Louisiana Personal Representative Lawyer
One of the most common reasons to hire a Louisiana personal representative attorney is because there are different kinds of succession proceedings and succession alternatives within the state. Many successions in Louisiana can be managed without estate administrations but those that are more complicated might require the support of an experienced personal representative attorney in Louisiana.
When administration is necessary, either a will or court must name someone to administer the estate and this individual is referred to as a succession representative. The succession representative must take control of preserving, collecting and managing that property of the estate in accordance with the law. This personal representative is considered to own all of the property in the succession and maintaining the ability to enforce any debts in it as well.
Rules About Serving as a Personal Representative in Louisiana
A person named as executor in the will typically works as the succession representative so long as they are not barred from doing so. This is the case for any decedent who had a last will and testament. The person must not be:
- Mentally incapacitated or incompetent
- A convicted felon
- Under 18 years of age
- A non-resident of the state who is not also appointed as an agent of residence for process service
- A corporation that is not approved to perform these duties in Louisiana
- A person who is found to be unfit for the role
If the estate is to be distributed under Louisiana intestate law, the succession representative must be:
- An heir’s legal representative
- A surviving heir or spouse
- A creditor of the estate
- The representative of the surviving spouse or heir, or
- A joint owner of real estate with the person who passed away
In the event that more than one individual wants to serve as the personal representative, the court then evaluates all of the different parties who have come forward and chooses the best qualified among those.
Another reason to retain the services of a personal representative lawyer in Louisiana is because there are strict rules associated with serving as a personal representative. Many people who end up in this role are friends or family member of the deceased but they might not realize all of the tasks involved or the responsibility of posting bond. The succession representative has to post a security or bond to ensure the performance of their duties and this is typically given by an insurance company. The amount of the bond must be at least one fourth the total value of that property inside the estate. If it can be shown that less is required to protect the heirs and creditors, then a lower bond might be approved by the court.
Most people who are appointed as a personal representative in a last will and testament are not required to post bond. A personal representative needs to begin the case by filing the proper paperwork to submit the case to probate. After that point in time it is their responsibility to gather all of the materials that are inside the probate estate so that these can be managed as part of the overall estate.
Creditors are then given a time period to come forward and lodge their claims. After this point it is then the responsibility of the executor to determine that all creditors and taxes have been paid so that remaining distributions can be made to beneficiaries. If a mistake is made at this point in time, having a personal representative attorney can help to protect the interests of the person who served in this role and can also make things easier for beneficiaries who might need their own personal representative lawyer to advise them about their rights and responsibilities. If you find yourself in the position of being appointed in this role but are not clear about what you need to do moving forward, you’ll want to get the support of an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible.