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A Guardian Angel for the Little Ones – Legal Issues When A Child Dies

Angel Wings Sorrento, Louisiana resident Bobby Siears builds caskets for grieving families who cannot afford them. The hand-crafted caskets, some made of cypress, are the final resting place for many poor infants and children. His non-profit foundation, The Little Angels Foundation, distributes the caskets from Gonzales to Scotlandville and as far away as South Carolina.

Death does not always produce – as it does in the case of the Siears family – compassion and generosity. When the child of divorced parents dies, questions can arise concerning the disposition of the child’s property. Most children do not have estates of any consequence. However, some children may have money as the result of their own or a parent’s personal injury claim. Children may inherit real or personal property from grandparents. Wealthy parents may establish trusts for their children. In these situations, there can be significant legal issues when a child dies.

During marriage, the father is the administrator of a child’s estate. After a legal separation or divorce, the rules governing the administration of a child’s estate change. A tutor should be appointed to manage it. Ordinarily, a parent’s right to tutorship after separation or divorce is determined by their custodial status. If a parent has sole custody, that parent has the right to be the tutor. If the custody is joint, both parents have the right to be co-tutors unless a court modifies that arrangement.

Once a minor child dies, however, the tutor’s rights terminate and the child’s estate belongs to his heirs. Almost without exception, the deceased child will have no will and his estate will pass in accordance with the Louisiana Civil Code’s provisions concerning intestate succession. Any non-custodial parent whose child died in possession of a substantial estate should immediately seek legal advice concerning his or her rights as an heir.

What Our Clients Say
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I highly recommend Louis
I hired Louis to represent me in my custody battle. From the start he was upfront and honest with me, if he said he was going to do something he did it and he never attempted to settle for anything less than what I was asking. He was not afraid to go head to head with opposing counsel which is what we ended up having to do. Thanks to Louis and his experience and knowledge of family law we won our case. I highly recommend Louis and will always use him for my future family Court needs.
Caleb
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Brilliant Mind and Excellent Communication
I had no idea how to even look for an attorney when I found myself needing one. Mr. Cosenza is the best attorney I have encountered, and I took a lot of time finding one. He is brilliant in matters of the law. He approached my case from every angle. I am so thankful he was my attorney. I started out knowing absolutely nothing about court related matters. He answered even my smallest questions and guided me through to understand what was best for me and my children. He was excellent in communication with quick replies. He will have all of my recommendations.
Becky
★★★★★
Attorney Cosenza at his craft
My journey with Mr. Cosenza began nearly 3 years ago when I contacted him about divorce proceedings. During our initial consultation he told me exactly what to expect and we discussed cost, which I thought reasonable. After retaining him as my attorney and finalizing my divorce, things became fairly intense during the negotiation of the property settlement; yet he was relentless and tenacious. In the end, we prevailed victorious and everything came together perfectly. Attorney Cosenza always responded in a timely manner to my many calls, emails and texts. He gave clear, detailed, rational explanations of what I could expect. His work on my case has been life changing, in the best way possible. I am forever in his debt.
Sean
★★★★★
He does his very best
Working with Louis Cosenza truly helped to make my very difficult emotional and legal situation feel much more comfortable as I knew his experience and expertise was there to support and guide me. He knows the law and he does his very best to use that knowledge to represent his clients in and out of the courtroom.
Craig
★★★★★
Hands down the best experience I’ve had with a lawyer
I would like to start by saying I am from TX and my ex wife tried to file a judgment in LA. I contacted a number of lawyers that explained to me that this maybe a process that they could look into. I spoke with Mr. Cosenza with his 30 plus year of experience and he assured me this was not going to be a issue. He was very informative on the proceedings that where going to take place. He couldn’t have called it any better. There wasn’t even a need for me to travel to show in court. It is definitely worth a little extra to hire one of the best. I hope I hope won’t be needing his help again but if I do need another lawyer in LA. I won’t hesitate to contact him and he will be my lawyer again.
Michael