Legitime Law and Legal Definition

Legitime literally means the forced share or forced portion. It refers to that portion of a parent’s property that would bequeath upon the children of a deceased by law. A legitime is only a fraction of the entire property of the deceased. The parent’s property that bequeaths on the children is fixed by law. Thus a testator cannot disinherit his/her children from legitime without reasonable and sufficient cause. According to the law of legitime a testator who has issues cannot entrust his wife with the whole property without giving the children their respective shares.

In Louisiana legitime prevents a parent from wholly disinheriting his/her children, who are called forced heirs. A child is entitled to receive at least 25% of the decedent's estate. If there were two or more children, they must receive at least 50% of it among themselves. Current Louisiana law provides forced share for decedent's children under 24 years of age, and for those children who are permanently incapable of taking care of themselves.