Called an olographic testament, here is what you need to know about a handwritten will in Louisiana:
It must be entirely written, dated, and signed in the handwriting of the testator. Issues arise with handwritten wills when people use fill-in-the-blank forms that are partially typed and partially handwritten. In that case, a court will look to the handwritten portion of the document to determine whether it meets the requirements of an olographic testament.
Also, do not forget the date! The day, month, and year can appear anywhere in the will. If the date is unclear, the court may look at other evidence to determine the date.
Finally, give it a signature. Although the testator must sign his or her name at the end of the document, anything written below the signature will not necessarily invalidate the will. (The court may or may not consider this other language to be part of the will.)
Cut out the middle man. Unlike a notarial will, an olographic will does not need to be witnessed or notarized to be valid in Louisiana, according to Louisiana Civil Code 1575.
From a legal standpoint, when equipment, decorations, or appliances become affixed or fastened to the real estate, it becomes a fixture and is supposed to be transferred as part of the sale, unless there is an agreement providing otherwise. What are some of the factors determining whether something is a fixture?
Method of attachment. Is the item permanently affixed to the wall, ceiling or flooring by using nails, glue, cement, pipes, or screws? Even if you can easily remove it, the method used to attach it might make it a fixture. Examples include built-in surround sound wiring, lighting fixtures, built-in speakers into the wall, custom built-in cabinetry.
Mineral Rights give a person or business the right to explore and produce the mineral resources (oil, natural gas, gold, silver, etc…) below the surface of a piece of land. Mineral rights can be purchased, sold, gifted or leased just like a traditional piece of real estate. In Louisiana we have a unique set of laws relating to the ownership of Mineral Rights. Mineral Rights in Louisiana can be sold just like any other state, but these rights will revert back to the original owner after 10 years from the sale or from last production. For example, if an individual were to sell their mineral rights to a commercial buyer in 2005 and the buyer didn’t produce or explore the mineral rights for the following 10 years; you would regain ownership of your mineral rights in the year 2015. If production does occur within 10 years then it serves to interrupt the 10 year period. If you find yourself in a sale that does not include the mineral rights please send me any questions or concerns you may have.
In July 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is run. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act will eliminate the grandfathering of properties that were allowed to use old flood-risk data, and will end subsidies for certain types of properties.
Proponents say the increases will help bring the program out of debt and toward actuarial soundness. Opponents argue that the changes will disproportionately affect policyholders in high-risk areas, like the Gulf Coast, and could go so far as to render certain properties valueless. Many additional homes have been placed in the high-risk flood zone for the first time, and if the owners have mortgages, they will be required to buy flood insurance.
Base flood elevation is the level at which FEMA considers the annual chance of flooding to be 1 percent or higher. The agency calls that area the Special Flood Hazard Area, or high-risk zone. Insurance premiums take into account the elevation of the home in relation to the base flood elevation, so each case is different. Homeowners need an elevation certificate from a surveyor or engineer to establish their elevation.
Under the 2012 law, formerly subsidized premiums for about 5 percent of policyholders in the National Flood Insurance Program — those for non-primary residences, businesses, and properties that have sustained severe, repetitive losses — will rise immediately by 25 percent a year until their premiums cover the actual risk. Not all subsidies are being eliminated, but if a property is sold, or the policy lapses, that property’s subsidy will end.
Most other policies will carry new assessments on their premiums, initially set at 5 percent. The law also raises premiums by phasing out a grandfathering system under which some property owners were allowed to use old flood-risk data.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said it best…”Politicians just don’t do insurance well.”