Being an heir of an out of state relative can be tricky, but here’s an overview of how Louisiana law works in relation to acquiring property in Louisiana when you reside in another state.
Firstly, this is more common of an occurrence than one might think. There are laws in place to protect individuals and their assets as long as the proper process is followed.
If someone died leaving property in Louisiana for you in their will, here’s what you need to do to make sure your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed:
The first question that needs to be answered is whether the property is real property, immovable (real estate) or movable.
If the property is real estate (immovable property), the heirs OR legatees listed in the will have to be placed in possession of the property. This is done through a Succession proceeding in Louisiana.
A Succession is when one person (successor) takes over or is placed into possession of another person’s (predecessor) property. A petition (law suit) is filed in the court of the Parish where the property is located requesting that the heirs or legatees be recognized as the owners of the property. The type of proceeding depends on whether Probate proceedings are opened in the other state. If proceedings are opened in the other state, then an Ancillary Succession Proceeding can be done in Louisiana. If no proceedings are opened in the other state, then a regular Succession proceeding must be opened in Louisiana. If the decedent had a will, which meets the requirements of the state where the Aunt died, Louisiana has a procedure for recognizing that will.
If, on the other hand, the property is movable, then the heirs need only take possession of the property without any judicial proceedings. If for any reason they cannot get access to the property – for instance, if a bank account is in the decedent’s name only – then a Succession proceeding may need to be initiated in Louisiana if the banking institution does not recognize the foreign state’s proceedings.
Need help working out the details of figuring out whether or not you need to file a succession?
Contact Mike Broussard for a free consultation today!