Last Modified: Friday, August 10, 2012 6:40 PM
In the new inheritance law how much must a person leave an only child who is a mentally impaired adult?
The law the reader refers to — which pertains to forced heirship and isn’t actually new — doesn’t say parents must leave a set amount to certain children.
It says that certain children, known as forced heirs, are entitled to a specific share of a parent’s estate. In other words, it’s a right to be claimed, not an automatic award.
Forced heirs are children age 23 and younger and those “who, because of mental incapacity or physical infirmity, are permanently incapable of taking care of their persons or administering their estates.”
Additionally, the definition includes a decedent’s grandchildren if their parent — i.e., the decedent’s child — is dead but would have been 23 or younger at the time of the decedent’s death. It also includes grandchildren who have been deemed incapable of caring for themselves.
Under the law — Louisiana inherited it from France and Spain, which inherited it from ancient Rome — a single forced heir is entitled to a fourth of a parent’s estate, and two or more forced heirs are entitled to share in half of the estate.
Forced heirs can be denied their inheritance if one of the following criteria, taken from Civil Code Article 1621, applies to them:
The child has raised his hand to strike a parent, or has actually struck a parent; but a mere threat is not sufficient.
The child has been guilty, towards a parent, of cruel treatment, crime, or grievous injury.
The child has attempted to take the life of a parent.
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.
The child has used any act of violence or coercion to hinder a parent from making a testament.
The child, being a minor, has married without the consent of the parent.
The child has been convicted of a crime for which the law provides that the punishment could be life imprisonment or death.
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.
Until the law was changed in the 1990s, all children were considered forced heirs. Incidentally, the above “just cause” list used to include the refusal to pay a parent’s ransom and the refusal to bond a parent out of prison.
Does the mailman have to pick up my outgoing mail, which is fastened to my mailbox?
Only if he is dropping off some mail.
“If your mailbox is located on the street, letter carriers should pickup outgoing mail if the flag is up,” reads a page on the U.S. Postal Service’s website.
“If your mailbox is attached to the house, letter carriers are not required to pickup mail if they have no mail to deliver. Mail cannot be delivered to or picked up from a blocked mailbox.”
The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email firstname.lastname@example.org