Probate Lawyer Baton Rouge, LA

You have just lost your loved one and you need to take charge of the estate with the help of a Baton Rouge, LA probate lawyer immediately so that you do not face probate issues. Losing a loved one is stressful enough — you don’t need probate problems on top of that. Don’t worry, though, because probate lawyers are here to help you get through this difficult time! No matter what stage of the process you are in, it’s best to contact a lawyer right away who will guide you through the whole process at Theus Law Offices so they can help you with everything listed below and more.

estate planning

5 Common Issues That Can Arise During the Probate Process

A Baton Rouge, LA probate lawyer can help you get through the probate process. Often, the lawyer’s job involves dealing with paperwork and the courts to ensure everything is properly taken care of. However, other issues can sometimes arise, and we’ll explore five common problems people face. 

1. The Executor Named in the Will Doesn’t Want to Handle the Duty 

When a person creates a last will and testament, they often name an executor to handle their estate and assets. The executor is then responsible for ensuring that a person’s estate is properly handled and that assets can benefit the right beneficiaries. However, sometimes the executor cannot fulfill their duties or outright refuses. In this situation, the court might be tasked with naming a new executor. 

2. The Executor Fails In Their Duties 

The named executor has a fiduciary duty to perform, however, sometimes, they fail to perform this duty. This failure can result from the inability to handle their duties or the person working within their own self-interests. When these situations happen, legal solutions do sometimes exist. For example, the courts can remove the executor and appoint a new one. In other situations, beneficiaries or heirs can take legal action against the executor themselves. Resolving this issue often requires help from a Baton Rouge probate attorney. 

3. You Can’t Find Certain Assets 

Not being able to locate certain assets can quickly create delays for the executor. Of course, not being able to locate these certain assets also means it’ll take longer for heirs or beneficiaries to obtain the assets they’re entitled to. The best way to avoid this issue is for the person creating their last will and testament to have a detailed estate plan in place. For certain items, the person creating their last will and testament can give directions on locating them. 

4. The Will Is Being Contested 

There are many reasons why a will can be contested, with common scenarios including the following: 

  • The person who created the will was under duress or lacked the correct mental faculties. 
  • The will creator was somehow manipulated when writing their will. 
  • There’s reason to believe that the will itself was manipulated or forged. 

The person contesting the will must show evidence that the will indeed isn’t valid. However, even if the contention doesn’t seem to hold much weight, such contention can still delay the process. Heirs and beneficiaries may need legal assistance to showcase that the will indeed highlight the deceased’s wishes. 

5. Costly Claims From Creditors 

The probate process allows creditors to make claims against the deceased’s estate. Any valid claims must be paid out using the estate’s assets. Creditors must show evidence that they have the legal right to collect certain claims. The state can sometimes act as the creditor for issues like recouping costs spent on Medicaid services. A Baton Rouge probate attorney from Theus Law Offices can make this process easier. 

Four Common Myths About The Probate Process

As a probate lawyer Baton Rouge, LA residents trust will explain, the probate process is one that people often dread. Because of this, they usually look at key strategic legal offerings that allow them to circumvent the process or at least reduce the number of assets that must pass through probate. Probate is the legal process necessary after a person passes away in which the will is validated, the estate administrator identified, debts paid, and assets are ultimately distributed to beneficiaries. At the same time, it’s notable for being aware that laws regarding probate can vary based on the state, and it is vital to speak with a professional like those available at Theus Law Offices. There are typically two different processes that may happen when probate occurs, probate when there is a will and probate when a person dies without one. When it comes to probate, there are many misconceptions regarding planning for the future and enduring the probate process. The following are four common myths regarding probate:

Myth #1: Probate Must Be Avoided

While strategies to minimize the assets that pass through probate should be a consideration, it’s important to note that when there is appropriate planning, probate isn’t something that should be feared. Primary assets that will pass through probate include solely owned property and personal possessions. However, a Baton Rouge probate lawyer will share that many assets are classified as non-probate assets, such as jointly owned property, payable or transfer on death accounts with named beneficiaries, and assets within a trust account. Accounts with named beneficiaries, like retirement accounts, pensions, bank accounts, etc., are all considered POD, and the simple solution is to ensure that beneficiaries have been identified. 

Myth #2: All Assets Will Pass Through Probate

Many people are concerned that all of their assets will pass through probate. This is far from true because, as mentioned previously, accounts with named beneficiaries and jointly owned property will not necessarily be required to pass through the process. However, this will depend on the planning that takes place.

Myth #3: Probate Can Go On For Years

Most people are worried that assets will be tied up in probate for many years. While this is possible in more complicated situations, most of the time, the probate process is much shorter. Another reason for lengthy probate can occur when someone has contested the will. However, when proper planning takes place or the account is smaller, the probate process can be smooth and straightforward. 

