When a loved one dies in Louisiana their estate generally goes through probate, referred to as succession in Louisiana. Probate can be a time-consuming process. You may wonder if you have any other options, especially if your loved one’s estate was small and your loved one had few heirs. Louisiana provides an alternative to traditional probate to some qualifying individuals: small succession by affidavit.
What is the small succession process?
The small succession process avoids the courtroom and instead is handled by an affidavit, which is a sworn statement. Small succession is available to those who passed away in Louisiana whose property has a gross value of $75,000 or less as of the date of death. The deceased must have died intestate. That means they died without a will. In addition, the deceased’s sole heirs must be:
- Descendants, such as children
- Ascendants, such as parents
- Siblings or descendants thereof
- A surviving spouse; or
A small succession affidavit is all that is needed to permit the deceased’s assets to be passed on to the heirs named in the affidavit.
What must a small succession affidavit include?
Louisiana code outlines the number of people that must execute the affidavit. Louisiana code also provides information on who must sign the affidavit. In addition, the affidavit must be sworn.
The affidavit must include the following information. It must include the date the deceased passed away and where the deceased lived at the time of death. It must state the deceased was intestate at the time of death.
The affidavit must state whether the deceased was married and has a surviving spouse, along with identifying information about the surviving spouse. The affidavit must include identifying information on the deceased’s heirs. The affidavit must also include a statement that any heirs not signing the will could not be found following a reasonable search or the heirs were given 10 days’ notice of the intent to execute the affidavit and had no objections.
The affidavit must contain a description of all the deceased’s assets as well as the value of each asset. The affidavit must include a statement describing each heir’s interest in the deceased’s assets.
The affidavit must contain an affirmation that the heirs, by signing the affidavit, accept the succession as contained in the affidavit. Finally, the affidavit must state that the information in the affidavit is true, correct and complete.
Small succession for simple estates
Small succession may be a good option for those who have a loved one that died intestate with few assets. It is an alternative to the lengthier and more complicated succession process. Those in Gretna who are interested in small succession are encouraged to do their own research on the topic to determine if it is right for them.