Louisiana Wills and Successions: A Summary
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Louisiana Last Will and Testaments are part of an estate plan that transfers property ownership upon the death or incapacity of the testator.
What does a will do?
An essential part of estate planning in Louisiana is the Last Will and Testament. It lets you express your wishes regarding how your assets will be distributed to loved ones and close friends after your death. Louisiana intestate succession law governs how your assets will be divided if you do not have a will.
It is possible to leave assets to someone other than your family. To do this, however, you must make a Last Will and Testament. You can use your will for any purpose, such as to leave assets to charity, person, or other entity. You can also use a Louisiana will to name a guardian for minor children in the event that you become too old to do so. It is also important to understand that naming the guardian does not mean that you are done. If you are a parent, you should contact an attorney and seek professional help to learn more about this important process.
Louisiana estate planning and the creation of a Last Will and Testament takes a lot of time. It’s a lengthy process that should be reviewed regularly or whenever circumstances change. There are many life events that could require you to revisit your will, including divorce, marriage, death in the immediate family, birth within the family, and adoption.
What is Succession?
In Louisiana, this is the process of settling the estate of a deceased person and distributing property after paying off debts. This is also known as “Probate” in other states. There are two main types of Louisiana Successions: administered and unadministered. Today, we will take a closer view of these two types of Louisiana Successions.
Louisiana’s most complex Succession form is called Administered. An Administered Succession will see the court appoint an executor (also called a representative) to resolve all outstanding issues and administer the estate. This type of Succession can only be used if the Unadministered Succession is not available.
In these circumstances, administered Successions are often required:
- If there are any questions regarding the validity or ineligibility of the decedent’s Last Will & Testament,
- The identity of the heirs of the deceased is not clear or impossible to locate
- It isn’t clear who is entitled to which property from the estate.
- The estate’s solvency is in doubt
- The estate is insolvent and assets must go through the succession process to repay creditors.
- Forced heirs claim they do not have the assets that are legally theirs
- Any important disputes regarding the estate may arise
Tableau of Distribution
Once all issues regarding the estate have been resolved, the executor of an estate prepares and presents a Tableau of Distribution to the court. If all the parties have agreed to the Tableau of Distribution conditions, the judge will approve the document and order that the estate assets be distributed in accordance with the terms.
Louisiana’s most popular form of Succession, Unadministered Succession, is sometimes referred to simply as “Simple Possession Succession”. An unadministered Succession is a form of Succession that does not require the appointment of an executor to settle a decedent’s estate.
There are two types of unadministered successions: the Testate Unadministered Successions and the Intestate Unadministered Successions.
Testate unadministered successions
Unadministered Succession only applies to estates that are governed by a will. Only if the following conditions are met can a Testate unadministered succession be used:
- All legatees, heirs mentioned in the Will, are competent or represented.
- All legatees agree to the Succession unconditionally
- None of the estate creditors have asked for court administration.
Intestate Not Administered Successions
Unadministered succession is only available if the estate concerned is not governed under a Will. You can only use an Intestate unadministered succession if you meet all the following conditions:
- The estate must not owe any debt. This refers to debt that is primarily related to its administration or insignificant relative to estate assets.
- All parties must agree to an Unadministered Succession.
Get the support you need to plan your Louisiana will and estate. The experts at Bowie & Beresko, APLC offer complimentary consultations. Our trusted estate planning attorneys are available to listen to clients. To schedule your consultation and get started, contact us at (318) 221-0600.