Book 3 part 3 – Louisiana Civil Code

Civil Code

Book III. Of the Different Modes of Acquiring the Ownership of Things

Title II. Donations

Chapter 1. General Dispositions

Art. 1467. Methods of acquiring or disposing gratuitously

Property can neither be acquired nor disposed of gratuitously except by donations inter vivos or mortis causa, made in one of the forms hereafter established.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1468. Donations inter vivos;  definition

A donation inter vivos is a contract by which a person, called the donor, gratuitously divests himself, at present and irrevocably, of the thing given in favor of another, called the donee, who accepts it.

Amended by Acts 1871, No. 87; Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1469. Donation mortis causa;  definition

A donation mortis causa is an act to take effect at the death of the donor by which he disposes of the whole or a part of his property.  A donation mortis causa is revocable during the lifetime of the donor.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Chapter 2. Of the Capacity Necessary for Disposing and Receiving by Donation Inter Vivos or Mortis Causa

Art. 1470. Persons capable of giving or receiving

All persons have capacity to make and receive donations inter vivos and mortis causa, except as expressly provided by law.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1471. Capacity to give, time for existence

Capacity to donate inter vivos must exist at the time the donor makes the donation.  Capacity to donate mortis causa must exist at the time the testator executes the testament.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1472. Capacity to receive, time for existence

Capacity to receive a donation inter vivos must exist at the time the donee accepts the donation.  Capacity to receive a donation mortis causa must exist at the time of death of the testator.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1473. Capacity to receive conditional donation, time for existence

When a donation depends on fulfillment of a suspensive condition, the donee must have capacity to receive at the time the condition is fulfilled.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1474. Unborn children, capacity to receive

To be capable of receiving by donation inter vivos, an unborn child must be in utero at the time the donation is made.  To be capable of receiving by donation mortis causa, an unborn child must be in utero at the time of the death of the testator.  In either case, the donation has effect only if the child is born alive.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1475. Nullity of donation to person incapable of receiving

A donation in favor of a person who is incapable of receiving is null.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1476. Minors;  incapacity to make donations, exceptions

A minor under the age of sixteen years does not have capacity to make a donation either inter vivos or mortis causa, except in favor of his spouse or children.

A minor who has attained the age of sixteen years has capacity to make a donation, but only mortis causa.  He may make a donation inter vivos in favor of his spouse or children.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1477. Capacity to donate, mental condition of donor

To have capacity to make a donation inter vivos or mortis causa, a person must also be able to comprehend generally the nature and consequences of the disposition that he is making.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1478. Nullity of donation procured by fraud or duress

A donation inter vivos or mortis causa shall be declared null upon proof that it is the product of fraud or duress.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1479. Nullity of donation procured through undue influence

A donation inter vivos or mortis causa shall be declared null upon proof that it is the product of influence by the donee or another person that so impaired the volition of the donor as to substitute the volition of the donee or other person for the volition of the donor.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1480. Nullity due to fraud, duress, or undue influence;  severability of valid provision

When a donation inter vivos or mortis causa is declared null because of undue influence or because of fraud or duress, it is not necessary that the entire act of donation or testament be nullified.  If any provision contained in it is not the product of such means, that provision shall be given effect, unless it is otherwise invalid.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1481. Fiduciary appointment, termination

Any person who, whether alone or with others, commits fraud or exercises duress or unduly influences a donor within the meaning of the preceding Articles, or whose appointment is procured by such means, shall not be permitted to serve or continue to serve as an executor, trustee, attorney or other fiduciary pursuant to a designation as such in the act of donation or the testament or any amendments or codicils thereto.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1482. Proof of incapacity to donate

A.  A person who challenges the capacity of a donor must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the donor lacked capacity at the time the donor made the donation inter vivos or executed the testament.

B.  A full interdict lacks capacity to make or revoke a donation inter vivos or disposition mortis causa.

C.  A limited interdict, with respect to property under the authority of the curator, lacks capacity to make or revoke a donation inter vivos and is presumed to lack capacity to make or revoke a disposition mortis causa.  With respect to his other property, the limited interdict is presumed to have capacity to make or revoke a donation inter vivos or disposition mortis causa.  These presumptions may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1; Acts 2000, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 25, §2, eff. July 1, 2001; Acts 2001, No. 509, §2, eff. June 1, 2001; Acts 2003, No. 1008, §1.

Art. 1483. Proof of fraud, duress, or undue influence

A person who challenges a donation because of fraud, duress, or undue influence, must prove it by clear and convincing evidence.  However, if, at the time the donation was made or the testament executed, a relationship of confidence existed between the donor and the wrongdoer and the wrongdoer was not then related to the donor by affinity, consanguinity or adoption, the person who challenges the donation need only prove the fraud, duress, or undue influence by a preponderance of the evidence.

Acts 1991, No. 363, §1.

Art. 1484. Interpretation of revocation or modification

The rules contained in the foregoing articles also apply to the revocation of a legacy or testament, to the modification of a testamentary provision, and to any other modification of succession rights.

Acts 2001, No. 560, §1, eff. June 22, 2001.

Chapter 3. The Disposable Portion and Its Reduction in Case of Excess

Art. 1493. Forced heirs;  representation of forced heirs

A.  Forced heirs are descendants of the first degree who, at the time of the death of the decedent, are twenty-three years of age or younger or descendants of the first degree of any age who, because of mental incapacity or physical infirmity, are permanently incapable of taking care of their persons or administering their estates at the time of the death of the decedent.

B.  When a descendant of the first degree predeceases the decedent, representation takes place for purposes of forced heirship only if the descendant of the first degree would have been twenty-three years of age or younger at the time of the decedent's death.

C.  However, when a descendant of the first degree predeceases the decedent, representation takes place in favor of any child of the descendant of the first degree, if the child of the descendant of the first degree, because of mental incapacity or physical infirmity, is permanently incapable of taking care of his or her person or administering his or her estate at the time of the decedent's death, regardless of the age of the descendant of the first degree at the time of the decedent's death.

D.  For purposes of this Article, a person is twenty-three years of age or younger until he attains the age of twenty-four years.

E.  For purposes of this Article "permanently incapable of taking care of their persons or administering their estates at the time of the death of the decedent" shall include descendants who, at the time of death of the decedent, have, according to medical documentation, an inherited, incurable disease or condition that may render them incapable of caring for their persons or administering their estates in the future.

Amended by Acts 1981, No. 884, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1989, No. 788, §1, eff. July 1, 1990; Acts 1990, No. 147, §1, eff. July 1, 1990; Acts 1995, No. 1180, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1; Acts 2003, No. 1207, §2.

Art. 1493.1. Children conceived through donation of gametes

  Any child conceived from the use of gametes donated by an individual shall not be deemed a forced heir of that individual, unless the individual would be an ascendant of first or second degree notwithstanding the donation of genetic material through an in vitro fertilization process.

Acts 2016, No. 495, §1.

Art. 1494. Forced heir entitled to legitime;  exception

A forced heir may not be deprived of the portion of the decedent's estate reserved to him by law, called the legitime, unless the decedent has just cause to disinherit him.

Acts 1995, No. 1180, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1495. Amount of forced portion and disposable portion

Donations inter vivos and mortis causa may not exceed three-fourths of the property of the donor if he leaves, at his death, one forced heir, and one-half if he leaves, at his death, two or more forced heirs.  The portion reserved for the forced heirs is called the forced portion and the remainder is called the disposable portion.

