What's the Difference Between a Probate and a Succession?
In Louisiana, the court proceeding that is required when someone dies with assets in their name is called a "Succession." In other states, this procedure is commonly referred to as "Probate." Since lay people and consumers typically to refer to the court proceeding as "probate," I'll use that term throughout.
When you pass away, if assets are titled in your name, whether you have a Last Will or not, the court is responsible for seeing that those assets are managed correctly and ultimately disbursed to the right people (also referred to as "heirs" or "legatees"). These assets may include your home, any other real estate or rental property you own or co-own, any stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, you own, and bank accounts in your name, and business interest such as a membership interest in a limited liability company (LLC) or partnership or privately held corporation, any mineral interests or United States Savings Bonds.
When you die with these types of assets in your name, then those assets are what is commonly referred to as "frozen." They cannot be sold or put into anyone else's name . The probate is the court-supervised procedure that is necessary to transfer assets out of the name of the person who died into the names of the heirs.
As you might imagine, there are many rules and procedures that must be followed in order to complete a Succession. The government thinks that whenever someone dies and there are hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to be divided, then the government is the best entity to make sure things and funds go the right people in the right proportion. The public, however, often prefers that the government stay out of their estate settlement. The public often wants their estate settlement to be simpler, less costly, and with less delay.