widowIf my spoused passed away and we do not have any children, do I need to open succession if I already own the property?  Many people often assume that a succession is not necessary because the widow is on the title to the property. Under Louisiana law a succession is still however needed to transfer full ownership to the widow.

A Widow Must Still Open Succession in Louisiana

Most married couples in Louisiana own property as co-owners as "community property." When one spouse dies, the surviving spouse only owns one-half of the community property that they had together. A succession is needed to transfer ownership of the other one-half owned by the deceased spouse to the widow.  

Unless a succession is done to clear up the title to the property, the widow may run into the problems with home insurance, homestead taxes, and qualifying for benefits related to natural disasters that damage the property. These problems come up because the widow is not the full owner of the property.

Additionally, if the widow needs to refinance a mortgage or borrow against the property, the widow will not be able to do so until the deceased spouse’s succession is completed. This is necessary because the deceased spouse’s ownership in the property must be transferred to the widow so that he or she owns 100% of the property and can grant the mortgage over the property. Unless this is done, most lenders will not approve refinancing.

We Can Help

In this situation a succession is necessary in order to properly transfer ownership of property. It is best to consult with an experienced probate and estates attorney after the death of a loved one in order to determine what is necessary to handle their estate. Louisiana has very different and specific laws relating to successions and probate that differ greatly from those in other states. People often seek legal advice on the internet but fail to recognize what they are reading pertains to other states. Contact us today and let us guide you through what needs to be done to handle an estate in Louisiana.

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