Successions Lawyer in St. Tammany Parish
How Your Property Transfers to Your Loved Ones When You Die
Having a will is a critical component of estate planning because it can maintain order and lessen confusion in your family when you die. When you arrange your affairs in this way, there should be little to no question regarding who has a legal right to your property when you die.
Ensure your loved ones know what to do when you die by having a valid will in place – Olsen Law Office can help. Contact our St. Tammany Parish succession lawyer online or call (985) 256-3553 to create or alter your will.
Do You Have to Have a Succession in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, almost all estates, no matter how big or small, will wind up going through a succession. Other states may call it probate, but a succession in Louisiana is the legal process for transferring a deceased person's assets to his or her heirs.
Two types of succession exist in Louisiana, and one or the other becomes relevant upon someone’s death according to whether or not that person has a valid last will and testament. There are very few instances where a succession will not be necessary, that's why it's important to speak with an experienced succession attorney.
A testate succession is when a person dies with a valid last will and testament. The inheriting person is what the law terms a legatee. During the succession process, the property contained within a testate succession is transferred to the legatees.
Once the testament is filed with the court, anyone named as a legatee then files a request with the court to acquire the deceased person’s property according to how it was allocated to them in the deceased person’s will. A judgement of possession will finalize a legatee’s right to the property.
Judgement of Possession in Louisiana
In Louisiana, a judgement of possession is a document which orders the distribution of assets so that third parties who control the deceased's assets will transfer the assets to the heirs. Property will be re-deeded, titles of automobiles will be transferred, and bank accounts can be emptied without the signature of the deceased.
An intestate succession occurs when a person dies without a valid last will and testament. When this happens, anyone who believes they are the legal heir of the deceased must petition the court for this recognition to receive the deceased’s property.
How Succession Is Carried Out
Testate and intestate successions are done by simple possession or by administration. If done by simple possession, the heirs are sent directly into possession. If done by administration, a succession representative – or executor, if appointed by a last will and testament – is appointed and will administer the estate. The succession representative will sell any necessary assets, pay any outstanding debts, and ultimately place the heirs or legatees into possession of the decedent’s property.
Small Succession Affidavit
In some specific situations, a small succession affidavit may be acceptable. An estate generally qualifies for the affidavit if it meets the following three requirements:
- The gross estate of the deceased is less than $125,000.00
- The deceased died as a resident in Louisiana
- The deceased did not have a last will and testament
A small succession affidavit may also be allowed when a person dies while residing outside of Louisiana, the estate was opened in a different state, but the person owned property in the state of Louisiana. It is important to note that although a small succession affidavit is allowed by law, some institutions will not honor it and will require the heirs to open judicial proceedings.
Our succession attorney in St. Tammany Parish also represents heirs and legatees involved in open and ongoing succession litigation. We will ensure that the rights of the heirs and legatees are protected and that the succession is administered in accordance with Louisiana Law.If you need legal representation to help with succession litigation, Olsen Law Office is here for you. Call us at (985) 256-3553 at any time for a free consultation.