Testament “Donation Mortis Causa”

La. C. C. art. 1469-  A donation mortis causa is an act to take effect at the death of the donor by which he disposes of the whole or part of his property.  A donation mortis causa is revocable during the lifetime of the donor.

A testament is a person’s ability to dispose of their property that takes effect upon their death.  Many people do not plan for the end of their life.  A testament is a way to ensure their wishes are known and it allows for the normal order of an Intestate Succession to be changed.

La. C. C. art. 1576-  A notarial testament is one that is executed in accordance with the formalities of Articles 1577 through 1580.1.  As a non-attorney notary I am unable to provide you with legal advice—I cannot tell you what you “should” do.  This requires the notary to be an attorney.  For most people, they simply know what they want and how they want it.  A non-attorney notary is allowed to answer questions that you may have as it relates to the preparation of the testament.

The process is simple however does require an appointment. Under ordinary circumstances it is a two part process:

    1. The interview phase.  I will gather the required information that is required to be included in the testament.  The following are examples: how many children-their names, dates of birth; current and former marriages; and, a list of assets to be transferred at death. Louisiana has specific rules for property that is “community” (a married couple jointly owns) and “separate” (property obtained prior to a marriage or as part of an inheritance). Once all the necessary information is obtained a second appointment will be scheduled for the reading/approval of the testament.

    2. The reading/approving and signature phase.  This is when the testament will take effect. Witnesses are required and they must not be named in the testament as a legatee (heir) or the spouse of a legatee.  Witnesses are not required to know the contents of the testament only that the testator (the person signing the testament) did so on their own free will.

A person may change their testament as often as they like.  It is customary to pronounce in the current testament that they “revoke” any previous testaments and codicils.

Call to set up an appointment today…before it is too late.