Successions Attorneys in New Orleans
Succession concerns changing the ownership of property — both real estate and personal property — of the deceased. Under Louisiana law, succession can happen rather smoothly when the appropriate estate planning instruments are in place before the death. You can make the succession process easy on your heirs by detailing your wishes in a will.
Types of Succession Under Louisiana Law
The law makes certain provisions for the succession of property and stipulates the priority of heirs based on legal principles. As the owner of your estate, however, you may direct its distribution after your death but make provisions for said distribution before your death. Here are two key terms you should be familiar with:
- Testate: This term refers to an estate distributed according to a will. The person inheriting an estate through a will is a “legatee” and the process of succession is referred to as “” Once the court recognizes the validity of the will through the probate process, the legatee petitions the court to take possession of the estate property.
- Intestate: This is an estate left without a will. Heirs of an intestate estate are determined by the court. Survivors of the decedent must petition the court to be recognized as heirs. The court uses the laws of succession to determine the rightful heir to the estate.
Probating an estate in testate can be a quick process, while going through an intestate probate can take years if there are feuding parties.
Using an Administrator for Succession
For settling the succession of larger or more complex estates, an administrator could be assigned. An administrator is someone approved by the court to act on the decedent’s behalf to pay debts, list property for sale or any perform any other function requiring legal authority.
Under Louisiana succession law, there are two types of administrators: independent and court-appointed. An independent administrator has the authority to perform most or all of the functions of an administrator without court approval. A court-appointed administrator must petition the court for approval to take each step necessary in succession.
A decedent may choose an independent administrator in his or her will. If there is no will, the decedent’s heir would have to agree to an independent administrator. Using an independent administrator allows the estate to bypass a lot of court costs and filing fees and generally leads to a faster completion of the succession.
Contact us online or call Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm at 1-800-7500-LAW to schedule your free succession consultation today.