Losing a loved one is often an emotional rollercoaster.  However, numerous legal matters must be handled beyond the grief, making the loss of a loved one even more challenging.

In most states, when a person passes away, their estate enters into a court-supervised process called probate.  Probate is the legal process of distributing the deceased person’s assets according to their last will and testament. 

This process also occurs in Louisiana, but it’s called succession – not probate.

Keep reading to learn more about succession proceedings in Louisiana.

succession planning louisiana

Is Succession in Louisiana Required?

Succession isn’t always required in Louisiana.  It depends on the size of the estate and whether the deceased had an executed will. 

For example, if a person dies without a will and their estate is less than $125,000, then “succession” may be completed by filing a small succession affidavit.

If a person dies with a will or the net value of their estate is more than $125,000, then the heirs may acquire the assets directly without appointing an administrator or executor.  However, the key here is that the distribution of assets must be uncontested and easily determined. Further, no business concerns or litigation surrounding the matter should exist. 

Is an Executor Required for Succession Proceedings?

If, on the other hand, an estate is contested, the assets aren’t easily determined, or other issues exist, then an executor may be appointed.  Here, the executor would help to determine and preserve assets, pay debts, manage property or businesses, litigate any outstanding legal issues, and distribute assets to heirs.

How Long Does Succession Take in Louisiana?

The amount of time succession takes in Louisiana is often determined by the size of the estate, the existence of a will, and the agreement as to the distribution of assets by the heirs. 

For example, an estate under $125,000 will take less time (and less money) to distribute than a large estate with pending litigation or disagreement among family members. Further, if a larger estate requires an executor to take an inventory of assets and debts (and creditors have the opportunity to submit any claims), the process may take six months or more. 

However, engaging an experienced succession attorney can help navigate the succession process more effectively than family members taking it on alone.

Why Retain Losavio & DeJean, LLC?

At Losavio & DeJean, LLC, The Louisiana Elder Law Firm, we understand that every client has their own unique facts concerning assets, debts, problems, and contested matters. That is why we are committed to creating custom legal strategies that are tailored to your estate’s needs. You have spent a lifetime building your estate and growing your wealth, so now is the time to begin estate planning and protecting your assets and property from a challenging succession process.

Our Baton Rouge probate lawyers have four decades of experience with the complexities of successions, so you can feel confident knowing that we’ve chosen the right succession procedure for you and your loved ones. We strive to ensure that every detail of your case is addressed, handled, and resolved appropriately.

Contact us today to learn more.