Probate Lawyer Shreveport, LA Probate lawyer Shreveport, LA

Probate Lawyer in Shreveport, LA

If you’re looking for a probate lawyer in Shreveport, Louisiana, Theus Law Offices can help. You may have heard of probate before, or you might be struggling to wrap your head around what it entails. It can be especially difficult to understand probate if you’re dealing with the recent loss of a loved one, and it’s totally understandable to feel lost and overwhelmed by all the new legal terms and obstacles you might be forced to learn and navigate.

Put simply, probate is how a person’s estate is divided after their death. When we die, our assets don’t just disappear: Homes, debts, savings, and other possessions are left behind, and everything you may have built up for your family will need to be properly distributed amongst your beneficiaries. This is part of why it’s so important to make sure you have a properly-organized will to leave behind after you die. Your family will be struggling with grief, and to ease them into life without you, you’ll want to leave behind some effective instructions.

Inside the Probate Process

A will is an important document to leave behind for your loved ones. However, it doesn’t mean probate is completely painless. A probate lawyer in Shreveport, LA, can help your family through a potentially painful process, and having the right attorney guidance can mean the difference between a bitter fight over your estate, and ensuring your last wishes are fully honored by those you love.

A properly written will should name an executor, someone who is in charge of dividing up your assets and following through with the instructions in your will. However, if a will is found to be not legally binding, or there’s no will at all, then the state will elect someone to handle your estate after your death. This is usually a spouse or another close family member, but it becomes more complicated if there are ex-spouses or estranged family members to consider. For example, if you divorced your husband or wife decades ago and started a new family, it could spell trouble if the state chooses your ex to be the executor instead of your most recent spouse. If you don’t leave a will behind and the state chooses an executor, a probate lawyer can ensure the executor is someone who truly cares.

Shreveport, LA Probate Law Infographic

Top Benefits of Working with a Probate Attorney Infographic

Shreveport Probate Laws

The process of probate might be a common legal procedure across the United States, but Louisiana, with its unique blend of civil law traditions, presents a slightly different landscape. For those unfamiliar, probate refers to the legal proceedings that follow an individual’s death, concerning the validation of their will and distribution of assets. Understanding the particularities of Louisiana’s probate laws is essential for anyone involved in this process in the state.

The Distinctness Of Louisiana’s Probate Process

Unlike other states, Louisiana’s legal system borrows heavily from its French and Spanish roots, resulting in a civil law system. This history makes the state’s probate laws stand apart. One of the most noteworthy aspects is the state’s succession process. In Louisiana, probate is commonly referred to as ‘succession,’ denoting the transfer of the decedent’s estate to their heirs or legatees. As a result of this unique approach to the law, it’s important to connect with a skilled Shreveport, LA probate lawyer if you have questions about your rights. Lawyers who practice in other states may not be equipped to manage probate for a Louisiana estate.

Mandatory Succession Proceedings

In Louisiana, succession proceedings are typically mandatory for transferring assets titled in the decedent’s name, unless they were held in a trust. These assets can include real estate, bank accounts, and investments. The succession process ensures these assets are distributed as per the deceased’s will or, in its absence, according to Louisiana’s intestate succession laws.

Testate Vs. Intestate Successions

If the deceased left behind a valid will, the succession is termed as ‘testate.’ The assets are then distributed according to the will’s stipulations. On the other hand, if there’s no will or the will is deemed invalid, the succession is ‘intestate.’ Here, Louisiana’s laws determine the distribution pattern, with preference given to close relatives, such as children, spouse, or parents, based on a pre-established hierarchy.

Independent And Administration-needed Successions

Louisiana allows for two types of successions based on how complex the estate is. Independent succession is a more streamlined process, where heirs can take over the assets without court intervention, provided all parties are in agreement. However, if disputes arise or if the will mandates administration, then the process transforms into an administration-needed succession, necessitating more detailed legal involvement.

