When Succession Without Administration is Available: Testate Estates
If the decedent had a valid Last Will and Testament, the estate will be referred to as a testate estate. Formal administration is not required for testate estates if all of the following conditions are satisfied:
- All people named in the will (this group of people are called legatees) are either competent or acting through their qualified legal representatives;
- All competent general and universal legatees (those who inherit after all specific gifts have been paid out) accept the succession unconditionally; and
- None of the creditors of the succession has demanded an administration.
If the estate qualifies for Succession Without Administration, we will prepare the pleadings to open the estate. These pleadings will typically include: (1) an Affidavit of Death, Domicile, and Heirship, (2) a Sworn Detailed Descriptive List, (3) a Petition for Probate of Testament and for Possession, and (4) the Judgment of Possession, along with the other documents necessary to put the legatees in possession of the decedent’s assets. We will file these documents with the Court and, often without a hearing, obtain a Judgment of Possession. This is a quick process from start to finish, often being completed in a week or less. In a testate Succession Without Administration, typically no executor is appointed.
When Succession Without Administration is Available: Intestate Estates
If the decedent died without a Last Will and Testament, he or she is said to have died intestate and the estate assets will be distributed as provided by Louisiana intestate law. In that case, full administration of the estate will not be required if the succession is “relatively free of debt” and all required parties request that the succession be without administration.
A succession is “relatively free of debt” if the only debts are the expenses of administration, mortgages that are paid current, and “the debts of the decedent are small in comparison with the assets of the succession.”
The same process described above for testate estates will be followed with the exception that there being no Last Will and Testament, no will is probated.