In Louisiana, the law provides for a “small succession” which is equivalent to a small estate succession. This is a simplified legal process when the deceased person’s estate in Louisiana has a total value of assets below a certain threshold. A small succession could also apply to a person who died with a will but left no immovable property and probate of the will would have the same effect as if the deceased had died without a will. This allows for an easier settlement of the deceased’s estate without a lengthy court process.
The threshold for a small succession is $125,000.00 or less, gross value. If the total value of a person’s estate is $125,000.00 or less, the heirs can use the small succession process to transfer the assets to the rightful heirs without having to go through a formal probate proceeding.
It is not necessary to open judicially the small succession of a person domiciled in Louisiana who died without a will or with a will but qualifying for a small succession where the sole heirs are the deceased person’s descendants; ascendants; siblings (or descendants thereof); surviving spouse or legatees under a will. The costs of judicial (court) proceedings, if any, related to a small succession are one-half the court costs of larger successions, but there is a minimum cost of $5.00. The compensation of a succession representative shall not be more than five-percent of the gross assets of the succession.
When it is not necessary to open a judicial proceeding, an affidavit is required for the small succession. Two persons. including the surviving spouse, if any, and one more competent heir who is of the age of majority may execute the necessary affidavits setting our the factors to qualify to use the small succession process.
Even with a small succession, issues may arise that need to be addressed. The opinion of an attorney who is familiar with Louisiana succession laws will be of great assistance to you and your family.