Louisiana law establishes a set amount of time to bring a lawsuit. In many states, this is known as the statute of limitations; however, in Louisiana, this legal deadline is known as prescription.
If you have a legal issue with the succession representative of an estate, the prescriptive period varies depending on the circumstances of your claim. If important to understand all deadlines related to succession and how to protect your rights if you think you have a legal claim against a Louisiana succession representative.
Ten Year Prescription for Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Succession representatives have a fiduciary duty to the estate. That means, succession representatives must act in the best interests of the estate. Succession representatives who fail to perform essential duties, act in their own self-interest, or commit willful misconduct breach their fiduciary duty.
An heir may seek to remove the succession representative or file a lawsuit for damages caused by the succession representative’s breach of fiduciary duty.
Heirs who choose to file a lawsuit for damages based on a succession representative’s breach of fiduciary duty generally have ten years to file a lawsuit. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, the ten-year period may be extended if the disputed actions took place before the succession representative was formally confirmed into the position. In that case, a Louisiana court may begin the ten-year prescriptive period from the date the succession representative was confirmed. Following the confirmation, the representative had a duty to try to recover money as well as fix mistakes or deliberate acts of misconduct. Therefore, the courts have held that the prescriptive period may be ten years from the date the person was confirmed as succession representative.
Two Year Prescription in Other Cases
In some cases that do not involve a breach of fiduciary duty, the amount of time to file a lawsuit against a succession representative is limited to two years. Additionally, a two-year deadline may apply to situations involving certain actions taken by the succession representative that were beyond the succession representative’s authority. For example, there is a two-year prescription for certain transactions related to encumbrances and leases.
Don’t Miss a Critical Deadline
There are strict guidelines for how long you have to file a lawsuit, and Louisiana law is filled with difficult to understand legal language and concepts. We urge you to speak to a lawyer as soon as you discover a potential legal concern with a succession representative. Our experienced Louisiana estate litigation attorneys will thoroughly review all aspects of succession, make sure that all legal deadlines are met, and advise you of all of your legal options.
A successful estate litigation case will mean that your loved one’s wishes are honored and that all potential heirs are treated fairly. We can hold the succession representative accountable. If the succession representative breached their duties, the court may require that the property be recovered or the succession representative reimburse the estate for any losses.
Each year the experienced estate litigation lawyers at Scott Vicknair Law, Estate & Probate Division help hundreds of families throughout Louisiana. We have likely handled a case similar to yours, but even if we haven’t, we have the skill and experience to get you the answers you need, so you can make the right legal choices before the prescription period ends. Your case may not be easy, but your loved one’s estate is worth fighting for.
We invite you to learn more today by contacting us to discuss your succession dispute. We can be reached by phone or fill out our online contact form to have a member of our team contact you.