Louisiana: Every Legal, Medical, and Estate Planning Document You Need

Here's a complete guide to every critical medical, legal, and estate planning document and relevant state law for Louisiana. Download these forms and get started with Pillar to organize all of your most important documents in one safe, secure, easy-to-use online storage solution

February 2, 2021

If you or a loved one lives in Louisiana, there are a number of important forms, documents, resources, and specific state laws that can have a real impact on your everyday life. Whether you are handling a guardianship of an elderly person, or just want to know how probate court or inheritance law works, read on for a full list of some of the most vital documents and state laws you should know about in Louisiana.

Essential Louisiana Medical State Laws & Forms

How Long Do Doctors Have to Keep Medical Records in Louisiana?

Louisiana law (Title 40 §1299.96) requires doctors (and dentists) to keep medical records for a minimum of 6 years since a patient was last treated. X-rays and other imaging records must be kept for a minimum of 3 years since the patient was last treated. 

In Louisiana you have a right to access and view your medical records. You also have a right to amend and add information to your medical records. However, depending on the nature of the medical records, certain information may not be eligible for amendment. Speaking with your healthcare provider regarding amendments is the best option. Fees vary from office to office; however, the legislature has enacted a law stating that fees cannot exceed one dollar per page for the first twenty pages. There is additional information regarding record fees located here in the statute language.

Louisiana Advanced Directive Forms & Laws

How to Create a Living Will in Louisiana

Louisiana has a living will directory. Information for the directory is available here. You can create a will and supply it to the registry so your loved ones and medical providers can have access to your wishes. A will, also known as a “Louisiana Declaration” does not need to be notarized, but does need to be signed in the presence of two competent adults. The two adults cannot be related to you by blood, nor can they be entitled to any portion of your estate.

Louisiana Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR)

DNRs are allowed in Louisiana. If a person obtains a DNR, they will be issued a standardized bracelet.

Durable Medical Power of Attorney (POA)

This form is available in Louisiana and allows you to name another person to be your agent. This agent will have the ability to make medical decisions for you.

If you wish to create any of the above mentioned advanced directives, forms can be found at this Louisiana government website.

Louisiana Organ Donor Registry

You can register to be an organ donor in Louisiana at Donate Life Louisiana.

Essential Louisiana Legal & Estate Planning Documents & Forms

Trusts and Probate Laws in Louisiana

Per Louisiana statute § 9:2021 to § 9:2030, it is permissible to create a trust for the passing of personal property and real estate. A living trust is recommended to help avoid Louisiana’s probate process. Download a standard living trust form here. The filing fees in Louisiana vary from parish to parish, check with your local courthouse to find out the filing fee.

Louisiana Digital Estate Planning Laws

Louisiana has no digital estate planning laws in statute. You can speak with an attorney about passing on digital information when forming a will or trust.

Louisiana Probate Laws

Probate is not required in Louisiana if there is no will and if the estate is valued less than $75,000. Revocable and irrevocable trusts are also tactics used to avoid probate court. 

A small estate affidavit can also be filed along with a will in order to avoid probate court.

Learn more about the biggest differences between a will and a trust

How to Get a Death Certificate in Louisiana

The State of Louisiana retains death certificates only for deaths that happen within the state. Death records are confidential until 50 years have passed since the death.

You can get a death certificate from the Louisiana government website. The cost of filing a death certificate is $7

Does Louisiana Have an Estate & Inheritance Tax?

Louisiana does have an estate tax. 

  • Estate tax: If the value of a transferred estate is greater than $60,000, you may be responsible for an estate transfer tax
  • Inheritance tax: There are no inheritance taxes in Louisiana
  • Gift tax: There are no gift taxes in Louisiana

Be aware that you may still be responsible for federal taxes on an inheritance.

How to Organize Your Most Important Documents

Louisiana has a number of unique state laws when it comes to your medical records, inheritance taxes, wills, trusts, and estate planning. Navigate the strict probate process and lax estate tax with confidence with your customized and organized Pillar account. You can scan, store, and share your most important state documents when you need them with Pillar's secure and easy-to-use online storage tool for you and your family.

Start your free 14-day trial today and see if Pillar is right for you.