It’s fairly common for an individual to own property in multiple parishes. A question we get asked often is “What do you do if someone owns property all over the state?”
We get this scenario often. Here’s a quick example of how this usually plays out: Decedent lived and died in Rapides Parish, but owned real estate property in Avoyelles Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish, St. Tammany Parish and so on. He left behind a number of heirs and named his daughter as the executor of his Will to handle his succession matters. Now her job is to have the property in each parish transferred into the children’s name per his wishes, but he has property scattered all over Louisiana.
It sounds like a daunting task, but we can walk you through the procedure to get property from other parishes in Louisiana transferred to heirs without painstakingly traveling to each individual parish.
First things first, we open the Louisiana Succession (Testate or Intestate):
- Open Succession. A Louisiana Succession must be opened in the parish where the deceased was domiciled at the time of his death. Domicile can thought of as your home, or the parish you consider your permanent place of residence. This can be confusing when you have an individual that had multiple homes. We use the one they intended to stay and use as their home. It does not matter that the deceased may have had real estate in multiple parishes, you must file the succession in the parish where the deceased was domiciled. All pleadings related to the succession must be filed in the Succession suit record in the district court where the individual was domiciled, no matter how much property the deceased had in other parishes. This includes all court petitions relating to the succession, descriptive list of all assets and debts, court documents, orders and judgments.
- A Judgment of Possession must be signed by the judge: Once the succession is filed in the proper court and everything is submitted, the district court judge in the parish where the deceased was domiciled will look at the documents and sign a court order known as a Judgment of Possession. Our office will prepare and send this with the petitions and verifications. Once the judgment is signed, the Clerk will send certified copies to our law firm for processing. We request multiples in the event the decedent owned property in multiple parishes.
- We Record Judgment of Possession in All Parish Where Real Estate is Owned. Our office will take the certified copies of the Judgment of Possession that the court sends and record them in the conveyance records in each parish where the deceased owned immovable property (real estate). This puts third parties on notice that property has been transferred to the heirs and helps avoid any confusion further down the road.
It can be time consuming and expensive, but this is what the law states must be done when someone dies in Louisiana and owns property in multiple parishes. However, if you own property in multiple STATES, a Louisiana Succession will not transfer the property to heirs. You will have to hire an attorney in each state wherein real estate property is located. Many people want to avoid this and choose to set up a Living Trust so that probate proceedings are not required after death. This will transfer property in multiple states to the Trust.
If you have questions about a Louisiana Succession or Trust, give us a call at (318) 229-1608.
This article is for information purposes only and does not provide legal advice, nor does it form an attorney/client relationship.
Attorney Jerome Andries
Louisiana Succession and Estate Planning Attorney
Phone: (318) 229-1608