Court Proceedings for Successions in New Orleans

In Louisiana, succession is the transferring of a decedent's estate to his or her successors. T his process is known as "probate" in other states. Louisiana does not have a separate probate court, the District Court has jurisdiction over estate matters. In Jefferson Parish, the court with jurisdiction is the 24th Judicial District Court.

There are two kinds of successions in Louisiana: testate and intestate. A testate succession is where the deceased person died with a will, whereas a testate succession is where the decedent died without a will. With intestate succession, the state's laws favor certain persons, in default of testate successors. Testate successors in Louisiana are called legatees and intestate successors are called heirs.

In less complicated estates, succession without administration may be available. If the decedent died with a valid will and all people named in the will (legatees) are competent or acting with qualified attorneys and when all general and universal legatees (those who inherit after specific gifts have been paid), accept the succession unconditionally, and when none of the creditors demand an administration, the estate may qualify for a succession without administration. In such cases, the successions attorney will prepare the pleadings to open the estate which will include various documents such as a Petition for Possession, all of which will help put the legatees in possession of the decedent's assets.

In a succession without administration, the court does not appoint an executor (succession representative). In this case, the succession attorney will typically ask that all of the legatees sign the verification to demonstrate to the court that everyone is in agreement.

When an estate does not qualify for succession without administration, a succession with full administration will be required by the court. This usually occurs when there is a question regarding the validity of the will, if the identity of the decedent's heirs is unclear of if they cannot be located, if assets need to be sold to pay creditors, or if there are any other disputes arising regarding the succession.

In a succession with full administration, the succession representative (executor) is appointed by the court to settle the decedent's estate and resolve all outstanding debts, claims and taxes. The succession representative is fully responsible for administrating the estate. The steps for a succession proceeding in New Orleans is as follows:

  • A copy of the will is presented by the succession representative and authenticated, or by any other person interested in the will.
  • A succession representative is appointed by the court.
  • The decedent's possessions are transferred to his or her successors, whether testate or intestate.
  • Once all debts and claims have been paid against the estate, the succession representative proposes a distribution to the court by filing a document called a Tableau of Distribution.
  • If the court agrees with the Tableau of Distribution, the judge approves it and orders that the assets be distributed accordingly.

Successions in Louisiana are known to be confusing; therefore, you should always enlist the services of a New Orleans estate planning & successions attorney from Brown Weimer LLC. We're here to guide succession representatives through every step of the succession process as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible.

Contact Brown Weimer LLC to schedule your free consultation! You can reach us at (504) 662-1798!

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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