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