The answer depends on whether you would have the right to inherit property if the decedent (the person who died) did not have a will. If you have the right to inherit property through intestate succession, you may be able to contest the will if you have a legal reason for doing so.
Who Can Inherit Through Intestate Succession?
Property distribution in an intestate succession depends on the family situation of the decedent. Generally, separate property is distributed as follows:
- First, to the decedent’s children
- Second, to the decedent’s siblings, if the decedent had no children
- Third, to the decedent’s parents if the decedent did not have children or siblings
- Fourth, to the decedent’s spouse, if the decedent’s parents are deceased
Community property is handled differently and is generally distributed as follows:
- First, to the decedent’s children with the spouse maintaining a usufruct, or life estate interest, in the property
- Second, to the decedent’s spouse, if the decedent has no children
Reasons to Contest a Will
If you were not named in the will and you may inherit through intestate succession, you need to consider whether you have a reason to object to the will. Some common reasons for contesting a will include:
- The decedent was under undue influence and was forced or coerced into creating the will
- The will does not meet the legal requirements for an enforceable will
- The decedent lacked the mental capacity to create a will
Unless you are a forced heir, you cannot contest a will simply because you don’t like it or think you should have been included.
Get Legal Advice Before Contesting a Will
Before you contest a Louisiana will, you should know:
- If you have legal standing to bring a case
- If you have grounds to contest the will
- What the potential outcome would be if your claim is successful
- How much it might cost to contest the will
Our experienced Louisiana estate litigation attorneys will thoroughly review your claim and answer all of your questions, so you can make an informed decision about what to do next. Please contact us today to learn more about your legal options.