LOUISIANA ESTATES, PROBATE, AND SUCCESSIONS
Louisiana law uses the word succession to refer to the probate process. A Louisiana succession is a court proceeding to change title to assets from a deceased person to his or her heirs, legatees, or beneficiaries.
The term estate is usually used to refer to the property that a person owned at death. Under Louisiana law, a person's estate includes all of the property, rights, and obligations that a person leaves after his or her death, as well as rights and obligations that don't arise until after death.
The purpose of a succession is to give legal effect to a deceased person's intentions for leaving their property at death and clear or marketable title to the deceased person's assets. After the succession process is complete, the individuals or organizations that end up with the assets are the owners of the assets.
Successions are often required to give assurance to third parties (such as financial institutions or buyers) and establish legal authority for someone to act on behalf of the deceased person. As part of the succession, the court will issue a Judgment of Possession that transfers title to the decedent's assets. This court involvement reassures third parties that a person who claims to own a deceased person's property is a true owner.
Common reasons for opening a succession include:
- Probate or Contest Will. A Will tells the court how a deceased person's property will be transferred at death.
- Clearing Title to Real Estate. Louisiana successions are often necessary to clear title to real estate. Without a succession, real estate cannot be sold or transferred.
- Access to Bank Accounts. With few exceptions, a bank will require a succession before it will transfer the account of a deceased account holder to anyone else. In fact, because of the strict privacy rules governing banks, most banks require court documents before discussing the matter with a person's heirs.
- Transfer Titled Assets. Some assets like automobiles and boats have a title as proof of ownership. These type assets require a succession before the title is transferred from the decedent to the heir or legatee.
At Brown Weimer, LLC we have combined experience of over 45 years handling all types of succession matters. We will ensure that your matter is completed properly, timely, and at a reasonable cost. Contact us today for your free consultation on your estate matter.