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Should I Wait to Receive a Death Certificate Before Consulting with a Succession Attorney?

We get calls and emails regarding this question fairly regularly, so I figured I would speak about it today. You don’t have to wait for the death certificates to arrive before scheduling a consultation with the Andries Law Firm, LLC, to discuss filing a Louisiana succession (probate).

Death certificates take weeks and sometimes months to be mailed in. This is precious time lost that could have been utilized to get the ball rolling gathering the required information that your attorney will need to process the succession.

Louisiana successions take time to prepare; it’s not something you will walk in one day and have filed the next. It takes time depending on the complexity of the situation and numerous forms must be prepared and notarized, assets and debts located, among other things.

Many people wait months for the death certificate to arrive in the mail before calling our Louisiana succession law firm. Then when they schedule their initial consultation, either by phone or in person, we begin working on the petitions required to file the succession when we could have been working on it the whole time and possibly had all paperwork completed for you by the time the death certificate finally comes in. Speaking with a succession (probate) attorney such as myself while you wait on death certificates will save you time and headache.

What do I need to get started on the Louisiana Succession process?

There are a few things you will need to either bring to our office, fax or email before we can begin.

  1. We will need the original Last Will & Testament, if one exists;
  2. List of debts and assets to be added to the Detailed Descriptive List (this can be added later)
  3. Two people who knew the deceased and will be able to sign an Affidavit of Death, Domicile and Heirship in front of a Notary Public either at our office or an office in their location.

That’s really all our office would need to get started compiling the information required to get the succession started. As far as the list of assets and debts; this can be added later as it will likely take a good deal of time to locate all assets. You may have to wait for mail to come in to discover where the assets are held or financial statements. We can file the beginning part of the succession while you work on compiling the list of things and property the deceased owned.

The original death certificate will eventually need to be ordered and mailed to you, but you can at least begin the process while you wait. One of the biggest complains coming from clients is the amount of time it takes for a Louisiana Succession to be completed. This is just a part of the probate process, but you can speed up the wait time by speaking with us early in the process.

Why Do I Need a Death Certificate to File a Louisiana Succession?

The Judge will need proof that the person died. He/she will also need to know their marriage information, the parish where they died, children, etc. We are required to submit two (2) Affidavits of Death, Domicile and Heirship that attests to these facts as well. A death certificate is needed for Life Insurance proceeds if you are listed as a beneficiary.

You will need the death certificate if you are the executor or administrator and plan to open an estate account at the bank. Also, once the judge signs the final Judgment of Possession, you will need a death certificate to bring to the financial institution where funds are held in order for them to release the money to the heirs listed in the Judgment of Possession.

If you need help filing a Louisiana succession, feel free to give us a call and we will set up a free consultation to discuss your needs. You don’t have to have any type of paperwork on hand to begin the process. We can be reached at (318) 269-5857 or email

“We help clients with succession and estate matters all over the State of Louisiana.

Louisiana Succession Attorney Jerome Andries

Louisiana Succession Attorney

Jerome Andries

(318) 269-5857

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, Where Do I File a Succession?

Disclaimer: This post does not create an attorney-client agreement. Nothing in this article should be considered legal advice. You must call or email our office to set an appointment.

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