You may be wondering how to get a Judgment of Possession (JOP) for a Louisiana succession. It’s important to note that the Judgment of Possession is the document that the judge signs to place parties into possession of property owned by the deceased. The judgment of Possession formally transfers ownership from the decedent’s estate to the proper parties either by a Last Will and Testament or by way of Louisiana probate law.
Your attorney will prepare this document at the end of the succession. It closes the succession and places all parties into possession. It is submitted to the court for the judge’s signature. When the judge signs the Judgment of Possession, he or she is basically stating that everything in the succession has been completed and the heirs or legatees can now legally possess the property.
Keep in mind, you can’t simply submit a Judgment of Possession before opening the succession thinking the judge will sign it. It’s not a single document, but an order signed by the judge to close the succession.
We get calls regularly from clients that are closing on a new home and need a Judgment of Possession before the scheduled closing, not realizing it’s not just a single document we can prepare overnight. It takes time to prepare all of the required documents and the Judgment of Possession comes last. Getting a Judgment of Possession is a process that can be quite lengthy depending on the circumstances.
What Does a Judgment of Possession Contain?
The Judgment of Possession places heirs and legatees into possession of property that was owned by the decedent at the time of their death. It puts third parties on notice and provides a transfer of assets from one party to another. It also gives notice to real estate agencies, banks, etc. proof of asset transfer.
What Information Goes into the Judgment of Possession?
While each Louisiana succession lawyer handles things differently, nearly all JOPs will have things in common such as:
- It identifies the parties that are to receive the transfer of assets;
- It recognizes the surviving spouse if there is one;
- Entitles the surviving spouse to their ½ share of the community property as well as possessing usufruct over the deceased’s ½ share of the community property;
- It states the type of usufruct the surviving spouse will receive;
- The legal description of any real estate (immovable property).
The Judgment of Possession is prepared by your attorney and submitted to the judge for signature. If there is an issue with the succession, the judge will alert your attorney that more work needs to be done on the succession before he or she will sign off on the Judgment of Possession and close the succession.
Do I Need a Judgment of Possession to Close on a Home?
If you’re closing on a home and have been told that you need to do a succession first, then yes, you will need a Judgment of Possession before the bank will allow you to close. This can be a hassle if you’ve already set a closing date, but you will have to contact an attorney to prepare a succession before you will be able to sell the real estate property.
Do You Need an Attorney to Draft the Judgment of Possession?
It’s highly recommended that you enlist the services of a Louisiana succession attorney as mistakes are incredibly easy to make. Remember, the Judgment of Possession isn’t simply a single document that will give you possession of the property but is the end of a succession after all requirements have been met. Louisiana succession mistakes can be costly and may take years before they’re discovered. It’s best to speak with an experienced Louisiana probate attorney to help you through the process.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Judgment of Possession?
The time it takes to get the judge to sign the Judgment of Possession and place heirs or legatees into possession of property varies by each case. It’s a good idea to begin the succession as soon as you find out you need one just in case.
Here are a few common situations that can prolong obtaining a Judgment of Possession:
- More information needed from client;
- Slow mail times;
- Judge not working the file right away;
- Waiting for signatures from witnesses or for the Affidavits.
It’s important to contact our office as soon as you learn that you need a succession completed before closing on a home. We were recently contacted by a couple that was looking for a succession attorney in Alexandria, Louisiana to help with a succession matter so that they could sell a home. The buyer was ready, but had to wait until the succession was complete and the Judge signed the Judgment of Possession. They could have lost the sale of the home, but our office was able to expedite the matter and get it complete in time.
We Handle Succession Matters Anywhere in Louisiana
We’ve helped clients all over Louisiana and in other states with succession matters. Our firm receives calls every single day from clients all over the U.S. that need to file a succession in Louisana. We can help you in any part of the world.
You Don’t Need to Travel
You may be concerned about handling succession issues while living in another state. We can help you take care of your matters without you having to come back to Louisiana. Our firm uses technology to assist clients and save them time and stress.
We Can Help!
Louisiana Succession Attorney
R. Jerome Andries