Beware of Taking Short Cuts With Wills!

It is important for you to remember that to have a legally binding will that will be recognized and enforced, that you execute it in the proper form in Louisiana.

There is no such thing as a verbal will. The fact that you verbally told someone that you wanted your estate to go to this or that person, will not be recognized or enforced by a Louisiana court.

It is a common practice to put labels under furniture to indicate who gets the furniture upon the owner’s death. Do not label furniture! This practice is not recognized nor enforced by Louisiana courts.

There are only two principal forms used and recognized in Louisiana: notarial and olographic wills.

Notarial wills are executed in writing before a notary public and two witnesses having met all the form requirements including but not limited to required clauses and being signed at the bottom of each page. There are specific bells and whistles that are required for a notarial will. It is not advised that you attempt to do one yourself. If you get it wrong, it will not be recognized or enforced. You should seek an attorney’s assistance in getting proper advice and to make sure it is executed in proper form.

Olographic wills are wills that are written totally in your own handwriting. They are dated and signed at the bottom. An olographic will is cheap and easy. Cheap and easy is not always the best or foolproof. If an olographic will is poorly worded, it can be subject to litigation. Also, there may be a problem in proving that the olographic will was actually written by you.

The disposition of your property at your death is very important. Don’t take short cuts! Spend the money and take the time to make sure that your instructions are enforced by consulting an experienced estate planning attorney.

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