FAQ: New Orleans Succession and Estate Planning

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Do you have questions regarding estate planning or the succession process? The attorneys at our firm have answered a small list of standard estate planning and succession questions. If you need more information regarding either of these areas of law, or wish to hire a lawyer from our firm, please contact us today. Brown Weimer LLC is dedicated to their clients, and we strive to successfully resolve all of our clients' legal issues. We represent clients how we would want to be represented, and offer nothing less than exceptional legal service. Our clients are our number one priority, and we treat them with the utmost level of respect. When a client seeks our assistance, our team discusses all possible courses of action with the client. We do not use complicated legal terms that only other lawyers would comprehend. Instead, we use clear, simple language that does not leave room for confusion. If you are struggling with succession or estate planning, a New Orleans successions and estate attorney from our firm may be able to help you.

Q: Do I need to open a succession?
A: For most cases, a court proceeding is necessary to open a succession and transfer property from the deceased to heirs. This is especially true if the estate contains real estate, cars, boats, bank accounts or property where title need to be transferred.

Q: What happens if there is no will?
A: Louisiana law states how the deceased's property is to be distributed to the decedent's heirs if the individual died intestate. Generally speaking, property belonging to the deceased will be distributed to children and/or surviving spouse.

Q: What if there is a will / What qualifies as a will?
A: Any document that appears to direct the distribution of deceased's property at death may be a last will and testament, and it is important that you safeguard said document. Louisiana recognizes two forms of wills: a notarial will, and a holographic will. A notarial will is executed in the presence of a notary and two witnesses. A holographic will is entirely handwritten, dated and signed by the deceased. The will is filed with the court, in a process known as the "probate" of the will. After the will is probated, it directs how the deceased's property is to be distributed, and to whom.

Q: I need to get access to the deceased's bank accounts to pay creditors, the funeral home, the hospital, and other urgent debts. What should I do?
A: With an attorney's assistance, limited funds from bank accounts to be used for urgent debts may be accessed, even if those accounts are not immediately available. Urgent funds are limited in amount, and once depleted, a succession must be opened for the payment of additional debts and expenses.

Q: I have loaned my personal funds for the payment of the deceased's expenses. How do I get reimbursed?
A: You are a creditor of the estate. Depending on the nature of the expenses, you may have priority over other creditors to be repaid.

Q: How long does the process normally take?
A: Generally speaking, if the estate is relatively debt-free and all of the heirs accept their inheritance, the process can be completed in a few weeks or less.

Q: What are the typical costs associated with a succession?
A: There are court filing fees and attorney's fees. If the estate is simple, uncontested, and requires no administration, the matter may resolved with a fixed, flat fee. Successions requiring administration, court appearances, or other complicating factors may require a deposit. The fees are calculated based upon the time spent on the matter.

Q: I am being excluded from information about the deceased's succession by family members. What can I do?
A: A person in charge of the succession, known as the administrator, must comply with certain legal obligations established by law. Failure to comply with these obligations may subject the administrator to discipline, disqualification, or even personal liability. You should contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights.

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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