In Louisiana, Civil Code article 1493 states that for a person to claim to be a forced heir of a decedent, they would have to prove the following conditions-
- That they are the child (natural or adopted) of the decedent. And;
- That they were 23 years old or younger at the time the decedent died. Or;
- That they are permanently incapable of taking care of themselves because of a mental or physical incapacity.
The question of Forced Heirship is only raised if the individual has been disinherited by the decedent. In other words, the decedent did not leave their child an inheritance, or in the common language, “They were cut out of the will.”
Disinherison as this is called, must be written expressly in the will and for one of eight just causes. Louisiana Civil Code Art. 1621 states that the following are valid reasons for the disinherison of children;
(1) The child has raised his hand to strike a parent, or has actually struck a parent; but a mere threat is not sufficient.
(2) The child has been guilty, towards a parent, of cruel treatment, crime, or grievous injury.
(3) The child has attempted to take the life of a parent.
(4) The child, without any reasonable basis, has accused a parent of committing a crime for which the law provides that the punishment could be life imprisonment or death.
(5) The child has used any act of violence or coercion to hinder a parent from making a testament.
(6) The child, being a minor, has married without the consent of the parent.
(7) The child has been convicted of a crime for which the law provides that the punishment could be life imprisonment or death.
(8) The child, after attaining the age of majority and knowing how to contact the parent, has failed to communicate with the parent without just cause for a period of two years, unless the child was on active duty in any of the military forces of the United States at the time.
If none of the above have occurred, the disinherited child has a claim as a forced heir and can ask for a share of their parent’s estate. The portion is equal up to 25% of the value of the estate.