Nevertheless, if the fraction that would otherwise be used to calculate the legitime is greater than the fraction of the decedent's estate to which the forced heir would succeed by intestacy, then the legitime shall be calculated by using the fraction of an intestate successor.

Amended by Acts 1981, No. 442, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1989, No. 788, §1, eff. July 1, 1990; Acts 1990, No. 147, §1, eff. July 1, 1990; Acts 1995, No. 1180, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1496. Permissible burdens on legitime

No charges, conditions, or burdens may be imposed on the legitime except those expressly authorized by law, such as a usufruct in favor of a surviving spouse or the placing of the legitime in trust.

Amended by Acts 1981, No. 442, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1989, No. 788, §1, eff. July 1, 1990; Acts 1990, No. 147, §1, eff. July 1, 1990; Acts 1995, No. 1180, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1497. Disposable portion in absence of forced heirs

If there is no forced heir, donations inter vivos and mortis causa may be made to the whole amount of the property of the donor, saving the reservation made hereafter.

Amended by Acts 1982, No. 641, §1; Acts 1985, No. 522, §1; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1498. Nullity of donation inter vivos of entire patrimony

The donation inter vivos shall in no case divest the donor of all his property; he must reserve to himself enough for subsistence.  If he does not do so, a donation of a movable is null for the whole, and a donation of an immovable is null for the whole unless the donee has alienated the immovable by onerous title, in which case the donation of such immovable shall not be declared null on the ground that the donor did not reserve to himself enough for his subsistence, but the donee is bound to return the value that the immovable had at the time that the donee received it.  If the donee has created a real right by onerous title in the immovable given to him, or such right has been created by operation of law since the donee received the immovable, the donation is null for the whole and the donor may claim the immovable in the hands of the donee, but the property remains subject to the real right that has been created.  In such a case, the donee and his successors by gratuitous title are accountable for the resulting diminution of the value of the property.

Amended by Acts 1981, No. 645, §1; Acts 1990, No. 147, §1, eff. July 1, 1990; Acts 1995, No. 1180, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1499. Usufruct to surviving spouse

The decedent may grant a usufruct to the surviving spouse over all or part of his property, including the forced portion, and may grant the usufructuary the power to dispose of nonconsumables as provided in the law of usufruct.  The usufruct shall be for life unless expressly designated for a shorter period, and shall not require security except as expressly declared by the decedent or as permitted when the legitime is affected.

A usufruct over the legitime in favor of the surviving spouse is a permissible burden that does not impinge upon the legitime, whether it affects community property or separate property, whether it is for life or a shorter period, whether or not the forced heir is a descendant of the surviving spouse, and whether or not the usufructuary has the power to dispose of nonconsumables.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1; Acts 2003, No. 548, §1.

NOTE:  Section 2 of Acts 2003, No. 548, provides that the provisions of the Act are interpretive, procedural, and remedial and apply to testaments executed on or after June 18, 1996.

Art. 1500. Forced portion in cases of judicial divestment, disinherison, or renunciation of succession rights

When a forced heir renounces his legitime, is declared unworthy, or is disinherited, his legitime becomes disposable and the forced portion is reduced accordingly.  The legitime of each remaining forced heir is not affected.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1502. Inability to satisfy legitime by usufruct or income interest in trust only

Nevertheless, the legitime may not be satisfied in whole or in part by a usufruct or an income interest in trust.  When a forced heir is both income and principal beneficiary of the same interest in trust, however, that interest shall be deemed a full ownership interest for purposes of satisfying the legitime if the trust conforms to the provisions of the Louisiana Trust Code governing the legitime in trust.  

Amended by Acts 1981, No. 765, §1; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1503. Reduction of excessive donations

A donation, inter vivos or mortis causa, that impinges upon the legitime of a forced heir is not null but is merely reducible to the extent necessary to eliminate the impingement.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1504. Reduction of donations, exclusive right of forced heirs

An action to reduce excessive donations may be brought only after the death of the donor, and then only by a forced heir, the heirs or legatees of a forced heir, or an assignee of any of them who has an express conventional assignment, made after the death of the decedent, of the right to bring the action.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1505. Calculation of disposable portion on mass of succession

A.  To determine the reduction to which the donations, either inter vivos or mortis causa, are subject, an aggregate is formed of all property belonging to the donor or testator at the time of his death; to that is fictitiously added the property disposed of by donation inter vivos within three years of the date of the donor's death, according to its value at the time of the donation.

B.  The sums due by the estate are deducted from this aggregate amount, and the disposable quantum is calculated on the balance, taking into consideration the number of forced heirs.

C.  Neither the premiums paid for insurance on the life of the donor nor the proceeds paid pursuant to such coverage shall be included in the above calculation.  Moreover, the value of such proceeds at the donor's death payable to a forced heir, or for his benefit, shall be deemed applied and credited in satisfaction of his forced share.

D.  Employer and employee contributions under any plan of deferred compensation adopted by any public or governmental employer or any plan qualified under Sections 401 or 408 of the Internal Revenue Code, and any benefits payable by reason of death, disability, retirement, or termination of employment under any such plans, shall not be included in the above calculation, nor shall any of such contributions or benefits be subject to the claims of forced heirs.  However, the value of such benefits paid or payable to a forced heir, or for the benefit of a forced heir, shall be deemed applied and credited in satisfaction of his forced share.

Amended by Acts 1981, No. 646, §1; Acts 1981, No. 909, §1; Acts 1982, No. 356, §1; Acts 1983, No. 656, §1; Acts 1990, No. 147, §1, eff. July 1, 1990; Acts 1995, No. 1180, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1507. Reduction of legacies before donations inter vivos, order of reduction

Donations inter vivos may not be reduced until the value of all the property comprised in donations mortis causa is exhausted.  The testator may expressly declare in the testament that a legacy shall be paid in preference to others, in which case the preferred legacy shall not be reduced until the other legacies are exhausted.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1508. Reduction of donations inter vivos

When the property of the estate is not sufficient to satisfy the forced portion, a forced heir may recover the amount needed to satisfy his legitime from the donees of inter vivos donations made within three years of the date of the decedent's death, beginning with the most recent donation and proceeding successively to the most remote.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1

Art. 1509. Insolvency of a donee

When a donee from whom recovery is due is insolvent, the forced heir may claim his legitime from the donee of the next preceding donation and so on to the donee of the most remote donation.  A donee who pays the share of an insolvent donee is subrogated to the rights of the forced heir against the insolvent donee.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1510. Remunerative donations, extent of reduction

The value of a remunerative donation is not included in the calculation of the forced portion, and the donation may not be reduced, unless the value of the remunerated services is less than two-thirds the value of the property donated at the time of the donation, in which event the gratuitous portion is included in the calculation and is subject to reduction.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1511. Onerous donation, extent of reduction

The value of an onerous donation is not included in the calculation of the forced portion, and the donation may not be reduced, unless the value of the charges is less than two-thirds the value of the property donated at the time of the donation, in which event the gratuitous portion is included in the calculation and is subject to reduction.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

 

Art. 1512. Retention of fruits and products of donation by donee until demand for reduction

The fruits and products of property donated inter vivos belong to the donee except for those that accrue after written demand for reduction is made on him.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1513. Reduction in kind when property is owned by the donee or successors by gratuitous title;  effects of alienation by donee

The action for reduction of excessive donations may be brought only against the donee or his successors by gratuitous title in accordance with the order of their  donations, beginning with the most recent donation.  When the donated property is still owned by the donee or the successors, reduction takes place in kind or by contribution to the payment of the legitime, at the election of the donee or the successors, who are accountable for any diminution in the value of the property attributable to their fault or neglect and for any charges or encumbrances imposed upon the property after the donation.