Myth #4: Using a DIY Will Tool Can Help Avoid Probate

Developing a will can be a process that people tend to put off for a later date, which can be problematic should the unexpected occur. Some may mistakenly believe that developing a will using a do-it-yourself tool is better than having nothing. However, these methods can be ineffective as they often do not consider state laws. As a result, the will that is created may be useless and will do nothing in regard to avoiding the probate process. 

When someone has passed away, moving forward can be deeply challenging for the family. Grief can be consuming and incredibly complex to contend with. The idea of resolving a person’s estate when experiencing grief can be an overwhelming process to endure. Working with a lawyer can help to manage the process, guide the estate administrator, assist with inventorying assets, identify accounts, and more. Learn more about how a Baton Rouge probate lawyer from Theus Law Offices can help.

Save Time and Money

Working with a probate lawyer can save you time and money. Here are just a few ways:

  1. The lawyer will take care of all the legal paperwork for you, which means you don’t have to do any of it yourself.
  2. A probate lawyer will handle everything from filing the required documents and forms, to notifying creditors and heirs, as well as collecting assets, paying bills and taxes, and finally distributing property to heirs according to the will or state laws.
  3. An attorney will review your family’s wills so that they make sense in Louisiana law — and if they don’t make sense in Louisiana law, a probate lawyer can help update them to make sure everything is up-to-date.

Avoid Mistakes

If you try to do all that aforementioned work on your own, mistakes are sure to be made without in-depth knowledge of local and state-level laws. Working with an experienced attorney will ensure that everything is filed on time, with everything filled out correctly. If you do not provide the necessary paperwork at the right time, your case could be delayed causing you stress and costing more money than you thought. Avoid mistakes and work with a Baton Rouge probate lawyer instead.

Protect Your Assets

The loss of a loved one can be difficult to manage emotionally and financially. Unfortunately, it is not always an easy process. If you are dealing with the death of your loved one, then you may need to find a probate lawyer because if you have assets that need to be distributed after your death, then it is imperative that they are handled by an attorney. For example, if the deceased has an estate or property that needs to be divided among heirs or beneficiaries, then these items will need to go through probates before any distributions can take place. A probate lawyer can help guide this process and offer assistance as needed.

While this might seem like something you could handle on your own, it’s best to leave this to the experts. You don’t want someone who isn’t familiar with all of the laws in Louisiana handling your affairs, which could result in unfair distribution of assets. Instead, contact us today at  for more information about how we can help make sure that you are prepared for everything that comes up following a death in the family.

Plan for the Future

It’s not always easy to plan for the future, but when a loved one passes away, it can be even more difficult. If you are left with an inheritance, there are certain taxes that you may need to pay. An attorney can advise you of these and help you plan accordingly for when you file taxes. Plus, a probate attorney can help you draft your own will to plan for you and your family’s future.

Contact a Baton Rouge probate lawyer today at Theus Law Offices for help saving time and money, avoiding mistakes, protecting your assets, and planning for the future.

Probate Law FAQs

If you have to probate an estate, you may want to consult a Baton Rouge, LA probate lawyer from Theus Law Offices. Probating an estate can be complicated, so you want someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side. A lawyer can guide you through the entire process and keep you from making costly mistakes during the probate process.

Where Do You File a Probate Petition?

Typically, a probate petition is filed in the county where the decedent lived when he or she died. A will may state where the decedent was residing when the document was created. If the decedent’s location was unclear at the time of death, you may be able to find the information out through other methods, like where the decedent owned a home, where the decedent registered to vote or where the decedent had a driver’s license.

How Long Does Probate Take?

This is one of the most common questions people have about the probate process. Probate has a long reputation of being a long and tedious process. However, in most cases, probate can be wrapped in a year or less. There are factors that can delay the process. For example, if someone does not agree with the contents of the will and decides to contest it, probate can take much longer to complete. Other things that can delay probate include tax issues, creditor claims and unusual assets.

Does Having a Will Avoid Probate?

No, this is one of the most common myths about probate. As a Baton Rouge probate lawyer can explain, a will allows a person to choose an executor and who will receive his or her assets. This can provide greater control. If there is not a will at the time of a decedent’s death, probate will be governed by the Probate Act. 

Are All Assets Subject to Probate?

No, not necessarily. There are probate and nonprobate assets. Probate assets generally include homes, vehicles, jewelry and other personal possessions. Nonprobate assets include assets titled in the name of a trust, property named with a beneficiary, jointly owned property and bank accounts with beneficiaries. It is not always obvious which assets are subject to probate and which ones are not. That is why it may be in your best interest to obtain advice from a qualified lawyer. He or she can help you sort through all of the assets and make things less confusing.

Who Deals with Probate?

If the decedent had a will at the time of death, the person named as executor will handle the probate process. However, the executor first has to be approved by the court. People who have an interest in the estate may be able to object to an executor in court if they feel he or she is not the right person for the job.

If you need assistance with probate, you may want to make an appointment with a Baton Rouge probate lawyer from Theus Law Offices as soon as possible.