Why Create a Will?
You are not obligated to create a Will in Louisiana. The laws of Louisiana decide which of your family members will receive your property if you do not specify in a Will how you would like your property divided. You are not obligated to brush your teeth every morning either. However, I doubt you want your dentist to make the choice of which teeth you keep, and which you lose.
What You Won't Decide: Below are two very important decisions you will not make if you decide to not to create a Will.
1. Louisiana is a Community Property State. As a result, any property a couple acquires during their marriage becomes the property of both. This differs from other states that are Separate Property. In Separate Property States what a person earns or purchases during their marriage belongs to them. However, Separate Property may exist between a married couple in the form of: property a spouse owns (not finances) before marriage, property given directly to a spouse or an inheritance. This separation of property matters because without a Will, children of the marriage will inherit all Separate Property. With the help of a Baton Rouge Estate Planning Attorney you can decide who receives all of your property and in what portions.
2. Louisiana Courts may decide who becomes your child's Legal Guardian. It is likely a Judge will choose someone who is part of your child's family. But that doesn't mean the Court's choice would be yours. As loving parents we know who would best raise and nurture our child until adulthood. The best Guardian may not be a family member, or at least the one the Court picks. Establishing the most suitable Guardian for your children is as simple as creating a Will and naming your selected Guardian. If you don't create a Will, someone who does not have your knowledge about your child's unique needs may make this decision for you. A Baton Rouge Estate Planning Attorney can help you make and enforce the important decision of who will care for your children when you cannot.