Authored By: Partnership for Legal Access
Q. I have a copy of my Louisiana will, but lost the original in the storm. What should I do?
A. While a copy of a will can be admitted to probate, it is best to replace the copy of your will with an original. Contact the lawyer who originally prepared your will about making a new one. It may be a simple process for your attorney to prepare a duplicate of your original will for you to sign. Your old copies should then be destroyed.
Q. I have a Louisiana will, but have decided to relocate to Texas. Do I need to make a new will?
A. Yes, because Louisiana has unusual laws about community property and forced heirship that do not apply in Texas.
Q. What happens if I relocate to Texas and die without a will?
A. In Texas, if you die without a will, you are said to have died "intestate." Texas laws will step in to divide your property. See Dying Without a Will (Intestacy)
Q. I do not have a will, but after all that I have been through I think I need one right away. Is there anything that I can do?
A . Yes. Both Texas and Louisiana will recognize your handwritten will as a valid will. In Texas, we call it a "holographic" will. Louisiana calls it an "olographic" will. For a handwritten will to be valid, all of the following conditions must be met:
- It must be entirely handwritten,
- In the deceased person's handwriting, and
- Signed and dated in the deceased person's handwriting.
It is always best to have an attorney help you write your will. Lawyers can help you plan for estate taxes, and make sure that your will is written in a way that will allow a court to divide your property in the way you want. But, if you decide to write your handwritten will, make sure you follow all of the requirements listed above.