When it comes to estate planning in Louisiana, community property is a crucial concept to understand. And, despite what some may think, community property doesn’t mean that everything you own belongs to both you and your spouse equally.
So, let’s start by debunking some misconceptions. Community property refers to any assets acquired during your marriage, and they are considered jointly owned by both you and your spouse. However, separate property, which includes assets you owned before your marriage or inherited during your marriage, remains yours alone.
Now, how does community property relate to estate planning? Since community property is jointly owned, you cannot dispose of it in your will. Instead, you can only dispose of your separate property through your will. This is why it’s essential to understand what assets are considered separate property and what assets are considered community property.
For example, if you owned a piece of property before your marriage and you want to leave it to your children, you can do so in your will. However, if you acquired a property during your marriage, that property would be considered community property, and you would not be able to leave it to your children in your will. Instead, your spouse would inherit it.
You may be wondering why community property laws exist in Louisiana in the first place. Well, it’s all because of the French and Spanish influences on Louisiana’s legal system. So, if you want to blame someone for community property laws, blame Napoleon!
All jokes aside, understanding community property in Louisiana is crucial to effective estate planning. You want to make sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone. So, take the time to understand community property laws and how they relate to your estate planning needs.
If you have any questions about community property or need help creating an estate plan, Morrison Law Group in Metairie, LA, is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. (504) 831-2348