Forced Heirship And Its Implications

Another unique feature of Louisiana probate laws is the doctrine of forced heirship. This law implies that certain heirs, primarily children aged 23 or younger or those with disabilities, cannot be entirely disinherited. A portion of the estate is reserved for these heirs. Understanding the implications of this provision by speaking with a Shreveport probate lawyer is crucial to avoid unintended consequences during the succession process.

Dealing With Louisiana’s Usufruct Rights

Usufruct rights, a concept grounded in Louisiana’s civil law heritage, can complicate the probate process. It refers to the rights given to a surviving spouse or another individual to use certain assets (like a house) for their lifetime. However, the naked ownership lies with the children or designated heirs. Balancing usufruct rights with the interests of the naked owners requires meticulous attention during the succession process.

Ensuring A Smooth Succession In Louisiana

Navigating Louisiana’s probate laws might seem overwhelming, but with the right guidance, it becomes manageable. Staying informed about the state’s unique provisions can make a significant difference in ensuring a smooth transfer of assets and upholding the deceased’s last wishes.

If you’re dealing with a succession in Louisiana and feel uncertain about the intricacies of the state’s laws, the legal team at Theus Law Offices is here to help. With profound expertise in Louisiana’s probate landscape, we ensure that your interests are protected, and the succession process proceeds without hitches. Reach out to a reputable Shreveport probate lawyer on our team today to better ensure that your succession journey in Louisiana is efficient, compliant, and stress-free.

Why Do You Need a Probate Lawyer?

Not surprisingly the death of a loved one is rated in the top five biggest life stressors that anyone can have. It’s also not surprising that is at a time like this that executors and families turn to professionals to help them with the legal issues that may arise.  

Legal issues around death can be complex. This is where a probate lawyer can help you with your will and settling your estate. If you still aren’t sure about hiring a probate lawyer then read on. 

Why You May Need a Probate Lawyer 

If you are weren’t aware, probate is a process by which estates get settled after someone dies. Because of the court process, it can be complicated and involve legal terminology that you may not understand. This is why it’s important for anybody writing a will and for any beneficiary of a will to have a lawyer on hand that knows what they’re talking about.

A probate lawyer can help the process of administrating the estate after someone has died. They can ensure that the instructions of the deceased are followed and their heirs receive any inheritance with minimum stress. Here are some of the reasons why you may need a probate lawyer: 

1. Drafting a Will 

While there are plenty of DIY will writing options available on the market this could have major consequences for your heirs if you get something wrong. A poorly drafted will can be contested and it can cause stress and conflict for your heirs. By having a will drafted by a probate lawyer you are ensuring that your wishes are followed upon your death as easily as possible.

2. Protect the Estate 

 A probate lawyer can help you ensure that your wishes and the interest of your descendants are protected. Legal claims are sometimes made after death and are often claims against the estate. These claims against the estate are difficult to handle on your own without legal training expertise. By hiring a probate lawyer to handle these claims it can help reduce the anxiety you may feel and can help you protect the estate. 

3. Speed Up Probate 

While not every death is going to lead to probate, it can happen. The probate process can be complex, and depending on the details of the will it may not run smoothly if you plan to handle it on your own. A probate lawyer can assist you in negotiating the legal process and help resolve any financial and legal matters that may arise with minimum fuss and lay.

4. Reduce Family Conflict 

 Death often causes a range of emotional reactions. Not only is there grief but it can also be a time of tension between family members and other heirs. Disputes about the estate can occur based on differing expectations. A probate lawyer can help reduce these tensions and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

A probate lawyer is often a good thing to have on hand during the death of a loved one. If you have more questions about what a probate lawyer can do for you then don’t hesitate to reach to the Theus Law Offices for more information. 

How Can a Succession Attorney Help?

You may have found yourself wondering how a succession attorney can help you if a loved one has passed. You may even be wondering what a succession attorney even is. A succession attorney is just another name for a probate attorney. 

As the old saying goes, you can’t take it with you when you die. A succession attorney is there to help your surviving family members settle your debts and distribute your assets when you’re gone, with or without a will. Just what do they do? 

