Many people are surprised to learn that under Louisiana law, an heir or legatee is not required to have an executor/administrator appointed by the court to administer the estate of a person that has died. In fact, the heirs and legatees are placed directly into possession without the need for an administration in most Louisiana succession.
However, there are situations where having an executor/administrator appointed by the court to administer the estate of a person that has died, is recommended.
- We don’t know what the decedent property owned or debts that were owed at the time of death. It may be necessary to appoint an administrator or executor to investigate. Through this appointment, an executor or administrator will have the power to change the mailing address for bills and statements, open mail, and speak to banks and other companies in order to investigate.
- The heirs or legatees are fighting. If there is a dispute amount their heirs or legatees of the decedent, it may be necessary to appoint an executor or administrator administer the estate or facilitate completion of the succession pending litigation of the disputes.
- There maybe lawsuits pending. If there is litigation pending either on behalf of the decedent or against the decedent, it may be necessary to administer the estate while the litigation is pending. Otherwise, the heirs and legatees may not know whether the estate is solvent or not.
- There may be an ongoing business. It may be necessary to manage an ongoing business which the decedent had an ownership interest pending the completion of the succession to prevent problems with continuation of business activities.
If you have any questions concerning successions, you should consult an experienced estate attorney.
-Kent S. DeJean