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Successions and Probate Archives

Settling an estate's debts

One who is asked to serve as the personal representative of the estate of a family member or friend in Baton Rouge may immediately envision the feelings of satisfaction that no doubt come with helping beneficiaries claim their allotred interest. While that can certainly make the job worth it, one should know that a number of administrative steps must be taken before they can start sending out money to a decedent's heirs. One of these is paying off whatever debts and liabilities the decedent left behind. Given that MoneyWise reports that the average American will die with over $61,000 in debt, it may be safe to say that as a personal representative, one will almost certainly have to deal with creditors. 

Probating small estates in Louisiana

You have likely heard from many in Baton Rouge that the probate process is long and costly and one that should be avoided. That is the attitude that many bring with them when they come to see our team here at Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law. Yet the truth is that probate is not always bad, and contrary to what many may believe, probate court officials are not keen on wasting theirs or you time. Thus, they want to have the estate you are party to administered as fast as possible. That might even mean bypassing the probate process altogether. 

Probate is not always bad

While estate planning in Louisiana, the term probate comes up fairly often. CNN Money describes probate as the legal process that takes place after a person passes away. The process entails verifying the authenticity of a will and then distributing assets. When there is no will, then probate court must make the decisions as to how assets are divided. It may sound simple enough, but probate can be costly in time and money.

What is involved in the probate process?

Dealing with the death of a loved one is not an easy process, as there are a myriad of emotions involved. In addition, you may have to deal with the recently deceased’s estate and ensuring the property is distributed to the beneficiaries properly. In Louisiana, and in many other states across the country, the estate enters the probate process as a way to ensure all of the final issues are settled. The estate administrator or executor of the estate is often the party responsible for ensuring all matters are taken care of appropriately.

Usufructuaries and naked ownership

Sometimes, after a person in Louisiana dies, an asset left to a beneficiary does not immediately transfer to that person's possession. If you find yourself in this position as the new owner of the asset, you may be wondering what will happen next. The legal team at Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law, often advises clients who have questions about Louisiana inheritance laws.

Detailing Louisiana's intestate succession laws

Despite estate planning experts in Baton Rouge extolling the benefits of seeing to such matters early on in one's life, a surprisingly high number of American adults do not have a will. While the issue of not having a will and testament in place may not concern you personally, you could be impacted should a person to whom you are an heir dies without one. Countless clients come to us here at Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law concerned with how the estates of their loved ones who died intestate (without a will) will be administered. Fortunately, the state has established guidelines to govern such cases. 

What happens to your property if you die without a will?

If you pass away in Louisiana without a will or other estate planning document in place, you may want to know what will become of your assets, property and debt. The answer depends on whether your property is community property or separate property, and what the relationship the survivors are to you.

When should I start succession planning?

Louisiana business owners must look to the future, especially when it comes to their retirement. For instance, putting off succession planning to a later date could negatively impact the future of the business you worked so hard to create. That’s why NextAvenue.com recommends beginning the following process as soon as possible to ensure your business remains in good hands even after you retire.

Succession disputes and family conflicts

When someone leaves their loved ones with assets after they pass away, they likely wish for family members to appreciate their decisions and benefit from what they have inherited. Unfortunately, sometimes disputes arise over succession and these disagreements have the potential to create serious conflict within a family. In some cases, family drama may be so severe that family members may never speak with each other ever again. At the very least, these disagreements can create even more anxiety and emotional pain when many people are already struggling with losing someone who they loved.

The succession process in Louisiana

Residents in Louisiana may have heard their relatives or friends in other states talk about probate, a legal process that may take place after a person dies. The state of Louisiana refers to probate as succession. Understanding some of the key elements to this process is important for anyone who may be the executor of a will or an heir to all or part of another person's estate.

Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
11777 Justice Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70816

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