What Does a Succession Attorney do? 

The truth is, what a succession attorney does is going to depend greatly on if you’ve drafted a will prior to death or not. 

When There Is a Will 

If you die with a will then a succession attorney can be hired to help advise parties, like the executor of the estate, on various legal matters. An attorney is going to review the will to ensure that the will wasn’t signed or written while under duress. Often elderly people with dementia, for example, could be vulnerable to change their wills before their passing by individuals who want a share of the estate.  

An attorney is there to ensure that the will is good and any challenges that come are handled with as little stress as possible 

When There Is No Will 

If you die without having written and signed a will then you are to have died instate. If this happens then your estate is going to be distributed according to the intestacy laws of the state where your property resides. This is done regardless of your wishes and it is often given to the primary heirs like your spouse and children. There are times that this means each member gets an equal cut to your estate. So, if you died and you had an eight-year-old and a spouse they would share equal assets. 

In these situations, a succession attorney can be hired to help administer the estate and the assets will be distributed according to state law. They are bound by state law and must follow it regardless of the decedent’s wishes or the family member’s needs. 

How Can A Succession Attorney Help? 

Considering you are most likely grieving the death of a loved one, you might not want to gather all the information you need. That is where an attorney can come in and help. Here are some of the tasks an attorney could have ween advising an executor: 

  • Collecting and managing life insurance proceeds
  • Getting the decedent’s property appraised
  • Finding and securing all of the decedent’s assets
  • Advising you on how to pay the decedent’s bills and settle debt
  • Preparing and filing documents as required by probate court
  • Managing the estate’s checkbook
  • Determining whether any estate taxes are owed

It is often a good idea to have a succession attorney help you through the probate process and if you have more questions reach out to us at Theus Law Offices for a consultation. 

What Does A Probate Lawyer Do?

If you need assistance with probate, you may want to consult a Shreveport probate lawyer. Probate can be a complicated process, so it is helpful to have someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about probate.

Q1: What Is A Probate Lawyer, And What Do They Do?

A probate lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in matters related to probate law. Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person. Probate lawyers guide individuals and families through this process, ensuring that the deceased person’s assets are distributed according to their will or the applicable laws.

Q2: When Is It Necessary To Hire A Probate Lawyer?

Hiring a probate lawyer is advisable when dealing with the complexities of the probate process. If the estate is substantial, has multiple heirs, or involves disputes among beneficiaries, a probate lawyer can help navigate the legal intricacies and facilitate a smoother resolution.

Q3: What Does The Probate Process Involve?

The probate process involves validating the deceased person’s will (if there is one), identifying and appraising assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to heirs. A probate lawyer assists in all aspects of this process, providing legal guidance and ensuring compliance with applicable laws.

Q4: Can I Handle Probate Without A Lawyer?

While it is possible to handle probate without a lawyer, it can be challenging, especially for those unfamiliar with legal procedures. A Shreveport probate lawyer can simplify the process, minimize potential errors, and expedite the distribution of assets, ultimately saving time and reducing stress for the involved parties.

Q5: How Does The Probate Lawyer Assist In Will Contests Or Disputes?

Probate lawyers play a crucial role in resolving disputes that may arise during the probate process. They can represent clients in will contests, disputes over asset distribution, or disagreements among heirs. Their legal expertise helps navigate these challenges and work towards a fair resolution.

Q6: What Fees Are Associated With Hiring A Probate Lawyer?

Probate lawyer fees can vary based on factors such as the complexity of the estate, the lawyer’s experience, and regional differences. Fees may be structured as a flat rate, hourly rate, or a percentage of the estate’s value. It’s important to discuss fees upfront and have a clear understanding of the billing structure.

Q7: How Long Does The Probate Process Usually Take?

The duration of the probate process varies depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the estate, potential disputes, and local legal requirements. While some cases may be resolved in a few months, others may take a year or more. A probate lawyer can provide a more accurate estimate based on the specific circumstances.

