Answers To Common Questions About Succession/Probate
“Succession,” the legal term for probate in Louisiana, is part of the civil law system we use in this state, which is derived mostly from French and Spanish law rather than English common law, the legal system used in the rest of the United States.
At Christopher J. Bridges, Attorney at Law, I often answer general questions such as the following, as well as individual concerns.
What is a succession in Louisiana?
Succession is the legal process of transferring ownership of assets from a deceased person to their heirs or beneficiaries. It may include retitling real estate.
Does my loved one’s estate need to go through succession if they left a will?
Normally, yes. If there is a will, the process is known as testate succession. If there is not a will, intestate succession will apply. See the next two questions for details about small estates, and assets that do not go through succession.
What is a small succession, and what’s the difference?
A small estate consists of assets left behind with a total value of $125,000 or less. A “small succession affidavit” may be used in such cases to give qualified heirs or beneficiaries access to the decedent’s property. Not every situation qualifies, so it is important to discuss all your options.
Is a succession necessary in every case?
No. Sometimes it is either not necessary or not advisable to do a succession. In other cases, there is nothing wrong with waiting to do the succession. Generally, however, if land is involved, it will eventually be necessary for a succession to be completed.
What is an administrated succession?
Have you ever heard of an administrator or an executor? Those have to do with an administrated succession. This type of succession is often necessary when additional complications are present. We always try to avoid the additional cost associated with an administrated succession, but oftentimes an administrated succession is the easiest way out of a complicated situation.
Do I need a lawyer’s help with a Succession With Full Administration?
This type of succession addresses complications such as the following:
- The validity of the will is in question.
- The identity of heirs is unclear.
- The estate may not be solvent.
- Assets need to be sold to pay creditors.
- Other disputes arise.
An attorney’s help is nearly always necessary in such a case.