Wills & Successions Overview
In Louisiana, a "succession"
refers to the handling of the estate of the deceased. To transfer
ownership of property to heirs or persons named in a Will,
the deceased's succession must be "opened" by filing
the necessary pleadings and exhibits in the proper Court.
Thereafter, the succession is handled
as necessary depending on various procedures that may apply
as a result of the size of the estate, whether or not there
was a valid Will that must be probated, and whether or not
the estate is in debt, etc.
There are many factors and situations
to be contemplated and it would be impossible to provide even
an overview of all succession law here.
This area of law, however, can obviously
be separated into before death and after death concerns.
Before death concerns include such things
as drafting a Will, handling assets to reduce estate taxes,
creating trusts if necessary, and making sure that the estate
is structured properly such that when the person passes away,
his or her loved ones are not left with a mess or unnecessary
estate taxes to pay.
After death concerns include opening
the succession, probating the Will if there is one, paying
all debts and taxes of the estate, and then placing heirs
into legal possession of the property so as to close the succession.