The Louisiana Succession: The Basics

What is a Louisiana Succession and when is it required?

When a resident of Louisiana dies, it's likely that they owned some things. Perhaps they owned a home, other real estate, bank accounts, maybe some stock in a company, and perhaps a vehicle. Well, it's not uncommon for some people to claim that they are entitled to own and use these things. 

The Louisiana Succession is the court-supervised judicial proceeding that must take place when someone dies with assets in their name. It takes place whether or not the person left a last will and testament. Now, some assets can be transferred without having to go through a Succession, like a life insurance policy or an individual retirement account which had designated beneficiaries. But most assets, like the ones described above, must be listed in a Succession proceeding and a judge will ultimately order the division or distribution of assets.

After someone dies, and prior to the Succession, no one can access the funds or stock of the deceased, and the real estate owned by the deceased cannot be sold or transferred into anyone else's name. Some people ask, "Can't I just take Dad's Will to the bank and ask them for his money?" That won't work. The bank will not release Dad's accounts without the appropriate and certified Succession court orders that have been signed by a judge as part of the Succession process.

So if you have had a loved one pass away, and you feel you are entitled to own some or all of the assets of the deceased, then the most efficient way for you to get things done is for all of the parties to work with a Louisiana Succession attorney to create and implement a plan to gather all of the necessary asset and family information, and then follow the court rules to complete the Succession matters cooperatively.