What Do The Following Terms Mean?


Forced Heir – This would be a descendant of the first degree, that would be the daughter or son of a mother or father, who at the time decedent dies, has not attained 24 years of age, or are 23 and under.  Also, a forced heir can be someone older than 23 who because of mental incapacity or physical infirmity is permanently incapable of taking care of his/her person or to administer his/her estate at the parent’s death.

Accessory contract – A contract is accessory when it is made to provide security for the performance of an obligation.  Suretyship, mortgage, pledge, and other types of security agreements are examples of accessory contracts.  (Louisiana Civil Code art. 1913)

Acquisitive Prescription – A mode of acquiring ownership of other real rights by uninterrupted possession for a period of time.  (Real refers to real estate)  Uninterrupted means without ceasing, without a break

Affiant – One who makes an affidavit.

Alienate – To transfer property or a right to the ownership of another, especially by an act of the owner rather than by inheritance.

Authentic Act – A writing executed before a notary public or other officer authorized to perform that function, in the presence of two witnesses, and signed by each party who executed it, by each witness, and by each notary public before whom it was executed.

Bequest – A disposition of property made by a testator. (Someone that makes a WILL)

Capacity – A legal qualification, including age and other factors.  Parties, unless emancipated, must be 18 years of age to contract. Witnesses to most instrument must be at least 14. Witnesses to most instruments must be 16.
Chattel – In general, used to designate movable property, as in the case of a “chattel mortgage”, which is a mortgage of a movable property.  Movable property is any property that is not permanently located and is movable.

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