IANAL, but here’s my gonna-be-a-paralegal-soon opinion (this is not legal advice, just a guess based on what I’ve learned):
*Originally posted by xanadu *
So my question is: is she allowed to exclude them from her will?
Yes. She can leave the money to whoever she wants to. AFAIK no states require you to leave your parents anything in your will. IF she had kids, she MAY be forced by the state to leave her kids a minimum amount (some states make you leave your kids something, some don’t). Were she married, the loot would go to the husband (unless she lived in a state that allows spouses to screw each other in their wills).
** The laws of succession say that her parents would be first on the list of people who would inherit their daughters money/finances**
This is only if she dies intestate (without a will). In that case yeah, her parents would get it, or her brother would if Mom and Dad were dead. If the brother was dead, probably the nephew.
but I was wondering if they could somehow be excluded and if someone else (like her brother or a nephew) be given those rights? We live in Louisiana, if that makes a difference.
Yes. She can leave the cash to her brother. The important thing is that she die with a will. If she doesn’t, her parents WILL get most of it if they’re still alive. (IIRC, if you die without a will the money is going to go to the nearest blood relative after Uncle Sam gets finished shoving his large wooden tax stick up the estate’s ass.)
Your friend needs to see a lawyer, bad. A general no-frills will might cost her $100. (I know many lawyers who won’t charge anything because they feel so strongly about everyone having a will.) Hers may end up costing more because there may be other situations that would require more consideration but it sounds to me as if she can afford it. If she really feels that strongly about Mom and Dad not getting anything from her, a will is the only way to assure that doesn’t happen.