Louisiana Civil Code

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CHAPTER 3 - THE DISPOSABLE PORTION AND ITS REDUCTION IN CASE OF EXCESS

Art. 1493. 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. 1494. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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]

Art. 1500. 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. 1501. [Repealed. Acts 1997, No. 706, §1]

Art. 1502. 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. 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. 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. 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. 1506. [Reserved]

Art. 1507. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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]

Arts. 151-1518. [Blank]