I was working with a family last week because the husband passed away a few weeks ago, and all of his financial and investment accounts were frozen, and the family needed access to those accounts, and they also needed the title to his Baton Rouge home and his vehicle transferred so they could sell those items. They were referred to me by their Chase Bank investment advisor, and they needed to get his Louisiana Succession completed.
They brought in the husband's last will and testament to be probated. I quickly reviewed the Will. Interestingly, I noticed that he left his wife "naked ownership" of his estate. I quickly realized this was unusual and probably a mistake of the attorney who prepared the Will.
It is common for a married person to leave "usufruct" to their spouse, and name their children or other heirs as naked owners. In this Will, the husband left his wife naked ownership without mentioning anything about usufruct.
We'll have to take some extra steps to clean all of this up in the Succession procedure. Fortunately, all family members get along well and are supportive of one another, so it should be relatively simple to clean all of this up. Essentially, since Dad did not specify where the usufruct went, and since Dad owned separate property, the usufruct will go to the kids. The kids will have to accept this usufruct, and then terminate their usufruct so Mom can then fully own the house.
Completing the Louisiana Succession procedure can be difficult unless you have an attorney who lays out a simple, detailed plan to handle all matters related to getting various assets transferred to the appropriate heirs. If you are interested in retaining us to handle these matters for your family, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our Louisiana Succession Law headquarters at 866-491-3884.