Some successions cost more than others. Generally, the estate's value and the estate planning that occurred before your loved one died will impact succession costs.
Before you get started with a succession, it may help to understand the different expenses that may come up during the succession process.
Different Types of Succession Costs
Some of the costs associated with Louisiana successions include:
- Court costs. Each parish establishes its own succession court costs. These fees are typically a few hundred dollars. In 2020, Orleans Parish succession court costs were as follows: $410 for Administration or Simple Possession or $223 for an Administration or Simple Possession of an estate worth $125,000 or less. Additionally, there was a court fee of $172 for a petition for notice of application for appointment of Administrator.
- Attorney fees. If you choose to work with a lawyer, the lawyer will charge for their work. Our attorneys are committed to cost-effective solutions throughout the probate process. We will explain our fees to you, so you know what to expect and understand why legal help may be cost-effective for the succession situation you face. Other states allow attorney fees up to a certain percentage of a probate estate. Louisiana, however, allows reasonable attorney fees. Therefore, it is important to talk to a potential succession lawyer about how reasonable fees are defined by the firm you are considering hiring.
- Executor or Administrator fees. Estate executors and administrators have significant succession responsibilities that can take a lot of time and effort. Accordingly, executors and administrators may be paid. Some family members who serve in this role choose to waive their fees. Sometimes, however, the executor's fee is defined in the will. If the executor or administrator does not waive the fee and the fee is not defined in the will, Louisiana law allows executors and administrators to collect fees of up to 2.5% of the estate's net value.
- Accounting fees. If tax returns, including income tax returns, need to be filed, you may require an accountant's services. The accountant should provide you with information about their fee before work begins.
- Appraisal and valuation fees. All of the estate's property must be valued for tax purposes and sometimes for distribution purposes. Some property is easy to value without added appraisal or valuation fees. For example, you know how much money is in a bank account or what a stock was worth on the day your loved one died. However, other property such as jewelry, real estate, artwork, and businesses may require expert appraisals to establish fair market value. Appraisal and valuation fees may range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars depending on what is appraised.
- Other expenses. Other expenses such as survey fees, real estate title searches, insurance costs, and moving expenses may also be incurred during succession. Some costs such as any bonds posted by the executor are refundable once the succession is over.
How to Keep Succession Costs Down
Every succession is different. Generally, succession costs may be managed by:
- Advanced planning. Your loved one's comprehensive estate plan and detailed will can help minimize succession costs.
- Organization. Identifying all estate property, creditors, and potential heirs can help the succession process run smoothly and decrease costs.
- Attorney representation. An experienced Louisiana succession lawyer can offer cost-effective and time-efficient solutions for the unique succession issues you face.
What Will Your Loved One's Succession Cost?
While each succession is different with different costs involved, we can help you estimate succession costs if you contact our office for more information. Our New Orleans succession attorneys help hundreds of Louisiana families with their succession needs every year. We have helped families resolve complicated and simple succession issues with as little stress and cost as possible.
Contact us today by phone, live chat, or by completing our online contact form to learn how we may help you resolve your family's succession needs and what succession could cost your loved one's estate.