When a person passes away, their loved ones have to deal with numerous questions and issues while going through a tremendously difficult time. One of the most significant questions is who will inherit the person’s possessions, property, and other assets. However, the answer to this question is not that simple, as it will vary depending on various factors.

louisiana order of inheritance

Is There a Will?

The first thing that must be considered when determining property distribution is whether there was a Last Will and Testament. This is because, under Louisiana’s laws, successions are divided into “intestate” and “testate” successions.

When there is a valid Will that can be submitted to the court for probate, this is referred to as testate. In these scenarios, that document will decide who receives the assets that belonged to the decedent. However, when there is no valid Will, the succession is considered intestate, and in these situations, there are state rules that will determine who will inherit the decedent’s property.

Community and Separate Property in Louisiana

After a loved one passes away in Louisiana, their property will be divided into community and separate property. Community property refers to all the property acquired during marriage and jointly owned by the spouses. Everything else is referred to as separate property.

Consequently, according to Louisiana’s intestate laws, if someone passes away without a Will and is survived by their children, the children will become co-owners of the community property with the surviving spouse. However, the spouse will own the property if there are no children. Any separate property will go to the decedent’s family.

The table below will provide a further breakdown of interstate succession.

Intestate Succession
The Family SituationWho Will Inherit What
There is a Spouse (but no children, parents, or siblings)The entire estate will go the spouse
There is a Spouse and ChildrenDecedent’s share of the community property will go to the spouse with usufruct for life. Then the decedent’s share of community property will go to the children following the usufruct. Separate property will go to the children
There is a Spouse and ParentsThe Decedent’s share of the community property will go to the spouse, but all separate property will go to the parents
Spouse and Siblings, No ParentsThe share of the Decedent’s community property will go to the spouse. All the separate property will go to the siblings 
There are Children, but No SpouseThe Entire Estate will go to the children

Contact Losavio & DeJean, LLC Today To Learn More About Estate Planning

When you work with the legal team at Losavio & DeJean, you become part of our family, and for us, there is nothing more important than taking care of our loved ones. That is why it is our goal to provide our clients with the legal services and counsel they need while ensuring we deliver our services in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

If you need further information about estate planning in Louisiana, contact Losavio & DeJean, LLC today to review your legal options.