Succession Law Firm Lafayette, LA
Theus Law Offices is a Succession Law Firm Lafayette, LA and Acadiana residents trust to help distribute asset, resolve debts, and probate estate property when a loved one passes. We can help with a probate in Lafayette, LA even when someone dies without a Will. The loss of a loved one is a difficult time in the lives of our clients. Reducing the stress and financial burden of a succession in Louisiana can be accomplished with the help of an experienced probate attorney in Lafayette, LA. To learn more about the probate process, consult a succession lawyer in Lafayette LA from Theus Law Offices.
What is a Probate Lawyer in Lafayette LA, and when should I retain one?
A Succession lawyer, sometimes referred to as an estate lawyer or probate lawyer in Lafayette LA helps executors or administrators of an estate through the probate process, which is the process of resolving debts and effecting a change of title to assets of a deceased person to convey ownership of such assets to the heirs or legatees of the deceased person. The terms “probate” and “succession” mean the same thing in Louisiana. A Louisiana succession definition is the same as a Louisiana probate. For help navigating the probate process in the fastest and most convenient way possible, contact an experienced estate attorney Lafayette LA area trust from Theus Law Offices.
A knowledgeable succession attorney in Lafayette LA should also assist with the following:
- Legal advice regarding who inherits when there is no will and the transfer of property at death without a will
- Whether a small estate affidavit procedure will be available
- Minimizing inheritance taxes in Louisiana
- Avoiding probate for a surviving spouse
- Drafting and filing all necessary court documents to open, administer and close a succession in Louisiana
- Locating, valuing , and securing assets of the succession
- Obtaining necessary appraisals of real estate and/or personal property, such as jewely
- When necessary, serving as the executor or administration of the estate
- Dealing with creditors and assisting with any negotiation for the resolution to debts or claims
- Assistance with collecting or directing the proceeds of non-probate assets, such as life insurance or annuities
- Advice and assistance with tax elections
- Assistance with necessary elections pertaining to retirement plans
Contact Theus Law Offices for a free consultation with a succession lawyer in Lafayette LA if you have any questions about a succession or probate.
What are the different types of Louisiana successions?
A succession is defined as accepting the rights of another person as his or her successor. A succession in Louisiana can be with administration or without administration. Administration of a succession is generally necessary when debts or other obligations of a deceased person must be resolved, or if assets must be sold or liquidated. Thereafter, the succession process involves putting heirs or legatees in possession of the assets of the deceased person. A probate lawyer from our Lafayette, Louisiana law firm stands ready to speak with you about two different types of successions in Louisiana:
When someone dies without a Will, they have died “intestate”, which requires an intestate succession in Louisiana. To define heir in Louisiana is easy. The definition of an heir in Louisiana is a person entitled to receive assets from an intestate succession because of their proximity of relationship with the deceased person. The character of property as separate property or community property with determine which intestate heirs are entitled to receive such property, which is the reason disputes often arise of the character of property in an intestate succession.
When someone dies with a Will in Louisiana, they have died “testate”, which will require a testate succession in Louisiana. The definition of a legatee in Louisiana is someone entitled to receive assets of a testate succession, which means they were either named in the Will, or succeeded to an interest of someone who was named in the Will. Legatees of a succession are determined as of the moment of death.
Intestate vs Testate Succession
When someone dies, a living person succeeds to their assets, which must be distributed to a living person. The process for distributing assets is referred to as the probate process or a succession in Louisiana, which will be either intestate or testate depending on whether the person died with a Will. If someone dies without a Will or has a defective Will, a Louisiana intestate succession will be required. If someone died with a will, a testate succession will be required. To probate a will in Louisiana refers to a testate succession.
An ancillary succession in Louisiana is required when someone died while residing outside the State of Louisiana owning real estate in Louisiana. The term “immovable property” means an interest in land or real estate. The terms real estate and immovable property are used interchangeably in Louisiana.
Assets are distributed to legatees of a testate succession who are named in the Will. Assets are distributed to heirs of an intestate succession. Generally, separate property of a deceased person who died without a will devolves to their descendants by root, which means their children in equal portions, and if a child predeceased leaving children, then to his or her children (grandchildren). The surviving spouse of a person who died without a will receives a “legal usufruct” over community property, which terminates upon the sooner of death or remarriage.
If you have questions about a Lafayette, LA succession, please contact a seasoned Lafayette, LA probate lawyer at Theus Law Offices for a free consultation.
When is a Succession Required In Louisiana?
A Louisiana succession is required when someone dies owning real estate (also referred to as “immovable property”) in Louisiana, regardless of whether the person was domiciled in Louisiana.
A Louisiana probate is also required when a person domiciled in Louisiana owning any “probate assets”. Probate assets are asset that are not governed by beneficiary designation, such as an investment account. A Louisiana succession is not required for non-probate assets. Nonprobate assets are assets governed by beneficiary designation, such as life insurance, retirements plans, annuities, or pay on death accounts.
If you have questions about whether a succession is required in Louisiana, contact an experienced Lafayette, LA probate lawyer at Theus Law Offices.
Administration of a Lafayette, LA Succession
Administration of a Louisiana succession is not always required. A testate or intestate succession in Louisiana can be with or without administration. The term “administration” refers to the process of paying or providing for debts of a decedent, selling assets, or addressing other issues that must be resolved prior to placing the heirs or legatees in possession of the assets. An “executor” of a succession is the person charged with responsibility for administration of a testate succession. An “administrator” of succession is the person charged with responsibility for administering an intestate succession.
An executor or administrator must be qualified to serve as such by filing and Oath and must post bond or security to ensure the faithful performance of their duties, unless the requirement is waived in a valid Last Will and Testament.
To find out more about succession law, please contact Theus Law Offices, your local succession law firm in Alexandria, Louisiana.
Good reasons to hire a Lafayette, LA probate lawyer
We recognize that the loss of a loved one is a most difficult time in the lives of our clients. Theus Law Offices, a Lafayette, LA succession law firm Acadiana residents turn to, can see you through the court process as a seasoned guide. Our goal is to help you navigate the probate process as quickly and easily as possible. A knowledgeable succession lawyer in Lafayette, LA (locally referred to as Acadiana) from Theus Law Offices will see to the following:
- Minimizing disputes among heirs or legatees
- Resolving debts or claims against the estate
- Reducing anxiety and stress related to the court process
- Navigating the probate process as quickly and easily as possible
- Addressing forced heirship claims
- Defending challenges to the estate, such as will contests
- Reducing costs by obtaining lower-cost appraisals or valuations, and efficiently producing and filing all necessary court documents
As a probate law firm Lafayette LA residents trust, we know how to efficiently navigate the court process of a succession, which can save time avoid excessive costs. Contact Theus Law Offices, a succession law firm Lafayette LA residence trust, for a free consultation with an experienced succession attorney.
Protecting Everything You Own and Everyone You Love…
A succession lawyer in Lafayette, LA from Theus Law Offices stands ready to help you through the challenging legal process of probate in Acadiana and will provide thorough, seasoned guidance.
Attorney J. Graves Theus, Jr. is certified as a specialist in probate and estate administration by the Louisiana State Board of Legal Specialization. Theus Law Offices serves the entire State of Louisiana helping to administer both small and large successions. In addition, Theus Law Offices has successfully litigated numerous disputes involving wills and trusts.
If you need a succession lawyer in Lafayette LA, or have questions about any other probate topic, please contact our office to schedule a free consultation, or use the link to schedule your Free 15-Minute Call with an experienced probate lawyer in Lafayette, Louisiana.