Every state has some sort of probate law which govern the division and distribution of a decedent’s estate. These laws give guidance to how an estate, including property and assets, should be handed over to the decedent’s family members and loved ones. If the decedent had a will, then the process is generally a lot easier. A personal representative is listed in the will. The heirs are also plainly listed along with what they are to receive. This makes it much easier for the probate court and the personal representative to divide the estate. When there is no will, the court has to appoint a personal representative and decide how to distribute the estate. Intestate laws govern these instances.
In Louisiana, probate can be avoided in some cases. Typically, in cases when the estate does not have a value of at least $50,000 and where there is no real property or assets, probate may not be something that you have to worry about. There are two types of probate law: those which are testate and those which are intestate. Testate probate law provides guidance for when there is actually a will. Intestate laws govern cases where there is no will.
Probate Succession in Louisiana
In Louisiana, one of the first things that are considered after a person has died is whether their property was owned jointly or separately. Separately owned property usually is not given to the spouse after the decedent dies and in many cases the jointly owned property goes to the children and not the spouse. In cases where there are no children, then the spouse would inherit the property.
One way to override this is to have a will. An individual can make sure that their spouse does receive all separate and community property in the event of their death. There is also a term know as "forced heirs". These are children of the decedent who are younger than 24 years. Forced heirs always receive a portion of the estate or the decedent’s property no matter what, even if there is a will. Permanently disabled children are also considered a forced heir.
Not all property in Louisiana has to be probated. Retirement assets are an example of property that does not have to be probated, nor taxed. Life insurance also is not probated as long as it is left for a specific person. If an individual finds that they are not satisfied with the laws which govern succession of property in the state of Louisiana, it is best that they fill out a will. They will have a lot more power in determining who gets which of their belongings.
Probate loans are great for individuals that need money right away and are not willing or able to wait for their inheritance. Because probate can be held up due to someone contesting the will a slow and/or testy personal administrator or a problem proving that the estate owner is deceased, it may take months or even years to receive an inheritance payout. Loans on inheritance will allow beneficiaries to get their money quickly, in many cases, within 3-5 days.
Probate Resources- Louisiana
Inheritance Taxes- Louisiana
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