Every state has its own procedures for dealing with an estate after death. However, Louisiana’s civil code is as unique as its culture and history. For many Bayou State residents, dealing with succession can be frustrating and overwhelming. That’s why it’s beneficial to hire a Louisiana succession attorney who can help the estate executor or beneficiaries to settle the estate.
How Succession Lawyers Ease the Pain of Probate
Under LA law, you don’t have to have a lawyer to execute an estate or administer a trust.
However, succession proceedings can present unexpected challenges. An attorney can navigate you through the uncertainty of the succession process, helping to ensure that an estate remains solvent even when it is under attack by heirs or creditors. There are other benefits to having a Louisiana succession lawyer, including:
You Have a Local Point of Contact
Making sense of probate can be difficult for everyone—especially executors and heirs who live in another state. A Louisiana succession lawyer can help you make sense of the Bayou State’s laws and advocate in your best interests, especially if you cannot regularly travel to the parish probate court.
You Can Trust That State Law Is Followed and Deadlines Are Met
Probate is a deadline-driven process. Even if you live in Louisiana, keeping abreast of the court’s requirements can be challenging. You may be required to initiate probate, amend documents, and notify interested parties of proceedings—all within a relatively short timeframe. Any mistake, no matter how minor, could jeopardize proceedings, setting them back by days, weeks, or months.
They Can Help Ensure the Estate Is Represented By a Competent Executor
If the deceased person had a will, trust, or another estate plan, they most likely nominated an executor. However, executors always have the option of declining the position and all of the associated responsibilities.
If the decedent did not have a will, or the executor does not wish to negotiate succession alone, a Louisiana probate attorney could help you nominate or locate a competent administrator.
They Can Help Ensure Assets Are Marshalled, Inventoried, and Responsibly Managed
While serving as an estate executor could seem like an honor, being a personal representative can be a real challenge. After opening a succession claim and sending notices of probate to interested parties, the executor must:
- Locate all of the deceased person’s assets, including assets in safe deposit boxes, hidden bank accounts, and storage spaces
- Create a comprehensive inventory of the estate
- Appraise any valuable artwork or collectives
- Ensure that estate assets, including investments, are responsibly managed until succession is closed
A lawyer can, at the very least, help executors overcome the many challenges involved in marshalling, inventorying, and managing estate assets.
They Can Help Ensure the Estate Remains Safe From Challenges
Almost any interested party can challenge the terms of a will, trust, or other estate-related decision. Even when challenges appear frivolous, they can still drain the estate of its assets—leaving little left over for deserving heirs and beneficiaries.
An experienced Louisiana probate lawyer could help you, or an executor, appraise the merits of any potential challenges and respond to plaintiff claims accordingly.
They Can Help Ensure That Heirs Receive Their Inheritances
Disbursing inheritances is often easier said than done. Some institutions, including banks and government agencies, may request multiple copies of the deceased person’s death certificate before processing a title transfer.
Scott Vicknair Law for Your Estate and Probate Needs
The succession attorneys for the Estate & Probate Division of Scott Vicknair Law handle probate and estate issues for clients throughout Louisiana. Many of our clients contact us without knowing what specific legal services they need. A family member may have just died and the client is finalizing the estate, or the estate is stuck in probate and they don’t know what to do. Our skilled, experienced succession attorneys analyze the issue they face and find an effective solution.
Because our team has handled so many estates, we’ve probably seen one like yours. Whether you want to create an estate plan or update your current plan, you’re dealing with a disruptive family member who’s causing problems during the estate settlement process, or you’re trying to validate a last will and testament, our exceptional attorneys will work to help you protect your legal rights. Our attorneys understand complicated family dynamics and have worked with estates of all sizes. Contact us online, or call Scott Vicknair Law, Estate & Probate Division today at 504-264-1057.