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.
What’s Included in a Louisiana Estate?
As defined by the probate process in Louisiana, an estate is considered the property that the decedent owned at the time of their death. This property specifically includes what they leave behind in:
An estate also includes any rights and obligations that arise after their death.
Some assets are considered separate from the decedent’s estate. No matter how much these types of property are worth, they won’t be included in the succession estate. Instead, the inheritance will be determined based on who the decedent named as their beneficiary.
For example, some bank accounts, like joint bank accounts or payable-on-death accounts, won’t be included in the probate process. Because they have named beneficiaries, retirement accounts — like IRAs or 401(k)s — and life insurance policies aren’t included in the succession estate. Instead, they go directly to the beneficiary. Similarly, If the property was held in either revocable or living trusts, it will pass outside of probate in Louisiana.
A succession lawyer will be able to determine and clarify what property is included and what is and isn’t subject to Louisiana probate laws.
What to Do If an Estate Requires Probate?
Does your estate require probate in Louisiana? Ensure the process will run smoothly and efficiently by following these four steps:
- Make a list of everyone involved: Many people will be involved in the estate’s probate based on the decedent’s situation and Louisiana’s probate laws. Make note of individuals or organizations who may be potential heirs as well as all close relatives of the decedent — spouse, children, parents, grandchildren and siblings. Include contact information for any known creditors.
- Make a list of assets: Create an asset list that covers the decedent’s personal property in its entirety — including where the assets are located, how they are owned and how much they’re worth. Supplying this information is necessary for the process to move smoothly.
- Make a list of debts: Make a thorough list of all debts the decedent has. This step will include credit card debts, medical bills and mortgages. Any funeral and burial costs should also be included.
- Locate the will: If there is a will, either notarial or holographic, you’ll want to locate it. If there are multiple wills, collect each one. The most recent one will be followed, and if there isn’t any, the property will go through the heirs based on Louisiana’s intestacy laws.
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 for 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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We have over 25 years of experience and over $200 million advanced to thousands of heirs across the country just like you, we have the expertise and size to help you immediately. Let our friendly staff give you a free, no-obligation consultation. We’re more than happy to walk you through the Louisiana probate process and answer all of your questions regarding probate in Louisiana. There are no hidden fees or monthly payments, and credit and income are never an issue.
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