Tag: succession

Out of State Heirs That Need Help With a Louisiana Succession

If you have found this article, chances are you live outside of Louisiana and need help with a Louisiana based Succession. Maybe you have a parent or sibling that died in Louisiana or owned real estate here and you need help wrapping up their final estate. Problem is you live a few states away and have zero contacts in the State of Louisiana.

We help individuals living in other states file various types of successions in Louisiana, sometimes without even having to step foot in the state. We understand how difficult it can be learning a family member has passed away and you are a few states away and unsure of where to turn to for help. You could spend a small fortune driving back and forth to lawyer’s offices across states, or you can speak with us about handling the succession over the phone and we can come up with a plan that will save you time and money in the long run.

There are a number of processes our Louisiana Succession and Estate Planning law firm uses to assist out of state clients handle their family members’ estates and successions. I’ll give you a quick run-down of how we do it:

  1. Initial Consultation. We set up an appointment to speak with you over the phone to get a better understanding of your situation. There are never “cookie-cutter” solutions to Louisiana successions, every scenario is different and unique. During this phone conference, we gather the appropriate information regarding your family member’s estate and formulate a plan for you to begin the process. We can even take payments over the phone or you can mail your payment.
  2. Determine whether there was a valid Louisiana Last Will and Testament. If there was a will, we will need to locate the original to submit to the court. If there was not a will, we will go over and explain Louisiana’s intestate law with you and advise you of your options.
  3. Draft Petitions, Verifications, Court Orders and Other Related Matters. There are numerous petitions and documents that must be submitted to the court to satisfy Louisiana succession laws.
  4. Locate and Describe Property and Real Estate. This part can be time consuming as we must describe and value the property of the estate. It can be especially difficult if you are unsure of what your family member owned at the time of his/her death, but we can walk you through the steps to locating them. If there was a valid Louisiana Last Will and Testament naming you the executor of the estate, we can petition the court to have you recognized as the executor and issue Letters of Independent Administration to assist you in locating various bank accounts and insurance policies that you may be entitled to.
  5. Mail Documents For You to Verify and Sign. We will mail through certified mail all documents related to the Louisiana succession. The verifications must be signed in front of a Notary Public, but you can find one in your area and have them execute it. Next, you will mail the originals back to our office to process.
  6. File with Proper District Court. The succession must be filed in the Parish where your family member was domiciled (lived) at the time of his/her death. If they did not live in Louisiana, but owned real estate in the state, then the succession will be filed in that Parish.
  7. Wait for Judge to Sign. Once we complete the succession paperwork and receive all signatures and file with the proper District Court, we just have to wait for the Judge assigned to the matter to sign and execute the documents.
  8. Close the Succession.

As you can see, a Louisiana succession is not an easy matter to complete. There are numerous steps and laws to follow. You do not want to miss a single step as it could prolong getting the Judgment of Possession signed and cost you more time and money. Being a few states away, this can cause more stress and anxiety than it has to.

If you are an out of state heir or just have questions regarding a Louisiana succession, please don’t hesitate to call our office. We’ve helped numerous out of state clients with successions all over the State of Louisiana and we would be happy to assist you as well.

This legal article is meant for informational purposes only. It is not to be used solely to make legal decisions. You should speak with an attorney at our law firm regarding your specific situation. Communication through this website does not form an attorney/client relationship.

Attorney R. Jerome Andries

Louisiana Succession and Estate Planning Attorneys

www.AndriesLawFirm.com

Phone: (318) 229-1608

 

Related Louisiana Succession Attorney Articles: Do I need to Hire a Probate Attorney?, How to Find out What Accounts a Deceased Individual Had, How Long Do I Have to File a Succession in Louisiana?, What Happens When a Spouse Dies Without a Will?

How Long Do I Have to File a Succession in Louisiana?