When the property given is no longer owned by the donee or his successors by gratuitous title, the donee and the successors must contribute to the payment of the legitime.  A donee or his successor who contributes to payment of the legitime is required to do so only to the extent of the value of the donated property at the time the donee received it.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1.

Art. 1514. Usufruct of surviving spouse affecting legitime;  security

A forced heir may request security when a usufruct in favor of a surviving spouse affects his legitime and he is not a child of the surviving spouse.  A forced heir may also request security to the extent that a surviving spouse's usufruct over the legitime affects separate property.  The court may order the execution of notes, mortgages, or other documents as it deems necessary, or may impose a mortgage or lien on either community or separate property, movable or immovable, as security.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 77, §1; Acts 2003, No. 1207, §2.

NOTE:  See Acts 2003, No. 1207, §3.

Chapter 4. Of Dispositions Reprobated by Law in Donations Inter Vivos and Mortis Causa

Art. 1519. Impossible, illegal or immoral conditions

In all dispositions inter vivos and mortis causa impossible conditions, those which are contrary to the laws or to morals, are reputed not written.

Art. 1520. Prohibited substitutions, definitions

A disposition that is not in trust by which a thing is donated in full ownership to a first donee, called the institute, with a charge to preserve the thing and deliver it to a second donee, called the substitute, at the death of the institute, is null with regard to both the institute and the substitute.

Amended by Acts 1962, No. 45, §1; Acts 2001, No. 825, §1.

Art. 1521. Vulgar substitutions

The disposition by which a third person is called to take a gift or legacy in case the donee or legatee does not take it is not a prohibited substitution.  A testator may impose as a valid suspensive condition that the legatee or a trust beneficiary must survive the testator for a stipulated period, which period shall not exceed six months after the testator's death, in default of which a third person is called to take the legacy.  In such a case, the right of the legatee or trust beneficiary is in suspense until the survivorship as required is determined.  If the legatee or trust beneficiary survives as required, he is considered as having succeeded to the deceased from the moment of his death.  If he does not survive as required, he is considered as never having received it, and the third person who is called to take the bequest in default of his survival is considered as having succeeded to the deceased from the moment of his death.  A survivorship condition as to the legitime of a forced heir shall only be valid if the forced heir dies without descendants, or if he dies with descendants and neither the forced heir nor the descendants survive the stipulated time.

Amended by Acts 1972, No. 628, §1; Acts 1984, No. 957, §1; Acts 1985, No. 583, §1; Acts 1987, No. 680, §1; Acts 2001, No. 825, §1.

Art. 1522. Separate donations of usufruct and naked ownership

 A disposition inter vivos or mortis causa by which the usufruct is given to one person and the naked ownership to another is not a prohibited substitution.

Acts 2016, No. 86, §1.

Chapter 5. Donations Inter Vivos

Section 1. General Dispositions

Art. 1526. Onerous donation

The rules peculiar to donations inter vivos do not apply to a donation that is burdened with an obligation imposed on the donee that results in a material advantage to the donor, unless at the time of the donation the cost of performing the obligation is less than two-thirds of the value of the thing donated.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1527. Remunerative donations

The rules peculiar to donations inter vivos do not apply to a donation that is made to recompense for services rendered that are susceptible of being measured in money unless at the time of the donation the value of the services is less than two-thirds of the value of the thing donated.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1528. Charges or conditions imposed by donor

The donor may impose on the donee any charges or conditions he pleases, provided they contain nothing contrary to law or good morals.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1529. Donation of future property;  nullity

A donation inter vivos can have as its object only present property of the donor.  If it includes future property, it shall be null with regard to that property.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1530. Donation conditional on will of donor;  nullity

A donation inter vivos is null when it is made on a condition the fulfillment of which depends solely on the will of the donor.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1531. Donation conditional on payment of future or unexpressed debts and charges;  nullity

A donation is also null if it is burdened with an obligation imposed on the donee to pay debts and charges other than those that exist at the time of the donation, unless the debts and charges are expressed in the act of donation.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1532. Stipulation for right of return to donor

The donor may stipulate the right of return of the thing given, either in the case of his surviving the donee only, or in the case of his surviving the donee and the descendants of the donee.

The right may be stipulated only for the advantage of the donor.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1533. Right of return;  effect

The effect of the right of return is that the thing donated returns to the donor free of any alienation, lease, or encumbrance made by the donee or his successors after the donation.

The right of return shall not apply, however, to a good faith transferee for value of the thing donated.  In such a case, the donee and his successors by gratuitous title are, nevertheless, accountable for the loss sustained by the donor.

Amended by Acts 1974, No. 210, §1; Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 2. Of the Form of Donations Inter Vivos

Art. 1541. Form required for donations

A donation inter vivos shall be made by authentic act under the penalty of absolute nullity, unless otherwise expressly permitted by law.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1542. Identification of donor, donee, and the thing donated required

The act of donation shall identify the donor and the donee and describe the thing donated.  These requirements are satisfied if the identities and description are contained in the act of donation or are reasonably ascertainable from information contained in it, as clarified by extrinsic evidence, if necessary.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1543. Manual gift

The donation inter vivos of a corporeal movable may also be made by delivery of the thing to the donee without any other formality.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1544. Donation effective from time of acceptance

A donation inter vivos is without effect until it is accepted by the donee.  The acceptance shall be made during the lifetime of the donor.

The acceptance of a donation may be made in the act of donation or subsequently in writing.

When the donee is put into corporeal possession of a movable by the donor, possession by the donee also constitutes acceptance of the donation.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1545. Acceptance in person or by mandatary

The donee may accept a donation personally or by a mandatary having power to accept a donation for him.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1546. Acceptance during lifetime of donee

The acceptance shall be made during the lifetime of the donee.  If the donee dies without having accepted the donation, his successors may not accept for him.

Amended by Acts 1966, No. 44, §1; Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1547. Acceptance by creditor prohibited

If the donee refuses or neglects to accept the donation, his creditors may not accept for him.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1548. Unemancipated minor;  persons authorized to accept

A donation made to an unemancipated minor may be accepted by a parent or other ascendant of the minor or by his tutor, even if the person who accepts is also the donor.

Acts 1988, No. 546, §1; Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1549. Thing acquired subject to existing charges

The donee acquires the thing donated subject to all of its charges, even those that the donor has imposed between the time of the donation and the time of the acceptance.

Acts 1988, No. 546, §1; Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1550. Form for donation of certain incorporeal movables

The donation or the acceptance of a donation of an incorporeal movable of the kind that is evidenced by a certificate, document, instrument, or other writing, and that is transferable by endorsement or delivery, may be made by authentic act or by compliance with the requirements otherwise applicable to the transfer of that particular kind of incorporeal movable.

