Louisiana law defines the term succession to mean the transmission of the estate of a deceased person to his/her successors. A succession can be accomplished in a variety of ways depending on the type of assets involved and whether or not there was a last will and testament. When real or immovable property is involved, the most common form is the filing of a succession proceeding with the district court for a judge to execute a judgment of possession putting the heirs into ownership of the estate. Another version is filing a succession proceeding putting the estate under administration to be managed by a succession representative.
While both forms above require a succession proceeding to be filed with the district court, there is a third option. The affidavit of small succession can be used when a person dies owning real property and the value is not over $125,000 or the date of death occurred at least 20 years prior to the recording of the affidavit. It transfers property in the same manner as a judgment of possession. The surviving spouse, if any, must be a party to this affidavit. The surviving spouse must be joined by at least one major heir. If there is no surviving spouse, two major heirs may fill out the affidavit. If there is only one major heir and no surviving spouse, this affidavit must also be signed by a second person who has actual knowledge of the matters stated therein. A “major heir” is an heir of the deceased who is at least eighteen years of age. In addition, a natural tutor may execute this affidavit on behalf of a minor child without the necessity of a judicial appointment or court order.
For all three versions, please seek local legal counsel.
For certain qualified families, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) may be able to provide succession assistance. You can apply by phone 1-844-244-7871 or online at www.slls.org. A copy of the referral form and eligibility information can be found in the forms section of our website. Click here for the form.
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
715 St. Ferdinand St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
- Affidavit of Small Succession Checklist for SLLS
- Small Succession Data Form and Checklist provided by our office to be completed by the surviving spouse or an heir.
- Death Certificate
- If you do not have the death certificate, the Ascension Parish Clerk of
- Court’s office can assist you with obtaining one. Click here for additional information.
- Copy of the obituary (if available online)
- Copy of the acquisition document from the Ascension Parish Clerk of Court
- Our office can assist in identifying this document for the surviving spouse or heir.
Succession matters can be complex and diverse affecting themselves and others. Parties utilizing SLLS recognize that no attorney client relationship has been established between the Ascension Parish Assessor’s Office and themselves and they must apply for succession assistance. They recognize the succession is being done without compensation to the Ascension Parish Assessor’s Office. They further acknowledge and understand that no title examination or title opinion was requested of, nor performed, and the property description, appearances and amounts were produced from the public record and are responsible for any fees to obtain a certified copy of a death certificate and any recording fees, if any.