1. Choose an Executor:
An executor is a person you choose to carry out your wishes after your death, such as distributing assets and debts, handling funeral arrangements, and submitting the will for probate.
2. Identify Beneficiaries:
You should list all the individuals who will receive gifts from your estate upon your death or are named in legacy provisions like trusts.
3. Gather Your Assets:
Make a list of all of your assets and property, including real estate, investments, cash on hand, vehicles, bank accounts, jewelry, and other personal items that you want to include in your will.
4. Structure Your Will:
Decide how you want to structure your will by outlining any instructions regarding distributions among family members, charities, and other beneficiaries.
5. Sign Your Will:
You will need two witnesses to sign your will in the presence of a notary public or state court clerk. This is necessary for the will to be legally recognized in the state of Louisiana.
6. Have Your Will Notarized:
A notary public must witness the signing of your will by yourself and at least two credible witnesses (over 18) for it to be valid under Louisiana law.
7. File Your Will with the Court Clerk:
You should also file your original, signed, notarized will with the court clerk or recorder's office in the parish where you reside within 10 days after it has been signed and witnessed.
8. Obtain Copies of Your Will:
You should obtain at least three copies of your will to ensure that it is accessible after your death.
9. Keep Your Will Updated:
It is important to review and update your will regularly to reflect any changes or additions you want to make.