If you have been named as the executor of an estate in Louisiana, you’ll likely be concerned with fulfilling your duty to the deceased person. They may have been your friend or a family member, so you’ll be feeling a huge amount of responsibility when it comes to ensuring that you successfully handle the succession process.
It is worth noting that if you feel that you are not up to the task of handling the succession, you are not obligated to continue, even if you are the named executor. However, if you do take on the task, remember that you must fulfill your duties with the utmost honesty and diligence. This is a fiduciary duty under the law. If you have been named as the executor of an estate, the following is an overview of some of the actions that you must take.
Collecting all assets
You will need to start by identifying all of the assets held within the estate. Compiling an itinerary of all assets, as well as debts such as loans and outstanding bills, will help you to move forward in the process.
Deciding on the succession process
In Louisiana, probate is known as succession. You will need to decide whether the last will and testament should go through succession in court. Usually, this will be necessary so that the courts can ensure that the last will is valid and oversee the entire process.
Any beneficiaries that are named in the will should be contacted by you. If they are not already aware, they should be informed of the testator’s passing and of the fact that they have been mentioned as a beneficiary in the will.
Paying off debts and taxes
Before beneficiaries gain their inheritances, all debts in the estate must be paid. These must take precedence and it is the responsibility of the executor to make sure that this is done.
Ensuring beneficiaries gain their inheritance
Finally, the remains of the estate will need to be divided among beneficiaries as specified in the will.
If you have been named as the executor of an estate in Louisiana, conduct thorough research to ensure that you fulfill your duties.