blocks spelling out estate tax

Whether your loved one left a will or died intestate, you are confident about one thing. Your loved one did not want their assets to go towards succession taxes. Instead, your loved one wanted you and their other heirs to inherit as much as possible.

You want to honor your loved one’s wishes, and you know that you must comply with all state laws. Accordingly, you likely have questions.

Will Succession Taxes Cut Into Your Inheritance?

The short answer is no.

Under current Louisiana law, you don’t have to worry about paying succession taxes after a loved one dies. Instead, your loved one’s property and assets should be distributed to succession heirs according to the terms of your loved one’s will or the Louisiana intestacy laws after all costs of settling the estate are paid.

It wasn’t always like this in Louisiana, however. Until relatively recently, there used to be two types of succession taxes in Louisiana. If you were involved in a succession previously, you might have dealt with:

  • State inheritance taxes. Louisiana law used to require that an inheritance tax return be filed with the Louisiana Department of Revenue before a succession was opened. The Louisiana Department of Revenue would then issue a certificate that had to be attached to the petition for possession when the succession case was filed with the court. This law has been repealed, and there is no longer an inheritance tax for people who died after June 30, 2004. Therefore, nothing needs to be filed with the Louisiana Department of Revenue before, during, or after a succession case is filed with the court.
  • Estate transfer taxes. Louisiana law used to require that an estate transfer tax return be filed if the decedent’s net estate was $60,000 or more. The estate would then be given a federal tax credit for the amount of state estate taxes that were paid. In 2001, federal law changed and no longer permitted a federal tax credit for taxes paid to the state. The effect of the change in federal law was that Louisiana estate transfer taxes no longer apply to people who died on or after January 1, 2005.

For a short time in the late 1980s, New Orleans also had its own inheritance tax. However, like the Louisiana inheritance taxes described above, that law no longer applies.

Currently, Louisiana law does not permit these taxes, and your loved one’s estate will not owe state inheritance taxes or estate transfer taxes regardless of the size of the estate.

Can Succession Laws Change?

While succession taxes are not currently a concern for Louisiana heirs, these taxes were an issue in the past and potentially could be an issue again in the future. Additionally, other succession laws may change and affect your loved one’s estate in ways that you do not anticipate.

Our Louisiana succession lawyers make sure that we:

  • Are always up to date on the latest changes to Louisiana succession law and federal estate tax law
  • Provide you with all of your legal options
  • Answer all of your questions completely and accurately
  • Provide easy and cost-effective solutions for succession issues
  • Let you know our step-by-step process for handling your loved one’s estate

Whether you have a simple succession or a succession that is complicated by family members who can’t agree on what should happen next or other factors, our New Orleans succession lawyers are here to help you. We help hundreds of families all over Louisiana each year, and we will work hard to resolve your loved one’s estate quickly and easily.

You shouldn’t have to deal with the complications of a Louisiana succession while you grieve. Instead, let us shoulder that burden for you. Call us, start a live chat with us, or fill out our online contact form today to schedule your first meeting with us so that you can start and finish the succession process with as little stress as possible.