If you’re reading this article, you may be wondering how long you can wait to file a Louisiana Succession. Maybe you just lost someone close to you and you can’t bear to even think about it, or your loved one passed away many years ago. Either way, we’re here to help.

You can file a succession at any point, however, it gets more difficult the longer you wait. Our Louisiana succession law firm has helped people file as early as the week after, as well as years after death.

I can tell you from experience, if you wait too long, money will get spent and property will deteriorate. We’ve done successions where we were tasked with putting a value on livestock that had died years prior and vehicles that had been diminished to rust buckets. It’s also difficult to track down bank accounts and life insurance policies at that point. People forget where things are and they end up sitting there for years and sometimes even decades before a succession is opened to put heirs into possession.

Do you have to file a succession as soon as the person dies? No, you do not. Sometimes it’s best to mourn and wait a while before dealing with the succession issues. I’ve had clients call me from the funeral to ask questions. Don’t do that. Spend time with your family and get closure. Our business can wait.

You can put someone in charge of dealing with and tying up loose ends. Most Louisiana Wills name an executor of the estate and their task is to wrap up the succession issues and make sure everything is handled properly. They are also the ones that are responsible for hiring the attorneys and getting legal representation for the estate. If this happens to be you, we can walk you through the process that you need to complete in order to wrap up the succession the quickest and easiest way possible.

How Long Does it Take to Complete A Succession?

It’s hard to tell exactly how long it will take to open a succession, file the appropriate paperwork and close the succession with a signed Judgment of Possession from the Judge. If we have everything we need and don’t have to search for items or heirs, we can usually get it complete in a matter of weeks. Remember, a portion of that time has to do with tracking things down and with the judge assigned to the matter and how long it takes their office to process the succession paperwork.

On the other hand, we’ve had successions that took nearly a year to complete due to extenuating circumstances such as community property that wasn’t dealt with before the individual passed away, missing property and other issues.

If you’re still in the estate planning process, be sure to let others know where certain properties and documents are. We usually recommend keeping a detailed binder in a safe place that lists items and where to find them. If you have named an executor in your will, be sure they have what they need to complete the job and don’t have to spend months searching. I’ve had executors come to me that had no idea where to find a single item. We were able to help, but it took much longer than it would have had they been provided with more detailed information regarding the estate.

If you need help with a Louisiana succession or are an out of state heir and have questions, just let us know! We’ve helped many families with their successions and would be happy to help you as well.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Contacting or reading the website does not form an attorney/client relationship with the law firm. It’s important that you contact our office with any questions regarding Louisiana successions as the laws are complex and continually changing. It is important that you do not base any legal decisions on articles contained on this website.

Attorney Jerome Andries

Louisiana Succession and Estate Planning Attorneys

www.AndriesLawFirm.com

Phone: (318) 229-1608

Similar Louisiana Succession Law Articles:

Do I need to Hire a Probate Attorney?How to Find out What Accounts a Deceased Individual HadHow Long Do I Have to File a Succession in Louisiana?What Happens When a Spouse Dies Without a Will?, Louisiana Usufruct Law

 

How to Transfer Louisiana Succession Property in More than one Parish

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):

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

www.AndriesLawFirm.com

Phone: (318) 229-1608

In what Parish do I file a Louisiana Succession?

This is a question that we receive often. It’s fairly easy for people to acquire property in different parishes, especially when they’ve been married and divorced a time or two. An ever changing job market sends people across parish and state lines and back again and this can create a headache when the time comes to split up property between heirs.

We’re here to help you with your Louisiana succession here at the Andries Law Firm. At this point, you are probably dealing with a great deal of stress after the recent passing of a loved one or you are plotting out ways to make it easier on your heirs when you pass. Either way, we are here to help you along the way.

We highly recommend that you speak with an experienced Louisiana succession attorney at the Andries Law Firm to get additional information that may not be covered in this article.

Where do I file a succession in Louisiana?

The Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure provides us with the answer:

A proceeding to open a succession shall be brought in the district court of the parish where the deceased was domiciled at the time of his death.

If the deceased was not domiciled in the state at the time of his death, his succession may be opened in the district court of any parish where:

  1. Immovable property of the deceased is situated; or,
  2. Movable property of the deceased is situated, if he owned no immovable property in the state at the time of his death.

Let’s break that code article down and explain it better. No matter where a person may have property situated in the state, his/her succession is to be opened in the district court of the parish where he/she was domiciled when he/she died. What does domicile mean in Louisiana? This is an important distinction when determining where to file such matters as a divorce or succession.

The domicile of a person is the place of his habitual residence. A person may live in multiple places, but can only have one domicile. This means you can own numerous homes, but your domicile is where you intend to stay.

In determining which parish to file a Louisiana succession, you must determine domicile to know which district court to file the petition. For example: Bob owns three homes, one in Rapides parish, Avoyelles parish and Grant parish. His main home is in Rapides parish where he dies. His parish of last domicile was Rapides Parish and that is where his succession will be filed.

Now that you have a better understanding of domicile in Louisiana, let’s say the deceased had moved out of Louisiana, but still had some of the homes when he died. You would then file the succession in the district court of any parish where the immovable property (homes) are located.

Sounds easy? What if the deceased had sold the homes and moved out of state before dying? In that case, you look to find movables such as vehicles or trailers and file in the parish where that property is located.

Most Louisiana successions are filed in the parish where the person died, but I wanted you to be aware that there are other scenarios to consider.

Is a Louisiana Succession Necessary? Is Probate Required in Louisiana?

A succession is a vehicle in which to transfer the estate of the deceased to his successors. This gives the successors the right to take possession of the estate and property of the deceased upon complying with Louisiana succession law.

A succession in required in Louisiana whether a person dies with a will (testate) or without a will (intestate), unless there is another way to transfer the assets to heirs. Life insurance, annuities, retirement accounts and IRAs require beneficiary designations and thus have the ability to go directly to the beneficiaries named in the paperwork on the account. This is a great reason to purchase life insurance for your heirs in Louisiana. In these instances, the beneficiary to the account can submit a certified death certificate and a beneficiary claim form to have these assets turned over to them.

Any other assets the deceased may have had will likely have to go through the probate process. This includes movables such as vehicles and trailers, as well as immovable such as homes and rental properties. Assets the deceased had in his/her name will not be available to anyone else until the succession is opened. This includes children. Many people believe that adult children automatically control the succession, but this is not true, especially when there is a valid Louisiana Last Will & Testament in place.

To answer the question as to whether a succession in Louisiana is necessary, it usually is, but you can set an appointment with us to determine what and where you need to file.

How much does it cost to open a Succession in Louisiana?

This is another question our law firm received regularly. It really depends. Each parish is different, but usually ranges anywhere from $300 to $700 just to file the paperwork. I have seen differences of $150 or more just based on parish filing fee differences.

Attorney fees for preparing Louisiana successions range depending on whether you are dealing with a small succession or a large and complicated succession that is contested. Legal fees for Louisiana successions can range from $1,500 to upwards of $10,000. A typical regular succession that requires filing in the courthouse seems to average roughly $2,500 plus filing fees depending on parish.

Set an appointment with us to determine pricing based on your situation. We do succession work in parishes all around the state and can help you with your situation.

 

Louisiana successions can add more stress to an already difficult situation. You may have just lost a loved one and are scrambling to try and put the pieces together and figure out what to do next. Call the Andries Law Firm and we will gladly walk you through the process and answer your questions. You can schedule an appointment with an experienced Louisiana Succession Attorney by calling (318) 229-1608 or send us an email.

 

Similar Louisiana Succession Articles: Louisiana Usufruct Law, In what parish do I file a Succession?, Does my spouse get the house if I die without a will in Louisiana?, Can you disinherit children in Louisiana?

 

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