In addition, an incorporeal movable that is investment property, as that term is defined in Chapter 9 of the Louisiana Commercial Laws, may also be donated by a writing signed by the donor that evidences donative intent and directs the transfer of the property to the donee or his account or for his benefit.  Completion of the transfer to the donee or his account or for his benefit shall constitute acceptance of the donation.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1551. Effects of acceptance

A donation is effective upon acceptance.  When the donation is effective, the ownership or other real right in the thing given is transferred to the donee.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 3. Exceptions to the Rule of the Irrevocability of Donations Inter Vivos

Art. 1556. Causes for revocation or dissolution

A donation inter vivos may be revoked because of ingratitude of the donee or dissolved for the nonfulfillment of a suspensive condition or the occurrence of a resolutory condition.  A donation may also be dissolved for the nonperformance of other conditions or charges.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1557. Revocation for ingratitude

Revocation on account of ingratitude may take place only in the following cases:

(1)  If the donee has attempted to take the life of the donor; or

(2)  If he has been guilty towards him of cruel treatment, crimes, or grievous injuries.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1558. Revocation for ingratitude;  prescription, parties

An action of revocation for ingratitude shall be brought within one year from the day the donor knew or should have known of the act of ingratitude.

If the donor dies before the expiration of that time, the action for revocation may be brought by the successors of the donor, but only within the time remaining, or if the donor died without knowing or having reason to know of the act, then within one year of the death of the donor.

If the action has already been brought by the donor, his successors may pursue it.

If the donee is deceased, the action for revocation may be brought against  his successors.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1559. Revocation for ingratitude, effect on alienations, leases, or encumbrances

Revocation for ingratitude does not affect an alienation, lease, or encumbrance made by the donee prior to the filing of the action to revoke.  When an alienation, lease, or encumbrance is made after the filing of the action and the thing given is movable, the alienation, lease, or encumbrance is effective against the donor only when it is an onerous transaction made in good faith by the transferee, lessee, or creditor.  When an alienation, lease, or encumbrance is made after the filing of the action and the thing given is immovable, the effect of the action to revoke is governed by the law of registry.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1560. Revocation for ingratitude, restoration

In case of revocation for ingratitude, the donee shall return the thing given.  If he is not able to return the thing itself, then the donee shall restore the value of the thing donated, measured as of the time the action to revoke is filed.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1562. Dissolution for nonfulfillment of suspensive condition or for occurrence of resolutory condition

If a donation is subject to a suspensive condition, the donation is dissolved of right when the condition can no longer be fulfilled.

If a donation is subject to a resolutory condition, the occurrence of the condition does not of right operate a dissolution of the donation.  It may be dissolved only by consent of the parties or by judicial decree.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1563. Nonfulfillment of conditions or nonperformance of charges that donee can perform or prevent

If a donation is made on a condition that the donee has the power to perform or prevent, or depends on the performance of a charge by the donee, the nonfulfillment of the condition or the nonperformance of the charge does not, of right, operate a dissolution of the donation.  It may be dissolved only by consent of the parties or by judicial decree.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1564. Dissolution for non-execution of other condition;  prescription

An action to dissolve a donation for failure to fulfill the conditions or perform the charges imposed on the donee prescribes in five years, commencing the day the donee fails to perform the charges or fulfill his obligation or ceases to do so.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1565. Dissolution for non-execution of condition

In case of dissolution of a donation of an immovable for the failure of the donee to fulfill conditions or perform charges, the property shall return to the donor free from all alienations, leases, or encumbrances created by the donee or his successors, subject to the law of registry.  If the thing cannot be returned free from alienations, leases, or encumbrances, the donor may, nevertheless, accept it subject to the alienation, lease, or encumbrance, but the donee shall be accountable for any diminution in value.  Otherwise, the donee shall restore the value of the thing donated, measured as of the time the action to dissolve is filed.

In case of dissolution of a donation of a movable for failure to fulfill conditions or perform charges, an alienation, lease, or encumbrance created by the donee or his successors is effective against the donor only when it is an onerous transaction made in good faith by the transferee, lessee, or creditor.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1566. Revocation or dissolution, donee's liability for fruits

When a donation is revoked or dissolved, the donee or his successor is bound to restore or to pay the value of the fruits and products of the things given from the date of written demand.

If the donation is dissolved for nonperformance of a condition or a charge that the donee had the power to perform, the court may order the donee or his successor to restore the value of the fruits and products received after his failure to perform if the failure to perform is due to his fault.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 1567. Donee unable to return thing in same condition

When a donee or his successor is obligated to return a thing and he cannot restore it in essentially the same condition as it was at the time of the donation, the donor may elect to receive the thing in its present condition and require its return.  In that event, the donee shall be accountable for any diminution in value at the time of the delivery.

Acts 2008, No. 204, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Chapter 6. Dispositions Mortis Causa

Section 1. Testaments Generally

Art. 1570. Testaments;  form

A disposition mortis causa may be made only in the form of a testament authorized by law.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1571. Testaments with others or by others prohibited

A testament may not be executed by a mandatary for the testator.  Nor may more than one person execute a testament in the same instrument.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1572. Testamentary dispositions committed to the choice of a third person

Testamentary dispositions committed to the choice of a third person are null, except as expressly provided by law. A testator may delegate to his executor the authority to allocate specific assets to satisfy a legacy expressed in terms of a value or a quantum, including a fractional share.

The testator may expressly delegate to his executor the authority to allocate a legacy to one or more entities or trustees of trusts organized for educational, charitable, religious, or other philanthropic purposes.  The entities or trusts may be designated by the testator or, when authorized to do so, by the executor in his discretion.  In addition, the testator may expressly delegate to his executor the authority to impose conditions on those legacies.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1573. Formalities

The formalities prescribed for the execution of a testament must be observed or the testament is absolutely null.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Section 2. Forms of Testaments

Art. 1574. Forms of testaments

There are two forms of testaments: olographic and notarial.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1575. Olographic testament

A.  An olographic testament is one entirely written, dated, and signed in the handwriting of the testator.  Although the date may appear anywhere in the testament, the testator must sign the testament at the end of the testament.  If anything is written by the testator after his signature, the testament shall not be invalid and such writing may be considered by the court, in its discretion, as part of the testament.  The olographic testament is subject to no other requirement as to form.  The date is sufficiently indicated if the day, month, and year are reasonably ascertainable from information in the testament, as clarified by extrinsic evidence, if necessary.

B.  Additions and deletions on the testament may be given effect only if made by the hand of the testator.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 2001, No. 824, §1.

Art. 1576. Notarial testament

A notarial testament is one that is executed in accordance with the formalities of Articles 1577 through 1580.1.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 1999, No. 745, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1577. Requirements of form

The notarial testament shall be prepared in writing and dated and shall be executed in the following manner.  If the testator knows how to sign his name and to read and is physically able to do both, then:

(1)  In the presence of a notary and two competent witnesses, the testator shall declare or signify to them that the instrument is his testament and shall sign his name at the end of the testament and on each other separate page.

(2)  In the presence of the testator and each other, the notary and the witnesses shall sign the following declaration, or one substantially similar:  "In our presence the testator has declared or signified that this instrument is his testament and has signed it at the end and on each other separate page, and in the presence of the testator and each other we have hereunto subscribed our names this ____day of _________, ____."

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 2001, No. 824, §1.

Art. 1578. Notarial testament;  testator literate and sighted but physically unable to sign

When a testator knows how to sign his name and to read, and is physically able to read but unable to sign his name because of a physical infirmity, the procedure for execution of a notarial testament is as follows:

(1)  In the presence of the notary and two competent witnesses, the testator shall declare or signify to them that the instrument is his testament, that he is able to see and read but unable to sign because of a physical infirmity, and shall affix his mark where his signature would otherwise be required; and if he is unable to affix his mark he may direct another person to assist him in affixing a mark, or to sign his name in his place.  The other person may be one of the witnesses or the notary.

