Louisiana Probate | Inheritance Advances in Louisiana
Probate Process In Louisiana
The Louisiana probate process serves a vital purpose. When a resident of Louisiana dies, the Louisiana probate courts oversee the distribution of all assets and belongings left behind. They first appoint a representative to be in charge of the estate, collect and itemize all assets and monetary accounts, pay off all outstanding debts and determine the validity of any existing wills. Finally, when the Louisiana probate court feels satisfied that you have completed all other steps, they authorize the distribution of inheritance funds to the rightful heirs.
Is Probate Required in Louisiana?
According to Louisiana inheritance laws, if you die with a will and the estate has a value greater than $125,000, surviving spouses and children must undergo probate. The Louisiana probate process ensures heirs receive their shares of the estate as intended by the decedent — the person who has died.
How Do You Avoid Probate in Louisiana?
If an individual places assets in a revocable living trust before their death, their beneficiaries will avoid the probate process. Having them name a beneficiary other than the estate for assets to transfer to upon their death will also allow you to receive your inheritance directly.
How Long Does Probate Take in Louisiana?
The timeline for Louisiana probate cases varies depending on the estate’s size and the situation’s complexity. If you or a relative contests the will or other delays occur, it may extend the probate process. It will take at least six months for the executor to take inventory of the estate’s assets and the creditor to submit a claim. Generally, you can expect the probate process in Louisiana to take six months to a year, with a longer timeline for more complicated estates.
How Long Do You Have to File Probate After Death in Louisiana?
There is no specific deadline for filing for probate in Louisiana, and individuals can file a will up to five years after entering probate. An individual may file a will after beginning the process if they find a document with a more recent date.
What Happens if Someone Dies Without a Will in Louisiana?
If an individual dies without a will in Louisiana, their estate becomes subject to intestate succession. During intestate succession, the state will distribute a decedent’s assets according to intestate law. The heirs will receive assets — starting with children and spouses before moving to other descendants. Louisiana’s intestate law largely depends on two factors:
- Whether the property of the deceased is community property — purchased by the decedent and a spouse — or separate property — owned solely by the decedent.
- The degree of each family member’s relationship to the decedent.
When a person dies without a will, the state of Louisiana will distribute their separate property among their relatives, starting with their children and followed by siblings. Any community property will go to the spouse.
Does Louisiana Have an Inheritance or Estate Tax?
Louisiana does not place a tax on estates or inheritances. However, Louisiana is a community property state, meaning that spouses jointly own all property acquired during a marriage. Executors must file the following if the estate exceeds a value of $11,180,000:
- Federal tax returns
- State tax returns
- Federal estate tax returns
- Trust tax returns
An executor must file federal estate taxes within nine months of the person’s death or ask for a six-month extension before the deadline.
Spouses in Louisiana Inheritance Law
If no parents, children or siblings survive the decedent, the entire estate will go to the surviving spouse. In cases where the decedent has children, a spouse can file for the right to use the decedent’s property, but the ownership of the property will fall to the children.
Delays to Your Inheritance in Louisiana
The key problem with the Louisiana probate process is that it takes an extremely long time from start to finish. While the inheritance in probate is in process, heirs cannot access the money their loved one wanted them to have. To make matters worse, the average estate in the US takes a full year and a half to finally distribute the inheritance money to the heirs. This fact is shocking to most heirs in Louisiana and elsewhere who are understandably new to the process. Having a rightful inheritance blocked for years by a legal process can prove very frustrating.
Access Your Inheritance in Louisiana Immediately
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