Baton Rouge Probate Lawyer

Baton Rouge Probate Lawyer

Baton Rouge Probate Probate Attorney

Most Baton Rouge, LA, families want to make sure a loved one’s final wishes are fulfilled upon their death. Whether or not an estate plan, trust, or will was created prior to their passing, carrying out these wishes requires an involved legal procedure. The process for reviewing and administering a deceased person’s estate is known as probate.

Though not all estates require probate, it is recommended that you consult with a knowledgeable probate attorney as soon as possible to begin making sure every legal process is handled properly and your loved one’s legacy is carried out.

Baton Rouge Probate Lawyer

Baton Rouge Probate Attorney

Louisiana inheritance laws are among the most unique in the country. For this reason, it is important to consider hiring a qualified estate lawyer with the proper knowledge required to handle Louisiana probate. Deanna C. Johnson has been handling estate planning and probate cases in the state for her entire career. Magnolia Law is a firm known for its dedication to client-centered representation, detail, and fierceness in court.

Probate can be a particularly emotional process, as you will be simultaneously grieving the loss of a loved one and evaluating and dividing their often long-built and hard-earned estate. For this reason, we recommend letting our team handle the details of your case and ensuring all legalities are properly handled, no matter their complexity, while you spend time with family and take the necessary time to process in a healthy way.

What Is Probate?

Probate, also known as succession in the state of Louisiana, is the process of evaluating and administering a decedent’s estate. This includes several legal steps:

  • Petitioning the Court. Filing a petition with the court in the decedent’s jurisdiction initiates the probate proceedings.
  • Appointing a Personal Representative. The court will then appoint a representative of the estate, also known as an executor, who will oversee the administration of the succession. This person can be pre-chosen and named in the will or be nominated by the beneficiaries. Otherwise, the court will choose the appointment.
  • Reviewing the will. If one exists, the court will then evaluate and validate the will to ensure its authenticity and validate that it is legally sound, meeting all requirements.
  • Valuing assets. Once all assets have been identified, gathered, and inventoried, the executor will initiate an appraisal of their worth.
  • Settling Debts. If the decedent has any outstanding taxes or debts owed, the personal representative will ensure these are resolved.
  • Dividing property. Once all assets have been gathered and debts and fees have been settled, all remaining property will be divided according to the decedent’s will or the court’s appointment if no will exists.

Do I Need a Probate Attorney to Handle My Loved One’s Estate?

Depending on the value and complexity of your loved one’s estate, you may or may not be required to go to probate. When you discuss the details of your case with a qualified attorney, they are able to discern whether probate will be necessary and can help you prepare and gather the appropriate documents.

When handling legal issues involving assets, debts, and multiple beneficiaries, the process can become overwhelming and complex. Additionally, beneficiaries do not often agree on decisions made during probate, such as the value of assets or even the validity of the will. For this reason, having a skilled probate lawyer can help streamline the process. They’ll be ready to help legally resolve disputes or any other issues that arrive.

A probate lawyer can offer:

  • Guidance and support
  • Knowledge of Louisiana probate law
  • Preparation of all documents
  • Administration assistance
  • Resolutions to disputes and issues
  • Reduced possibility of delays or errors

A Louisiana probate attorney, like Deanna C. Johnson, will be an invaluable guide and resource to represent you and your family in ensuring your loved one’s wishes are fully carried out.

FAQs About Baton Rouge, LA Probate Laws

How Much Does It Cost to Put a Will Through Probate in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, as in other states, the cost associated with putting a will through probate will vary alongside the level of complexity involved in the estate and how cooperative the heirs are during succession. Generally, the cost of probate will increase with the value of an estate, though how well the estate plan was organized will have a greater impact on the cost. In most cases, putting a will through probate can be done for around $5,000.

How Do I Start Probate in Louisiana?

The legal process of starting probate in Louisiana begins with contacting the courts and having a personal representative appointed. Then, if there is a will, you will submit it for review. All qualifying assets will be inventoried and evaluated for both the courts and the beneficiaries to approve before finally distributing them to the appropriate parties. Before beginning the legal process of probate, it is highly recommended you hire an estate lawyer to review and assist with the estate.

Do You Need a Lawyer for Probate in Louisiana?

Hiring a lawyer for probate is not a legal requirement in Louisiana. However, doing so is strongly recommended for several reasons, primarily: 

  • Preparation. An estate attorney can review your estate and determine if probate will be necessary. If so, they can help prepare and gather the necessary information to ensure the smoothest succession.
  • Execution. Probate follows the death of a loved one. Let a skilled attorney handle the complex legalities while your family takes time to grieve.

How Much Does an Estate Have to Be Worth to Go to Probate in Louisiana?

Although you are not required to go to probate for a small estate, you can if you so choose. However, Louisiana inheritance laws require probate for all estates valued at $125,000 or more. Probate is required at that value for both testate and intestate estates. This means that an estate will go through probate, whether there is a will or not, in order to legally distribute assets to any qualified beneficiaries and settle outstanding accounts.

Let Us Manage Your Probate

Probate can be a tedious and sometimes complex process that immediately follows an emotional life event. At Magnolia Law, we are here to help your family handle all the legalities and proceedings required following your loved one’s death. To receive help from an experienced probate attorney, contact our office today.