(2)  In the presence of the testator and each other, the notary and the witnesses shall sign the following declaration, or one substantially similar:  "In our presence the testator has declared or signified that this is his testament, and that he is able to see and read and knows how to sign his name but is unable to do so because of a physical infirmity; and in our presence he has affixed, or caused to be affixed, his mark or name at the end of the testament and on each other separate page, and in the presence of the testator and each other, we have subscribed our names this _____day of ____, _____."

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1579. Notarial testament;  testator unable to read

When a testator does not know how to read, or is physically impaired to the extent that he cannot read, whether or not he is able to sign his name, the procedure for execution of a notarial testament is as follows:

(1)  The written testament must be read aloud in the presence of the testator, the notary, and two competent witnesses.  The witnesses, and the notary if he is not the person who reads the testament aloud, must follow the reading on copies of the testament.  After the reading, the testator must declare or signify to them that he heard the reading, and that the instrument is his testament.  If he knows how, and is able to do so, the testator must sign his name at the end of the testament and on each other separate page of the instrument.

(2)  In the presence of the testator and each other, the notary and witnesses must sign the following declaration, or one substantially similar:  "This testament has been read aloud in our presence and in the presence of the testator, such reading having been followed on copies of the testament by the witnesses [, and the notary if he is not the person who reads it aloud,] and in our presence the testator declared or signified that he heard the reading, and that the instrument is his testament, and that he signed his name at the end of the testament and on each other separate page; and in the presence of the testator and each other, we have subscribed our names this ____day of ____, ______."

(3)  If the testator does not know how to sign his name or is unable to sign because of a physical infirmity, he must so declare or signify and then affix his mark, or cause it to be affixed, where his signature would otherwise be required; and if he is unable to affix his mark he may direct another person to assist him in affixing a mark or to sign his name in his place.  The other person may be one of the witnesses or the notary.  In this instance, the required declaration must be modified to recite in addition that the testator declared or signified that he did not know how to sign his name or was unable to do so because of a physical infirmity; and that he affixed, or caused to be affixed, his mark or name at the end of the testament and on each other separate page.

(4)  A person who may execute a testament authorized by either Article 1577 or 1578 may also execute a testament authorized by this Article.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1580. Notarial testament in braille form

A testator who knows how to and is physically able to read braille, may execute a notarial testament according to the following procedure:

(1)  In the presence of a notary and two competent witnesses, the testator must declare or signify that the testament, written in braille, is his testament, and must sign his name at the end of the testament and on each other separate page of the instrument.

(2)  In the presence of the testator and each other, the notary and witnesses must sign the following declaration, or one substantially similar: "In our presence the testator has signed this testament at the end and on each other separate page and has declared or signified that it is his testament; and in the presence of the testator and each other we have hereunto subscribed our names this ____day of _____, _____."

(3)  If the testator is unable to sign his name because of a physical infirmity, he must so declare or signify and then affix, or cause to be affixed, his mark where his signature would otherwise be required; and if he is unable to affix his mark he may direct another person to assist him in affixing a mark, or to sign his name in his place.  The other person may be one of the witnesses or the notary.  In this instance, the required declaration must be modified to recite in addition that the testator declared or signified that he was unable to sign his name because of a physical infirmity; and that he affixed, or caused to be affixed, his mark or name at the end of the testament and on each other separate page.

(4)  The declaration in the notarial testament in braille form must be in writing, not in braille.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1580.1. Deaf or deaf and blind notarial testament;  form;  witnesses

A. A notarial testament may be executed under this Article only by a person who has been legally declared physically deaf or deaf and blind and who is able to read sign language, braille, or visual English.

B. The notarial testament shall be prepared and shall be dated and executed in the following manner:

(1) In the presence of a notary and two competent witnesses, the testator shall declare or signify to them that the instrument is his testament and shall sign his name at the end of the testament and on each other separate page of the instrument.

(2) In the presence of the testator and each other, the notary and the witnesses shall then sign the following declaration, or one substantially similar: "The testator has signed this testament at the end and on each other separate page, and has declared or signified in our presence that this instrument is his testament, and in the presence of the testator and each other we have hereunto subscribed our names this __________ day of ____________, 2____ ."

C. If the testator is unable to sign his name because of a physical infirmity, the testament shall be dated and executed in the following manner:

(1) In the presence of a notary and two competent witnesses, the testator shall declare or signify by sign or visual English to them that the instrument is his last testament, that he is unable to sign because of a physical infirmity, and shall then affix his mark at the end of the testament and on each other separate page of the instrument.

(2) In the presence of the testator and each other, the notary and the witnesses shall then sign the following declaration, or one substantially similar: "The testator has declared or signified by sign or visual English that he knows how to sign his name but is unable to sign his name because of a physical infirmity and he has affixed his mark at the end and on each other separate page of this testament, and declared or signified in our presence that this instrument is his testament and in the presence of the testator and each other we have hereunto subscribed our names this ___________ day of ___________________, 2_____."

D. The attestation clause required by Subparagraphs (B)(2) and (C)(2) shall be prepared in writing.

E.(1) A competent witness for the purposes of this Article is a person who meets the qualifications of Articles 1581 and 1582, and who knows how to sign his name and to read the required attestation clause, and is physically able to do both. At least one of the witnesses to the testament shall also meet the qualifications of a certified interpreter for the deaf as provided for in R.S. 46:2361 et seq.

(2) The testator shall be given the choice of accommodation services afforded by the use of large print, braille, or a tactile interpreter.

Acts 1999, No. 745, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Section 3. Of the Competence of Witnesses and of Certain Designations in Testaments

Art. 1581. Persons incompetent to be witnesses

A person cannot be a witness to any testament if he is insane, blind, under the age of sixteen, or unable to sign his name.  A person who is competent but deaf or  unable to read cannot be a witness to a notarial testament under Article 1579.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1582. Effect of witness or notary as legatee

The fact that a witness or the notary is a legatee does not invalidate the testament.  A legacy to a witness or the notary is invalid, but if the witness would be an heir in intestacy, the witness may receive the lesser of his intestate share or the legacy in the testament.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1582.1. Persons prohibited from witnessing;  effect

A person may not be a witness to a testament if that person is a spouse of a legatee at the time of the execution of the testament.  The fact that a witness is the spouse of a legatee does not invalidate the testament; however, a legacy to a witness' spouse is invalid, if the witness is the spouse of the legatee at the time of the execution of the testament.  If the legacy is invalid under the provisions of this Article, and if the legatee would be an heir in intestacy, the legatee may receive the lesser of his intestate share or legacy in the testament.  Any testamentary terms or restrictions placed on the legacy shall remain in effect.

Acts 2003, No. 707, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004; Acts 2004, No. 231, §1.

NOTE:  Acts 2004, No. 231, applies to testaments only executed on or after Jan. 1, 2004.

 

Art. 1583. Certain designations not legacies

The designation of a succession representative or a trustee, or an attorney for either of them, is not a legacy.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Section 4. Testamentary Dispositions

Art. 1584. Kinds of testamentary dispositions

Testamentary dispositions are particular, general, or universal.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1585. Universal legacy

A universal legacy is a disposition of all of the estate, or the balance of the estate that remains after particular legacies.

