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LEGITIME, civil law. That portion of a parent's estate of which he cannot disinherit his children, without a legal cause. The civil code of Louisiana declares that donations inter vivos or mortis causa cannot exceed two-thirds of the property of the disposer if he leaves at his decease a legitimate child; one half if he leaves two children; and one-third if he leaves three or a greater number. Under the name of children are included descendants of whatever degree they may be; it must be understood that they are only counted for the child they represent. Civil. Code of Lo. art. 1480.
     3. Donation inter vivos or mortis causa, cannot exceed two-thirds of the property if the disposer having no children have a father, mother, or both. Id. art. 1481. Where there are no descendants, and in case of the previous decease of the father and mother, donations inter vivos and mortis causa, may, in general, be made of the whole amount of the property of the disposer. Id. art. 1483. The Code Civil makes nearly similar provisions. Code Civ. L. 3, t. 2, c. 3, s. 1, art. 913 to 919.
     4. In Holland, Germany, and Spain, the principles of the Falcidian law, more or less limited, have been generally adopted. Coop. Just. 616.
     5. In the United States, other than Louisiana and in England, there is no restriction on the right of bequeathing. But this power of bequeathing did not originally extend to all a man's personal estate; on the contrary, by the common law, as it stood in the reign of Henry II, a man's goods were to be divided into three equal parts, one of which went to his heirs or lineal descendants, another to his wife, and the third was at his own disposal; or if he died without a wife, he might then dispose of one moiety, and the other went to his children; and so e converso if he had no children, the wife was entitled to one moiety, and he might bequeath the other; but if he died without either wife or issue, the whole was at his own disposal. Glanv. 1. 2, c. 6;, Bract. 1. 2, c. 26. The shares of the wife and children were called their reasonable part. 2 Bl. Comm. 491-2. See Death's part; Falcidian law.

References in periodicals archive ?
126) The forced portion is one-quarter of the estate if the decedent has one forced heir and one-half if he has more than one forced heir, except that an heir's forced portion cannot exceed his intestate portion.
144) An executor named by the testator need not provide security unless required by the testament or compelled by a surviving spouse, forced heir, or creditor.
266) If the decedent leaves descendants, the spouse is entitled to a fractional share of the estate in usufruct corresponding to the fractional share of a descendant forced heir not favored in the extra portion or one-third if only one such forced heir survives the decedent.
A forced heir could lose his inheritance if found unworthy to succeed to a portion of the estate or if the testator disinherits him.
If the recipient may be a forced heir, add "If feasible, this gift should come from the forced/free portion of my estate.
If the recipient may be a forced heir, add "If feasible, this girl should come from the forced/free portion of my estate.
For a testator with children or who would like the contingency of having children in the future, amend the gift portion of the testament as follows: Before the language giving property, insert a paragraph or subparagraph that gives the forced portion to any children that are forced heirs at the testator's death.
257) The forced heirs are the decedent's descendants, ascendants in the absence of descendants, and the surviving spouse.
The legal portion set aside for descendants as forced heirs is two-thirds of the estate, subject to a usufruct in the spouse.
For a testator with forced heirs, amend the gift portion of the will by using language similar to that provided in Appendix H.
To prepare a specific will for a state in the United States, prepare a will as if the testator were a resident of that state except once the document is produced, (1) replace in the first paragraph the name of the state with "Puerto Rico," deleting "the State of" with "the Commonwealth of" as applicable; and (2) amend the will as outlined above by adding information concerning marital status, identity of forced heirs, girls considering forced heirship, and executors, as applicable.
I do hereby expressly delegate to my Executor, under the provisions of Louisiana Civil Code Article 1302, the authority to assign and allocate the specific assets necessary to satisfy the legitime of my forced heirs.