Introduction to Successions

Authored By: Lagniappe Law Lab

Introduction to Successions

Introduction to Successions

  • What is a Succession? 
    • A succession is the division of property in an estate beginning at the moment of death of a person. Other states call a succession, probate. 
  • Successions deal with: 

    • Transferring the property owned by a person at the moment of death 

    • Deciding if a will is involved or is valid 

    • Taking care of the financial responsibilities of the person who died. 

  • Successions are either testate or they are intestate. 

Jurisdiction and Where to File

Testate vs. Intestate

Successions are either testate or they are intestate

Find out if there is a will. 

  • If there is a will, find out who is entitled to inherit. Determine who can be the administrator to the will and who can inherit among any heirs or surviving spouse
  • If there is no will or the will is invalid; Louisiana law determines the rules to heirship and how the property is classified and divided. 

Determine the type of succession you need to file to divide the estate and transfer property by legal process.

For Intestate Successions

Property Valued $125,000 or More type succession

A larger general property succession, valued at an estate value of $125,000 or more at the time of the decedent’s death. This type of succession needs to get filed as a regular succession in civil court.

Property Valued Less than $125,000 type succession
A succession can get handled by the affidavit process. This is only an option if the gross value of the estate is less than $125,000 at the moment of the decedent’s death. Complete the transfer of property by recording an affidavit in public records in court. 

Types of Property Included

Under current law, there are different types of property that can get included as part of the succession process. Louisiana law allows the transfer of property by succession if: 

Classify the property and determine the interest in the property that qualifies as part of the succession.

Other Issues to Consider

Immovable Property i.e. a home in another parish

  • If the succession has immovable property i.e. a home, you must go to the Conveyance Office in the parish where it is. Bring a certified copy of the Judgment of Possession after you file your succession. Go to the Conveyance Office in each office where the property is.
  • The certified copy of the Judgment for Possession goes to the Board of Assessors. Each Conveyance Office should send the judgment to the Board of Assessors. Most conveyance offices send the paperwork to the Assessor. 

  • It is good practice to make sure the assessor has the names and addresses of new owners. You can follow up and check the record.

Out of State Residents

  • Own property in a Louisiana Parish 

  • Whose wills get probated elsewhere out of the state 

  • Where decedent is domiciled at the time of death is where probate of the will or division of the estate get filed

  • Rules are different for filing a succession case where the person's state of domicile is not Louisiana

  • Ancillary probate cases are different for Louisiana Succession cases. 

    • You do not need to probate the will by a succession in Louisiana. Probate the will in the state of the decedent’s domicile. 

    • In Louisiana, the court appoints a personal representative when the court gets an authentic copy of the will. The ancillary probate follows the general rules for a Louisiana succession including updating public records in the parish where the property is located. 

Last Review and Update: Jun 28, 2022
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