Successions and Probate
While it’s not a pleasant thought, people need to consider what to do with their property after they pass away. People of all ages who own real estate, from young couples to elderly citizens, want to ensure their assets will go to the right person after their death.
No matter if you want to leave your assets to a family member, a friend, or a charity, you need to specify it in your will. If you live in Louisiana and want to make plans for the eventual disposition of your assets, we can help.
Our team of lawyers who specialize in succession has helped countless people living in Louisiana who are in the same situation you are in now. If you’re struggling and aren’t sure what succession is and how it works, you’ve come to the right place.
What is succession?
Succession, also known as probate in some states, is the process of submitting documents to the court that allow assets to be transferred from a person who passed away to their heirs. In the state of Louisiana, nearly every estate goes through succession sooner or later. The process is sometimes simple, but can often become very complicated. But in all situations, an heir listed in succession will need an attorney to ensure their rights are protected. When someone dies, their assets become frozen until the succession process is completed. While there isn’t a time limit on when this process needs to start, it’s best to begin as soon as possible. To start the process, you will have to gather the following information:
- The original will/testament (if it exists).
- The name of the person who is the testament’s executor.
- A list of all heirs.
- The decedent’s debts.
- An accounting of assets.
There are two types of successions in Louisiana
When a person dies with a last will and testament, then they have a testate succession, with a person inheriting being called a legatee. The property in a testate succession is transferred to the legatees by filing the original testament with the court in a process called probate asking the court to recognize the validity of the testament. Once the testament is probated, the legatees then file pleadings with the court to be placed in possession of the decedent’s property in accordance with provision of the testament.
When a person dies without a will or the will is deemed invalid under Louisiana law, then an intestate succession occurs, and intestate succession inheritance is referred to as passing the property to an heir. Heirs are placed in possession of the property by asking the court for recognition as the decedent’s legal heir who is entitled to inherit the property.
What can go wrong during a succession process?
The court will determine the testament’s validity and the legitimacy of the heirs, oversee the paying of any debts that exist, value the remaining assets, and ultimately transfer them.
If a problem occurs during any of these stages, the process will be stopped until the problem is resolved.
Some other problems that might occur include:
- Existence of multiple wills.
- An heir lives in the decedent’s house and refuses to move out.
- A family member who wasn’t included in the testament feels wrongly excluded.
- Conflicts arise due to second marriages or step-children.
- The executor isn’t performing his duties.
How we can help?
The main purpose of the succession process in Louisiana is to provide the rightful heirs to the property with a clear title for the assets they inherited. This process and all the legal procedures that come with it are necessary, even if a last will and testament don’t exist.
Losing a loved one is difficult and the process of what happens with their assets afterward can be complicated and filled with problems. Luckily, our legal team is here to help you get your rightful inheritance and defend you in court if any problems arise.