A universal legacy may be made jointly for the benefit of more than one legatee without changing its nature.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1586. General legacy

A general legacy is a disposition by which the testator bequeaths a fraction or a certain proportion of the estate, or a fraction or certain proportion of the balance of the estate that remains after particular legacies.  In addition, a disposition of property expressly described by the testator as all, or a fraction or a certain proportion of one of the following categories of property, is also a general legacy:  separate or community property, movable or immovable property, or corporeal or incorporeal property.  This list of categories is exclusive.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1587. Particular legacy

A legacy that is neither general nor universal is a particular legacy.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1588. Joint or separate legacy

A legacy to more than one person is either joint or separate.  It is separate when the testator assigns shares and joint when he does not.  Nevertheless, the testator may make a legacy joint or separate by expressly designating it  as such.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1589. Lapse of legacies

A legacy lapses when:

(1)  The legatee predeceases the testator.

(2)  The legatee is incapable of receiving at the death of the testator.

(3)  The legacy is subject to a suspensive condition, and the condition can no longer be fulfilled or the legatee dies before fulfillment of the condition.

(4)  The legatee is declared unworthy.

(5)  The legacy is renounced, but only to the extent of the renunciation.

(6)  The legacy is  declared invalid.

(7)  The legacy is declared null, as for example, for fraud, duress, or undue influence.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1589. Lapse of legacies

A legacy lapses when:

(1)  The legatee predeceases the testator.

(2)  The legatee is incapable of receiving at the death of the testator.

(3)  The legacy is subject to a suspensive condition, and the condition can no longer be fulfilled or the legatee dies before fulfillment of the condition.

(4)  The legatee is declared unworthy.

(5)  The legacy is renounced, but only to the extent of the renunciation.

(6)  The legacy is  declared invalid.

(7)  The legacy is declared null, as for example, for fraud, duress, or undue influence.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1591. Accretion of particular and general legacies

When a particular or a general legacy lapses, accretion takes place in favor of the successor who, under the testament, would have received the thing if the legacy had not been made.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. 1999.

Art. 1592. Accretion among joint legatees

When a legacy to a joint legatee lapses, accretion takes place ratably in favor of the other joint legatees, except as provided in the following Article.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1593. Exception to rule of testamentary accretion

If a legatee, joint or otherwise, is a child or sibling of the testator, or a descendant of a child or sibling of the testator, then to the extent that the legatee's interest in the legacy lapses, accretion takes place in favor of his descendants by roots who were in existence at the time of the decedent's death.  The provisions of this Article shall not apply to a legacy that is declared invalid or is declared null for fraud, duress, or undue influence.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 2001, No. 824, §1.

Art. 1595. Accretion to universal legatee

All legacies that lapse, and are not disposed of under the preceding Articles, accrete ratably to the universal legatees.

When a general legacy is phrased as a residue or balance of the estate without specifying that the residue or balance is the remaining fraction or a certain portion of the estate after the other general legacies, even though that is its effect, it shall be treated as a universal legacy for purposes of accretion under this Article.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1596. Accretion to intestate successors

Any portion of the estate not disposed of under the foregoing rules devolves by intestacy.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

 

Art. 1597. Loss, extinction, or destruction of property given

A.  A legacy is extinguished to the extent that property forming all or part of the legacy is lost, extinguished, or destroyed before the death of the testator.  However, the legatee is entitled to any part of the property that remains and to any uncollected insurance proceeds attributable to the loss, extinction, or destruction, and to the testator's right of action against any person liable for the loss, extinction, or destruction.

B.  A legacy of a certain object is not extinguished when the object of the legacy has been transformed into a similar object without an act of the testator.

C.  If the object of the legacy has been condemned or expropriated prior to the testator's death, the legatee is entitled to any uncollected award and to succeed to any right of action concerning the condemnation or expropriation.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 2001, No. 824, §1.

Art. 1598. Right of legatees to fruits and products

All legacies, whether particular, general, or universal, include the fruits and products attributable to the object of the legacy from the date of death, but the right of any legatee to distribution under this Article is subject to administration of the succession.

Nevertheless, the legatee of a specified amount of money is entitled to interest on it, at a reasonable rate, beginning one year after the testator's death, but the executor may, by contradictory proceedings with the legatee and upon good cause shown, obtain an extension of time for such interest to begin to accrue and for such other modification with regard to payment of interest as the court deems appropriate.  If, however, the legacy is subject to a usufruct for life of a surviving spouse or is held in trust subject to an income interest for life, to or for the benefit of a surviving spouse, the spouse shall be entitled to interest on the money from the date of death at a reasonable rate.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1599. Payment of legacies, preference of payment

If the testator has not expressly declared a preference in the payment of legacies, the preference shall be governed by the following Articles.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1600. Particular legacies;  preference of payment

A particular legacy must be discharged in preference to all others.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1601. Preference of payment among particular legacies

If the property remaining after payment of the debts and satisfaction of the legitime proves insufficient to discharge all particular legacies, the legacies of specific things must be discharged first and then the legacies of groups and collections of things.  Any remaining property must be applied toward the discharge of legacies of money, to be divided among the legatees of money in proportion to the amounts of their legacies.  When a legacy of money is expressly declared to be in recompense for services, it shall be paid in preference to all other legacies of money.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1602. Discharge of an unsatisfied particular legacy

Intestate successors and general and universal legatees are personally bound to discharge an unpaid particular legacy, each in proportion to the part of the estate that he receives.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1604. Discharge of legacies, limitation of liability

In all the foregoing instances, a successor who is obligated to discharge a legacy is personally liable for his failure to do so only to the extent of the value of the property of the estate that he receives, valued as of the time of receipt.  He is not personally liable to other successors by way of contribution or reimbursement for any greater amount.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Section 5. Probate of Testaments

Art. 1605. Probate of testament

A testament has no effect unless it is probated in accordance with the procedures and requisites of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Section 6. Revocation of Testaments and Legacies

Art. 1606. Testator's right of revocation

A testator may revoke his testament at any time.  The right of revocation may not be renounced.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1607. Revocation of entire testament by testator

Revocation of an entire testament occurs when the testator does any of the following:

(1)  Physically destroys the testament, or has it destroyed at his direction.

(2)  So declares in one of the forms prescribed for testaments or in an authentic act.

(3)  Identifies and clearly revokes the testament by a writing that is entirely written and signed by the testator in his own handwriting.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1608. Revocation of a legacy or other testamentary provision

Revocation of a legacy or other testamentary provision occurs when the testator:

(1)  So declares in one of the forms prescribed for testaments.

(2)  Makes a subsequent incompatible testamentary disposition or provision.

(3)  Makes a subsequent inter vivos disposition of the thing that is the object of the legacy and does not reacquire it.

(4)  Clearly revokes the provision or legacy by a signed writing on the testament itself.

(5)  Is divorced from the legatee after the testament is executed and at the time of his death, unless the testator provides to the contrary.  Testamentary designations or appointments of a spouse are revoked under the same circumstances.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1609. Revocation of juridical act prior to testator's death

The revocation of a testament, legacy, or other testamentary provision that is made in any manner other than physical destruction of the testament, subsequent inter vivos disposition or divorce is not effective if the revocation itself is revoked prior to the testator's death.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1610. Other modifications

Any other modification of a testament must be in one of the forms prescribed for testaments.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1610.1. Grounds for revocation of testamentary dispositions

The same causes that authorize an action for the revocation of a donation inter vivos are sufficient to authorize an action for revocation of testamentary dispositions.