Q8: What Happens If There Is No Will?

If there is no will, the estate is considered intestate, and the probate process follows the laws of intestate succession. A probate lawyer can assist in identifying legal heirs, determining the distribution of assets, and navigating the probate process in the absence of a will.

If you have additional questions about probate, contact a Shreveport probate lawyer. At Theus Law Offices, we are there to help you.

Reach out to a Probate Lawyer Today

Probate is a long and challenging process, but contacting a probate lawyer can make it easier for your loved ones. A qualified probate lawyer can help your loved ones navigate through the complicated legal processes that come with dividing your assets across your beneficiaries, and the right attorney can also help your family fill and file the right paperwork. If you leave any bills or debts behind, a probate attorney can ensure they’re handled properly after your death. Additionally, a probate lawyer can help you determine the value of your assets: This includes identifying any valuables and properties that may be up for grabs after your death.

If you’re looking for a probate lawyer, or are simply unsure about what probate entails, you can always reach out to Theus Law Offices for more information. Contact us today, and see how a probate lawyer in Shreveport, LA, can help you today – and your family tomorrow.

Probate Lawyer Shreveport, LA

If you are unsure of what probate entails or if you are taking on the job of executor, then reaching out to a probate lawyer in Shreveport, LA is almost always a good idea. It is an important choice when it comes to finding the right lawyer for you. You’ll be consulting this lawyer on financial and legal matters but also personal ones, as probate is a highly personal concept. This means that you need to find a lawyer that you are comfortable with.

If you aren’t sure about how to find the right lawyer for you that we’ve created a guide to help you find the right person for the job.

Finding Candidates to Interview 

While it is usually not difficult to find a local lawyer who handles probate and estates, it can be difficult to find the right one for you. It is important that you look for lawyers who are local to you as they’re going to understand the laws in your area. Typically, a simple Google search will bring up various lawyers in your area that handled the probate process. Once you have a list of candidates it is then time to move on to the interviewing process.

Interviewing the Probate Lawyer 

The very first thing you should do when you sit down with the lawyer is to make it clear that you plan on talking to several lawyers before you hire one for this estate work. After that, you should ask them questions before you get into the details of probate court proceedings. A lawyer who has handled a lot of probates may assume that you’re on board and quickly start asking you for documents and information you should hold off on that.

Here are some of the questions that you may want to ask the lawyer in order to get a better feel for if they’re the right one for you were not:

  • How many probate cases have you handled?
  • Do you charge by the hour, at a flat rate, or some other way?
  • Do legal assistance offices do some of the work at a lower hourly rate?
  • Four you prepare file tax returns for the deceased person in this state? 
  • How long will it take to go through probate?
  • If any state or federal estate tax returns are necessary, will you prepare them?
  • Who all is going to be working on my case?

Finding the Right Lawyer for You

Finding the right lawyer who is experienced and competent when it comes to handling a probate court proceeding is important. While many probate cases are complicated, they do require attention to detail. Having a successful working relationship with the lawyer takes more than just knowing legal knowledge. When you sit down to interview them, pay close attention to how the lawyer explains the process, how well they listen to your concerns, and how respectful they are. You should make sure you’re signing up with someone who:

  • Communicates clearly. Some layers just can’t seem to talk plainly. If you can’t understand what your lawyer is talking about and they don’t give any explanations when you asked for clarification, you should look elsewhere.
  • Respects your efforts to educate yourself. If you’re doing your best to learn about your responsibilities as an executor, you want a lawyer to cooperate respectfully. Also, you want someone who is willing to help you with your efforts to educate yourself. You have a better understanding of what is going on when you learn about it.
  • You are comfortable with it. This is going to be a relationship and if you aren’t comfortable with your lawyer, then work is not going to get done. You need to be comfortable with your lawyer, as the probate process can be deeply personal.

If you have any more questions about what a probate lawyer in Shreveport, Louisiana can do for you, don’t hesitate to reach out Theus Law Offices for more information.