If your loved one created a will with the intent of providing property to specific heirs, the distribution of property from the estate to an heir is known as a legacy in Louisiana. Sometimes, however, things don’t go according to the plan created in the will, and a legacy can’t be fulfilled.
Seven Types of Lapsed Legacies
According to Louisiana law, a legacy lapses when:
- The person who was going to inherit the property (the legatee) dies before the person who created the will (the testator).
- The legatee is legally incapable of receiving the legacy of real estate or personal property when the testator dies.
- The legacy is subject to a specific condition and that condition cannot be fulfilled, or the legatee dies before the condition is fulfilled.
- The legatee is declared an unworthy heir. An unworthy heir is one who intentionally killed or attempted to kill the testator. Before a person can be declared an unworthy heir, someone who shared succession rights with the potential unworthy heir must raise the issue with the court and have the heir declared unworthy.
- The legacy is renounced. In this case, the legacy only lapses to the extent of the renunciation.
- The legacy is declared invalid by the court.
- The legacy is declared null because, for example, the testator included the legacy because of fraud, duress, or undue influence.
What Happens If a Legacy Lapses?
The answer is often complicated, but an heir will inherit the property. An experienced Louisiana succession lawyer will review all aspects of your loved one’s will and ensure the property is distributed according to the will’s terms and Louisiana law if a legacy lapses.
We encourage you to make sure that the succession process goes as smoothly as possible. Our experienced Louisiana succession attorneys can help save you and your family stress and unnecessary expenses as you probate your loved one’s estate. To schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today by phone or filling out our contact form.