The answer depends on whether your loved one had children.
Louisiana, like other states, has specific laws about what happens to property when someone dies without a will. These laws are known as intestacy laws. In Louisiana, intestacy laws generally work as follows:
- Community property. Community property, or property that was acquired during marriage and owned jointly by spouses, usually goes to the surviving spouse if the couple had no children. If there are children, the children typically become co-owners of the property with the surviving spouse.
- Separate property. Typically, separate property goes to family members in the following order: children or grandchildren, parents and siblings, spouse, ascendants other than parents, and then more distant relatives.
However, there are exceptions to these general rules.
Special Rules for Real Estate Gifts From Parents and Grandparents
If a person receives real estate as a gift from a parent, grandparent, or another ancestor, the usual rules of intestacy do not apply to the real estate. The usual intestacy rules will apply to other property, but the gifted real estate will go back to the ancestor who made the gift if the person who dies does not have children.
Understand How the Intestacy Laws Apply Now
Intestate succession can be complicated, particularly when gifts of real estate are involved. It may take a lot of time and effort to figure out what is supposed to happen to all of your loved one's property. For many people, the work of figuring out how to comply with Louisiana's intestacy laws is overwhelming, but you don't have to do it alone.
Our Louisiana succession lawyers are here to help you and to make sure that everything is settled as quickly as possible and distributed fairly. To learn more about your rights and what to do after a loved one dies without a will, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.