Baton Rouge Succession & Probate Attorneys
Helping Clients Transfer Wealth & Assets
When a person passes away, their estate must enter a court-supervised process known as probate. In the state of Louisiana, probate is called “succession.” During this process, the court will distribute the deceased party’s estate, property, and assets to their heirs. If the person died without a durable power of attorney or without a will, trusts, or other estate planning safeguards, then the courts will decide how their estate should be distributed to beneficiaries.
Our dedicated lawyers at Losavio & DeJean, LLC, The Louisiana Elder Law Firm provides comprehensive legal services to help clients with all aspects of succession planning and administration. We are familiar with the many challenges that tend to arise during these proceedings and we can help you navigate them with ease.
Are There Different Types of Succession Proceedings?
The types of succession proceedings your estate must go through depends on the following factors:
- The value of the estate
- Whether the succession is contested
- The complexity of the estate
- Individual issues and roadblocks
- Whether there is a will
While there is a set of guidelines regarding who will inherit certain property, this process is very impersonal and does not consider your wishes. If you decide you want to contest the court’s decision, it can be time-consuming and costly.
Furthermore, without a carefully thought-out plan, your estate will be vulnerable after you die and might be subjected to:
- Claims made by creditors
- Unhappy family members contesting decisions
- Succession disputes
If there are disputes regarding your estate, they will be resolved through succession litigation. A court’s decisions may or may not reflect how you would want these issues to be handled. That is why it is important to take action early and retain the services of our Baton Rouge succession lawyers. We can help you plan for the future and avoid the problems associated with this process.
Small Succession Affidavits
If the person who died did not leave a will and the net value of that estate is less than $125,000; then a succession may be able to be completed by executing and recording a small succession affidavit. Generally, the small succession affidavit procedure is low cost and faster if the assets and debts are easily determinable.
Direct Acquisition of Assets
If the person who died left a will or the net value of the estate is more than $125,000; then heirs or legatees may be able to acquire assets directly without appointing an executor or administrator. The matter must be uncontested, assets and debts must be easily determined, and there must not be any preservation issues, immediate problems, business concerns, or pending litigation. While this process is generally more expensive than a small succession affidavit, it is generally less expensive than an administration.
Appointing an Executor or Administrator
If there are contested matters, if assets and debts are not easily determined, or if there are other issues, it may be necessary to appoint an executor (if named in a will) or an administrator to preserve assets, pay debts, maintain property, manage a business, determine assets and debts, litigate claims, and liquidate assets to pay debts. Generally, this is more expensive than other types of successions. However, the expenses may be reduced if the deceased named an independent executor in a will or if all the heirs approve the appointment of an independent administrator.
Seasoned Legal Representation in Your Corner
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 the needs of your estate. 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 is right for you and your loved ones. We strive to ensure that every detail of your case is addressed, handled, and resolved appropriately.