In Louisiana, a succession refers to the legal process of settling a deceased person’s estate and distributing the property (after all debts are paid).
Real estate professionals will want to ensure that the person trying to sell a property has the proper authority to do so. This can mean the person selling has a judgement of possession or has been appointed as independent administrator/executor.
- Independent Executor – appointed when the deceased person left a valid will that designates an executor who can act without court supervision.
- Independent Administrator – appointed when all heirs agree on the person to represent the estate who can act without court supervision.
- Judgement of Possession – a court order that officially transfers ownership of property from the deceased person to their heirs
Five reasons that filing a succession in Louisiana is a crucial step that needs to be taken before selling property:
1. Ownership Transfer – it is impossible to transfer ownership of the property to a buyer legally without filing a succession. This is because the property’s title remains in the name of the deceased, and only the succession can transfer ownership to the heirs.
2. Clear Title – filing a succession ensures that the property’s title is clear. The succession process involves identifying all heirs and creditors and resolving any issues related to the property’s ownership or debts owed.
3. Protected Interests – filing a succession protects the interests of all parties involved. It ensures that the deceased person’s wishes are respected, and their assets are distributed according to their will or Louisiana law. It also protects the buyer, ensuring that they are purchasing the property from its rightful owner and that there are no legal disputes or claims that could arise later on.
4. Expedite the Sale – while the succession process can take several months to complete, it is a necessary step before any sale can take place. Once the succession is complete, the property can be listed for sale, and any interested buyers can move forward with the purchase.
5. Peace of Mind – without filing a succession, there is a risk of legal disputes and delays that can be costly and time-consuming. A succession ensures that the sale is legal and that all necessary steps have been taken to protect everyone’s interests.
Successions can be a long & muddled process, but it ensures that the property’s ownership is transferred legally, the title is clear, all parties’ interests are protected, the sale process is expedited, and peace of mind is attained.