Probate Administration

While most states refer to the process of validating a will and administering an estate as "probate," the laws in Louisiana are very different from every other state. Louisiana has very strict laws that control how someone's property is distributed after they die.

What is succession? Succession refers to the process of settling a deceased person's estate, settling claims against the estate and distributing any remaining property after debts are paid. This process is referred to as probate in other states. The term "succession" is also used to refer to the estate that someone leaves behind after their death.

Not all property is considered a part of succession in Louisiana. For example, property that is paid directly to a third party is not subject to the state's succession laws. Such property may include an IRA or a 401(k), and they wouldn't be subject to inheritance tax either.

After someone dies it's good practice not to delay handling the succession matter. It's also a good idea to open succession early on to pay urgent debts such as medical bills and funeral bills, and to obtain access to any safety deposit boxes that the decedent may have rented.

Through a judicial succession proceeding, the courts recognize the transfer of real estate property, and allows for the transfer of bank accounts, stocks and bonds, and other assets registered in the name of the deceased. Arrangements are also made so that all debts of the deceased are paid in a timely manner. If someone dies without owning any real estate, and without having substantial debt, then in some cases it may not be necessary to open succession.

Responsibilities of the Succession Representative

There are a number of duties and responsibilities tied into handling successions; if there are a lot of assets or if the will is challenged for any reason, or if there are forced heirs, then the proceeding can be more complex. In general, with a succession, someone has to be appointed the succession representative. The succession representative is responsible for the following:

  • Opening succession
  • Collecting all of the assets of the decedent
  • Marshalling assets
  • Paying all debts
  • Filing the deceased person's final income tax returns
  • Defending any will contests
  • Distributing all remaining assets to the heirs according to the will
  • File an annual accounting and a final accounting

In general the succession representative is named in the will; however, if that person does not wish to serve, then the court will select another representative among the heirs or according to the law. For more information regarding succession administration in Louisiana, contact a New Orleans probate attorney from Brown Weimer LLC today by calling (504) 662-1798 for a free consultation.

Categories: Probate, Estate Planning
Brown Weimer LLC Attorneys and Counselors at Law - New Orleans Probate Attorney
Located at 400 Poydras Street, Suite #1125
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: (504) 561-8700

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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