Hi, I am Jena Wynne, and I am an attorney in Lafayette at Hoyt & Stanford.
I meet with couples often who are finally getting around to making their Last Will and Testament. Couples are often surprised to learn what their spouse will inherit from them without a Last Will and Testament.
Louisiana has a community property regime. This means that property you own is either your separate property or your community property. Community property is anything acquired during the marriage, and is owned one-half (1/2) by each spouse. Your separate property is anything you owned before the marriage, inherited, or were given by your spouse. Without a Last Will and Testament, your spouse will only inherit your one-half (1/2) interest in the community. Your siblings or your parents will inherit all of your separate property. Because my spouse and I recently got married, without a Last Will and Testament my husband would only inherit my interest in our new house, but not my car, 2 cats, or engagement ring. The only way my husband gets my separate property is for me to have a Last Will and Testament.
Unfortunately for my poor husband, he will actually inherit nothing from me because we signed a prenuptial agreement meaning we only have separate property and co-owned property. So if I do not have a Last Will and Testament, my husband gets to keep his interest in our house, but my brother will inherit all of my property, including my interest in the house I bought with my husband. Not exactly the result that I want. However, I can ensure that my husband inherits all of my property by having a Last Will and Testament.
Make sure your spouse inherits everything you want them to by coming to see me for your Last Will and Testament.
Jena is an Attorney & Counselor at Law whose primary areas of practice are Tax Law and Estate Planning and is located in Lafayette, LA