There are many legal terms to describe settling an estate. For example, many states use the term “probating the estate.” However, in Louisiana, heirs need to consult with a succession attorney in Baton Rouge, LA. The term succession is used whether a person died testate (with a will) or intestate (without a will.)
The Process Is the Same
The estate process is the same no matter what term is used. First, some property does not have to go through the court. Life insurance policies, pension accounts and other savings tools with a beneficiary are excluded. The property of those who die testate is distributed according to the will. On the other hand, the property of intestate individuals passes to descendants.
Each child inherits an equal share. If there is a surviving spouse, the children may have to wait. The surviving spouse has the right to use any community property until they remarry or die. Siblings inherit if there are no children or surviving spouse, while parents may inherit if there are no siblings.
How Do I Proceed?
The succession attorney in Baton Rouge, LA guides clients through the succession process. “Simple Putting In Possession” is the most popular succession method, where the heirs and surviving spouse sign pleadings to inform the court they agree to divide the estate. The judge signs off on the document and the attorneys distribute the property.
Sometimes, the succession is complicated and an administration must be completed. For instance, sometimes heirs cannot be located. Another complication arises when the deceased has a lot of debt. The deceased’s property must be sold to pay creditors before distribution occurs. Further, someone must be named succession representative.
A Big Responsibility
The representative is responsible for resolving all matters blocking the succession. Further, they must collect assets and pay debts, if necessary. Finally, the representative presents the court with a “tableau of distribution.” This lets the heirs and court know how assets will be distributed. Of course, any heir can raise a challenge to the tableau. If this occurs, the matter must go to trial. For more information, visit an attorney’s website and click where it says “contact us.”