Table of Contents


Art. 43. When the deceased has left neither lawful descendants, nor lawful ascendants, nor collateral relations, the law calls to his inheritance either the surviving husband or wife or his or her natural children or the territory, in the manner and order hereafter directed.

Art. 44. Natural children are called to the legal succession of their natural mother, when they have been duly acknowledged by her, if she has left no lawful children or descendants, to the exclusion of her father and mother and other ascendants or collaterals of lawful kindred.
In case the natural mother has lawful children or descendants the rights of the natural children are reduced to a moderate alimony which shall be fixed agreeable to the rules directed in the title of father and child.

Art. 45. Natural children are called to the inheritance of their natural father, who has duly acknowledged them, when he has left no descendants, nor ascendants, nor collateral relations, nor surviving wife, and to the exclusion only of the territory.
In all other cases they can only bring an action against their natural father or his heirs for alimony, the amount of which shall be fixed as is directed in the title of father and child.

Art. 46. Bastard, adulterous or incestuous children, even duly acknowledged, shall not enjoy the right of inheriting their natural father or mother in any of the cases above mentioned, the law allowing them nothing more than a mere alimony.

Art. 47. The law does not grant any right of inheritance to natural children, to the estate of the lawful relations of their father or mother.

Art. 48. The estate of a natural child deceased without posterity, belongs to the father or mother who has acknowledged him, or by halves to the father and mother when he has been acknowledged by both of them.

Art. 49. If the father and mother of the natural child died before him, the estate of such natural child shall pass to his natural brothers and sisters or to their descendants.

Art. 50. If a married man has left no lawful descendants, nor ascendants, nor any collateral relations, but a surviving wife, not separated from bed and board from him, the said wife shall inherit from him to the exclusion of any natural child or children duly acknowledged.
If on the contrary it is the wife who died without leaving any lawful descendants, ascendants or collateral relations, her surviving husband not separated from bed and board from her, shall not inherit from her except in case she should leave no natural child or children by her duly acknowledged.

Art. 51. In defect of lawful relations, or of a surviving husband or wife, or acknowledged natural children, the estate belongs to the territory.

Art. 52. The surviving husband or wife who claims a right to the inheritance, shall be obliged to cause the seals to be affixed, the inventory to be made, in the form prescribed for the cases where an inheritance is accepted with the benefit of an inventory.

Art. 53. But before such inventory is begun, and after having caused the seals to be affixed, he or she shall pray to be put in possession of the estate, by a petition presented to the judge of the parish where the succession is opened, if the deceased died in the territory, or if the deceased died out of the territory, to the judge of the parish where the most valuable property of the deceased lies; and the said judge shall not order the said possession to take place, until after three advertisements of the said prayer shall have been posted up in the usual places, or published, in at least two of the news papers which are printed in the city of New-Orleans, in order that any person interested to make opposition to the said possession, may make it, if he has a right so to do.

Art. 54. The surviving husband or wife shall further be obliged to give a good and sufficient security to the judge who shall put him or her in possession, to the amount of the inventory, of the property to him or her delivered, to the end of securing the restitution of the estate, in case that any heir should come forward within the space of three years after his or her having been put in possession, past which delay the security shall remain discharged.

Art. 55. The surviving husband or wife who shall not have fulfilled the formalities prescribed in the preceding article, shall be liable to damages towards the heir, if any should appear.

Art. 56. The dispositions of the articles 52, 53 and 54, of the present title, are applicable to the natural children admitted in defect of lawful relations.

Art. 57. All the successions which devolve to the territory in the defect of lawful heirs, are called vacant successions, and are to be administered in the manner directed in the chapter 7th of the present title, respecting the administration of vacant successions or ab intestate.



Art. 58. The succession, either testamentary, or legal, or irregular, becomes open by death, or by presumption of death caused by long absence, in the cases established by law.

Art. 59. The place where the deceased has died, is that where the succession is considered to be opened.

Art. 60. If several persons respectively intitled to inherit from one another, happen to perish in the same event, such as a wreck, a battle, or a conflagration, without any possibility of ascertaining who died first, the presumption of survivance is determined by the circumstances of the fact.

Art. 61. In defect of circumstances of fact, the determination must be guided by the probabilities resulting from the strength, age, and difference of sex, according to the following rules.

Art. 62. If those who have perished together, were under the age of fifteen years, the eldest shall be presumed to have survived.
If both were above the age of sixty years, the youngest shall be presumed to have survived.
If some were under fifteen years, and some above sixty, the first shall be presumed to have survived.

Art. 63. If those who have perished together were above the age of fifteen years and under sixty, the male must be presumed to have survived, where there was an equality of age or a difference of less than one year. - If they were of the same sex, the presumption of survivance, by which the succession becomes open in the order of nature, must be admitted; thus the younger must be presumed to have survived the elder.



Art. 64. All free persons, even the minor pupil, the lunatic, and idiots, and the like may transmit their estates ab intestate and inherit from others.
Slaves alone are incapable of either.

Art. 65. Nevertheless, in order to inherit, the heir must necessarily exist at the moment that the succession becomes open.
Thus he who is not yet conceived, and the child who is born incapable of living, are both incapable of inheriting.

Art. 66. Persons unworthy of inheriting, and as such deprived from the successions to which they are called, are the following:
1st. Those who are convicted of having killed, or attempted to kill the deceased,- unless the case should be one of excusable or justifiable homicide.
2dly. Those who have brought against the deceased some accusation found calumnious.
3dly. Those who being apprised of the murder of the deceased, have not denounced it to justice.

Art. 67. Not denouncing the murder of the deceased, shall not be opposed as a cause of unworthiness in the heir, if such heir is the husband or wife of the deceased, or his relation in the ascending, descending or collateral line, down to the third degree inclusively.

Art. 68. The heir excluded, or deprived of the inheritance for cause of unworthiness, is obliged to return all the fruits and revenues, as well as all the property which he has enjoyed since the opening of the succession.

Art. 69. The children of the unworthy person being admitted to the succession ab intestate in their own name, and without the aid of the representation, are not excluded by the fault of their father, but the said father cannot claim in any case, upon the property of that succession, the usufruct which the law grants him in certain cases.

Art. 70. The exclusion either for cause of incapability or unworthiness shall not be sued for by others than the relations and persons interested in the succession of the deceased; and that kind of suit shall be determined in the same manner as other civil actions.

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