Acts 2001, No. 824, §1.

Section 7. Rules for the Interpretation of Legacies

Art. 1611. Intent of the testator controls

A.  The intent of the testator controls the interpretation of his testament.  If the language of the testament is clear, its letter is not to be disregarded under the pretext of pursuing its spirit.  The following rules for interpretation apply only when the testator's intent cannot be ascertained from the language of the testament.  In applying these rules, the court may be aided by any competent evidence.

B.  When a testament uses a term the legal effect of which has been changed after the date of execution of the testament, the court may consider the law in effect at the time the testament was executed to ascertain the testator's intent in the interpretation of a legacy or other testamentary provision.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 2001, No. 560, §1, eff. June 22, 2001.

Art. 1612. Preference for interpretation that gives effect

A disposition should be interpreted in a sense in which it can have effect, rather than in one in which it can have none.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1613. Mistake in identification of object bequeathed

If the identification of an object given is unclear or erroneous, the disposition is nonetheless effective if it can be ascertained what object the testator intended to give.  If it cannot be ascertained whether a greater or lesser quantity was intended, it must be decided for the lesser.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1614. Interpretation as to after-acquired property

Absent a clear expression of a contrary intention, testamentary dispositions shall be interpreted to refer to the property that the testator owns at his death.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1615. Contradictory provisions

When a testament contains contradictory provisions, the one written last prevails.  Nonetheless, when the testament contains a legacy of a collection or a group of objects and also a legacy of some or all of the same objects, the legacy of some or all of the objects prevails.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

Art. 1616. Legacy to creditor

A legacy to a creditor is not applied toward satisfaction of the debt unless the testator clearly so indicates.

Acts 1997, No. 1421, §1, eff. July 1, 1999.

 

Section 8. Disinherison

Art. 1617. Disinherison of forced heirs

A forced heir shall be deprived of his legitime if he is disinherited by the testator, for just cause, in the manner prescribed in the following Articles.

Acts 2001, No. 573, §1, eff. June 22, 2001.

Art. 1618. Formalities for disinherison

A disinherison must be made in one of the forms prescribed for testaments.

Acts 2001, No. 573, §1, eff. June 22, 2001.

Art. 1619. Disinherison, express and for just cause

The disinherison must be made expressly and for a just cause; otherwise, it is null.  The person who is disinherited must be either identified by name or otherwise identifiable from the instrument that disinherits him.

Acts 2001, No. 573, §1, eff. June 22, 2001.

Art. 1620. Limitation of causes for disinherison

There are no just causes for disinherison except those expressly recognized in the following Articles.

Acts 2001, No. 573, §1, eff. June 22, 2001.

Art. 1621. Children;  causes for disinherison by parents

A.  A parent has just cause to disinherit a child if:

(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.

B.  For a disinherison to be valid, the cause must have occurred prior to the execution of the instrument that disinherits the heir.

Acts 2001, No. 573, §1, eff. June 22, 2001.

Art. 1622. Grandparents;  causes for disinherison of grandchildren

A grandparent may disinherit his grandchild for any of the causes, other than the sixth, expressed in the preceding Article, whenever the offending act has been committed against a parent or a grandparent.  He may also disinherit the grandchild for the seventh cause expressed in the preceding Article.

Acts 2001, No. 573, §1, eff. June 22, 2001.

Art. 1623. Timing of action;  no defense

A person may be disinherited even though he was not a presumptive forced heir at the time of the occurrence of the act or the facts or circumstances alleged to constitute just cause for his disinherison.

Acts 2001, No. 573, §1, eff. June 22, 2001.

Art. 1624. Mention of cause for disinherison;  burden of proof;  reconciliation

The testator shall express in the instrument the reason, facts, or circumstances that constitute the cause for the disinherison; otherwise, the disinherison is null.  The reason, facts, or circumstances expressed in the instrument shall be presumed to be true.  The presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence, but the unsupported testimony of the disinherited heir shall not be sufficient to overcome the presumption.

Acts 2001, No. 573, §1, eff. June 22, 2001.

Art. 1625. Reconciliation

A.  A person who is disinherited may overcome the disinherison by proving reconciliation with the testator after the occurrence of the reason, facts, or circumstances expressed in the instrument, provided he does so by clear and convincing evidence.

B.  A writing signed by the testator that clearly and unequivocally demonstrates reconciliation shall constitute clear and convincing evidence.

Acts 2001, No. 573, §1, eff. June 22, 2001.

Art. 1626. Defenses to disinherison

A disinherison shall not be effective if the person who is disinherited shows that because of his age or mental capacity he was not capable of understanding the impropriety of his behavior or if he shows that the behavior was unintentional or justified under the circumstances.  Proof of this defense must be by a preponderance of the evidence, but the unsupported testimony of the disinherited heir shall not be sufficient to establish this defense.

Acts 2001, No. 573, §1, eff. June 22, 2001.

Chapter 7. Of Partitions Made by Parents and Other Ascendants Among Their Descendants

Art. 1724. Right of parents and ascendants to partition property among descendants

Fathers and mothers and other ascendants may make a distribution and partition of their property among their children and descendants, either by designating the quantum of the parts and partitions [portions] which they assign to each of them, or in designating the property* that shall compose their respective lots.

Acts 2004, No. 26, §1.

* English translation of French text incomplete; should include "of one kind or another."

Art. 1725. Method of making partition

These partitions may be made by act inter vivos or by testament.  If a testator has designated the quantum or value of his estate which he bequeaths to a legatee either by formula or by specific sum, he may expressly delegate to his executor the authority to select assets to satisfy the quantum or value.

Amended by Acts 1982, No. 448, §1.

Art. 1726. Partition by act inter vivos, formalities

Those made by an act inter vivos can have only present property for their object, and are subject to all the formalities and conditions of donations inter vivos.

Art. 1727. Testamentary partitions, formalities

Those made by testament must be made in the forms prescribed for acts of that kind, and are subject to the same rules.

Art. 1728. Property not included in partition

If the partition, whether inter vivos or by testament, has not comprised all the property that the ascendant leaves on the day of his decease, the property not comprised in the partition is divided according to law.

Art. 1729. Necessity for partition to include all descendants

If the partition, whether inter vivos or by testament, be not made amongst all the children living at the time of the decease and the descendants of those predeceased, the partition shall be null and void for the whole; the child or descendant who had no part in it, may require a new partition in legal form.

Amended by Acts 1871, No. 87.

Art. 1730. Limitation in relation to disposable portion

Partitions, made by ascendants, may be avoided,* when the advantage secured to one of the coheirs exceeds the disposable portion.

* Note error in English translation of French text; "avoided" should be "objected to."

Art. 1731. Action to rescind partition, payment of costs

The child who objects to the partition made by the ascendant, must advance the expenses of having the property estimated, and must ultimately support them and the costs of suit, if his claim be not founded.

Art. 1732. Tender by defendant in action of rescission

The defendant in the action of rescission may arrest it by offering to the plaintiff the supplement of the portion to which he has a right.

Art. 1733. Donation of extra portion not affected by rescission

The rescission of the partition does not carry with it the nullity of a donation made as an advantage.

