If you have recently lost a loved one, you will, unfortunately, have to deal with the heavy emotional burden of the loss at the same time as the logistical aspects of their death. It is important that you prioritize taking the time to grieve, and that you lean on your family and friends for support as much as you can.
When your loved one passed away without having an estate plan in place, this can create additional problems to deal with, because you will not be able to have their estate distributed in direct accordance with their wishes. In this situation, it is important that you understand how the law applies to estates belonging to those who pass away without an estate plan in place, which is known as dying intestate.
The Uniform Probate Code
All states have slightly different laws when it comes to how estates are processed when there is no estate plan associated with them. However, the Uniform Probate Code is what most state laws are based on. The code dictates that the estate of a person who dies without an estate plan in place should be divided by prioritizing the closest family members first. This means that the spouse of the deceased person should be prioritized, followed by children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, nephews and nieces, aunts, uncles, and cousins, respectively. The principle of the Uniform Probate Code is that the estate should go to the closest surviving relatives in this order.
Does a surviving spouse gain the entire estate?
If you lost your spouse and they did not have an estate plan in place, you may be entitled to the entirety of their estate under the Uniform Probate Code, but this depends on whether your late spouse had other close relatives and dependents.
If you have lost a loved one and they died intestate in Louisiana, it is important that you take action to understand how the law applies to your situation.