If you lived in Louisiana at the time of your passing, your estate will likely be subject to the state’s probate laws. Probate ensures that a deceased person’s will is valid and carried out in a timely manner. However, there is a chance that your assets will transfer to their intended beneficiaries immediately upon your death.
Trust assets are generally not subject to probate
Items held inside of a trust are not considered to be part of your estate, which means that courts will distribute them per the trust’s terms. In some cases, the court will retain property until a beneficiary reaches the age of majority, overcomes a substance abuse problem or meets other conditions.
Joint assets will likely transfer to your spouse
Louisiana is a community property state, which means that your spouse has an ownership interest in any property acquired after the marriage was officially recognized. In most cases, he or she will acquire full ownership rights to those assets without the need for a formal court proceeding.
How much was your estate worth?
Under Louisiana law, estates valued at less than $75,000 may be able to bypass probate. Your estate administration representative will file a sworn statement with the court saying that they will transfer assets in accordance with your will without any outside assistance.
An estate administration attorney may be able to help determine if your estate qualifies for a streamlined probate process. It is important to note that family members, creditors or other interested parties may still take legal action against your estate regardless of your final wishes.
Creating a will, trust or other estate plan documents may make it easier for surviving family members to settle your affairs in a timely manner. An attorney may be able to work with your estate representative to ensure that your final wishes are carried out in a timely and adequate manner.