Louisiana Succession Basics

Whether you are planning your estate or if you recently lost a loved one, it's important to note that Louisiana laws are very different from any other state. Due to the fact that Louisiana has very strict laws that control where someone's property goes after he or she dies, it's important to consider how the state's laws will affect your estate when the inevitable happens.

Succession is the process of settling a decedent's estate; it includes collecting the decedent's assets and property, paying off all taxes and claims against the estate and distributing the remaining assets to the decedent's heirs or beneficiaries. This process is called probate in other states.

If someone dies without a will in Louisiana, the court will take a look at two things first: 1) was the property community or separate; and 2) what relationships to the survivors have with the deceased?

Separate property includes property owned before marriage, inherited property, and property given to one spouse. Without a will, a spouse inherits none of the other spouse's separate property. Instead, the property would go to the children or blood relatives of the deceased. On the other hand, community property is property acquired during the course of the marriage, and property given to the couple during marriage. If the decedent died with a spouse and decedents, then the surviving spouse would maintain their half of the community property while the children would get the decedent's half of the community property. If there is no will, the surviving spouse will have usufruct over the deceased spouse's half of community property until death or remarriage.

If someone leaves a will, he or she has far more control over how their property is distributed. For example, perhaps an individual hasn't spoken to his son in twenty years and instead wishes to bequeath his property to his second wife. With a will, he can specify that his spouse is to inherit before anyone else providing there aren't any forced heirs. A forced heir is a child of the deceased that is under 24 years of age or a permanently disabled child regardless of age.

Not all property has to go through succession. Certain types of property are not considered part of one's succession in Louisiana. For example, payable on death bank accounts, property transferred into a living trust, funds from an IRA or a 401(k), life insurance proceeds, property held with someone else in joint tenancy and other property with beneficiary designations are not subject to succession proceedings.

To learn more about succession in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish, contact a New Orleans succession lawyer from Brown Weimer LLC at (504) 662-1798 to schedule a free consultation.

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.

Privacy Policy   |    Site Map

Free Consultation

(504) 662-1798