Chapter 8. Of Donations Inter Vivos Made in Contemplation of Marriage by Third Persons

Section 1. In General

Art. 1734. Donations in contemplation of marriage by third persons;  in general

Any third person may make a donation inter vivos in contemplation of a prospective marriage in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.  Such a donation shall be governed by the rules applicable to donations inter vivos in general, including the rules pertaining to the reduction of donations that exceed the disposable portion, but only insofar as those general rules are not modified by the following Articles.

A donation inter vivos by a third person in contemplation of a prospective marriage that is not made in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter shall be governed solely by the rules applicable to donations inter vivos in general.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1735. Form

The donation shall be made by a single instrument in authentic form.  The instrument, which shall expressly state that the donor makes the donation in contemplation of the marriage of the prospective spouses, shall be signed at the same time and at the same place by the donor and by both of the prospective spouses.

The donation need not be accepted in express terms.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1736. Condition

The donation shall be made subject to the suspensive condition that the prospective marriage shall take place.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Section 2. Donations of Present Property

Art. 1737. Beneficiaries

The donor may donate any of his present property to both or one of the prospective spouses.  The donation may not, however, be made to their common descendants, whether already born or to be born.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Section 3. Donations of Property to Be Left at Death

Art. 1738. Beneficiaries

The donor may donate all or any of the property that he will leave at his death (1) to both or one of the prospective spouses or (2) to both or one of them and, in the event that they or he predecease the donor or, once the donor's succession is opened, they or he either renounce the donation or are declared unworthy to receive it, to their common descendants, whether already born or to be born.

The donation is presumed to be made in favor of the common descendants of the spouses, even if, in the act of donation, the donor does not mention them.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1739. Limited irrevocability

A donation of property that the donor will leave at his death is irrevocable only in the sense that the donor may no longer dispose of the property by gratuitous title, save for dispositions of modest value.  Nevertheless, the donor remains the owner of the property and, as such, retains the full liberty of disposing of it by onerous title, in the absence of an express stipulation to the contrary.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1740. Division following substitution of common descendants

If the common descendants of the spouses find themselves substituted to both or one of the spouses, the property to which the common descendants are entitled shall be divided among them in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 2 of Title I of Book III.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1741. Caducity;  causes and effects

If every one of the donees, including the substitutes, predeceases the donor or, once the donor's succession is opened, renounces the donation or is declared unworthy to receive it, the donation becomes of no effect at all.  The object of the donation falls to the donor's heirs or legatees, as the case may be.

If the donation has been made to both spouses and to their common descendants, and if one of the spouses predeceases the donor or, once the donor's succession is opened, renounces the donation or is declared unworthy to receive it, the donation becomes of no effect only with respect to that spouse.  To that extent, accretion takes place in favor of the surviving spouse, if the donation has been made to the spouses jointly, or substitution takes place in favor of their common descendants, if the donation has been made to the spouses separately.

If the donation has been made to both spouses, but not to their common descendants, and if one of the spouses predeceases the donor or, once the donor's succession is opened, renounces the donation or is declared unworthy to receive it, the donation becomes of no effect only with respect to that spouse.  To that extent, the object of the donation accretes to the surviving spouse, if the donation has been made to the spouses jointly, or falls to the donor's heirs or legatees, as the case may be, if the donation has been made to the spouses separately.

If the donation has been made to one spouse only and to the spouses' common descendants, and if the donee spouse predeceases the donor or, once the donor's succession is opened, renounces the donation or is declared unworthy to receive it, the donation becomes of no effect with respect to the donee spouse.  Substitution takes place in favor of the spouses' common descendants.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1742. Acceptance or renunciation of succession

The donee of a donation of property that the donor will leave at his death has the right to accept or renounce the succession of the donor in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 6 of Title I of Book III.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1743. Universal succession;  liability for estate debts

The donee of a universal or general donation of property that the donor will leave at his death, as a universal successor of the donor, is answerable for the debts of the estate of the donor in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 13 of Title I of Book III.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Chapter 9. Of Interspousal Donations Inter Vivos

Art. 1744. Donations between future or present spouses;  in general

A person may make a donation inter vivos to his future or present spouse in contemplation of or in consideration of their marriage in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.  Such a donation shall be governed by the rules applicable to donations inter vivos in general, including the rules that pertain to the reduction of donations that exceed the disposable portion, but only insofar as those general rules are not modified by the following Articles.

A donation inter vivos by a person to his future or present spouse in contemplation of or in consideration of their marriage that is not made in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter shall be governed solely by the rules applicable to donations inter vivos in general.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1745. Applicability of rules on donations in contemplation of marriage by third person

The provisions of Chapter 8 of this Title shall apply mutatis mutandis to such donations, with the following modifications.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1746. Objects and beneficiaries

The donation, which may consist of any of the donor's present property or all or any of the property that the donor will leave at his death, may be made to the donor's future or present spouse.  The donation may not, however, be made to their common descendants, whether already born or to be born.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1747. Form

The donation shall be made by a single instrument in authentic form.  The instrument, which shall expressly state that the donor makes the donation in contemplation of his prospective marriage or in consideration of his present marriage, as the case may be, shall be signed at the same time and at the same place by the donor and by the donee.

The donation need not be accepted in express terms.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1749. Donation of property to be left at death;  caducity

When the donation consists of property that the donor will leave at his death, it becomes of no effect and the object thereof thereupon falls to the heirs or legatees of the donor spouse, as the case may be, if the donee predeceases the donor or, once the donor's succession is opened, renounces the donation or is declared unworthy to receive it.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1750. Donations of property to be left at death made during marriage;  revocability

A donation made during marriage of property that the donor will leave at his death is freely revocable, notwithstanding any stipulation to the contrary.

Acts 1990, No. 147, §1, eff. July 1, 1990; Acts 1995, No. 1180, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 1751. Disguised donations and donations to persons interposed

A donation of property that the donor will leave at his death is absolutely null if it is disguised or made to a person interposed to his spouse.

The following are reputed to be such person interposed:

(1)  a child of the donee spouse who is not among the spouses' common children; or

(2)  a person to whom the donee spouse is a presumptive successor at the time when the donation is made, even if the donee spouse does not thereafter survive that person.

Acts 2004, No. 619, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Title III. Obligations in General

Chapter 1. General Principles

Art. 1756. Obligations;  definition

An obligation is a legal relationship whereby a person, called the obligor, is bound to render a performance in favor of another, called the obligee.  Performance may consist of giving, doing, or not doing something.

Acts 1984, No. 331, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1985.

Art. 1757. Sources of obligations

Obligations arise from contracts and other declarations of will.  They also arise directly from the law, regardless of a declaration of will, in instances such as wrongful acts, the management of the affairs of another, unjust enrichment and other acts or facts.

Acts 1984, No. 331, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1985.

Art. 1758. General effects

A.  An obligation may give the obligee the right to:

(1)  Enforce the performance that the obligor is bound to render;

(2)  Enforce performance by causing it to be rendered by another at the obligor's expense;

(3)  Recover damages for the obligor's failure to perform, or his defective or delayed performance.

B.  An obligation may give the obligor the right to:

(1)  Obtain the proper discharge when he has performed in full;

(2)  Contest the obligee's actions when the obligation has been extinguished or modified by a legal cause.

Acts 1984, No. 331, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1985.

Art. 1759. Good faith

Good faith shall govern the conduct of the obligor and the obligee in whatever pertains to the obligation.

Acts 1984, No. 331, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1985.

Chapter 2. Natural Obligations