How to Write a Will in Louisiana

By George Lawrence J.D.
Louisiana wills can be olographic or notarial.

Grave with fence image by Stokholm from Fotolia.com

Maintaining control over our own property and the freedom to make choices are two cherished rights. When you write a will, you are exerting control over your property and the freedom to choose who takes the property when you die. If you die without a will in Louisiana, the Louisiana Intestate Statute dictates who takes your property. Louisiana recognizes two forms of wills: olographic wills and notarial wills. These vary only slightly.

Declare your intent that the document is your will and that you are at least 16 years old. Write: "I, [Your name and address], hereby declare this document to be my will." You can include your age here, too, but Louisiana requires you to date the will so your age can be determined from the date and the year you were born.

Describe how you want your property to be distributed. If necessary, appoint a guardian for your minor children. Olographic wills must be written in your own handwriting; notarial wills can be handwritten or typed. No specific words or phrases are needed in your will, but use clear and concise language to spell out exactly what you want.

Sign and date the will it is olographic. Olographic wills must be signed and dated by your own hand. No other requirements are needed for an olographic will. There is one more thing to do for a notarial will.

Bring the completed will to a Louisiana notary public. Also bring two witnesses. Sign and date the will in the presence of the witnesses and the notary public. Have each witness sign and date the will. Notarize the document.

About the Author

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.

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