our office to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.


A will is a document that allows you to direct where your estate goes.  It is true that a person does not legally have to draft a will; however, working with an attorney to draft your will ensures that your final wishes will be carried out to your exact specifications and ease the burden of decision-making for your loved ones.

If you decide to draft a will there are two options available to you: (1) Olographic – a method in which you would draft the will entirely in your handwriting, then sign and date it at the end.  and (2) Notarial Will – a method in which the will is either typed or handwritten, signed and dated on each page, and notarized in the presence of two witnesses.

If you choose not to draft a will, your estate will be distributed according to the state laws of Louisiana, which may or may not align with your personal wishes. An attorney can inform you of the consequences of your decision, and help you plan to protect your family and assets.  

A living will is a document that allows you to communicate to your family and loved ones how to proceed with your medical care if you are no longer able to consent to procedures. Drafting a living will may require you to contemplate situations in which you may be kept alive by a ventilator or other extraordinary measures, as well as your wishes regarding organ donation. A well-written living will can help to provide clarity and ease the burden of decision-making for your loved ones during what is undoubtedly a difficult and overwhelming time. 

A medical power of attorney goes part and parcel with the living will, as it names the person who is in charge of making decisions when you are unable, and in concert with your desires in the living will. 

A succession is the process in which a deceased loved one’s will is opened. This process places the beneficiaries of that will in possession of the deceased’s property. A succession is usually initiated by a petition to the court in which it is requested that the will be followed and its heirs are placed in possession as described. If the individual died intestate (without a will), then the petition simply asks that heirs are placed in possession of the estate according to Louisiana laws.   

Unfortunately, this process is not always without conflict. A poorly written will or a questionable will can cause heirs to file competing petitions and /or contest the validity of a will.

I would be happy to hear your story and discuss with you the best way to protect your family and assets, or to assist in opening the succession of a loved one. Please contact our office to set up a free consultation.

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