In Louisiana the process of handling a deceased person’s estate, or paying their debts and distributing their assets, is called a Succession - other states call it Probate. Our attorneys will guide you through that complex process to make sure it is handled correctly and efficiently. We can also represent you as an heir in successions handled by other attorneys, if you feel your interests are not protected.
If you have recently lost a loved one, you may need to open a succession. This legal process allows heirs or successors to take possession of property, and gain access to things like bank accounts. Once the successors are granted possession of the immovable, it can be sold, refinanced or leased to someone else.
The level of complication and cost of a succession will vary depending on your circumstances. The factors to consider are the number, type and value of assets and debts and the degree of cooperation among those entitled to inherit the property. The most complex successions can take years to complete, but that is rare, most successions take around three months to a year.
If you have lost a loved one, it is important to open succession as soon as practicable. Delays in opening succession could cause problems. Common problems families face when waiting too long include losing assets, loss in value of property, having to pay back taxes, losing important documents such as a will, and one we see a lot, losing touch with the legal heirs. It is hard to close a succession when you cannot find all of the legal heirs.
If you have lost a loved one and think you need to open succession, contact us today! We can provide you with the information you need.
Here at Arena Law Firm, we offer expertise in the area of Estate Planning through our highly experienced attorneys, for estates ranging from simple to complex.
Regardless of the extent of one’s estate, we should always consider the value of peace of mind for ourselves and our loved ones. The advantages of proper estate planning offer tremendous relief and understanding for individuals and their families, and effective planning can help avoid many pitfalls that may otherwise befall an individual’s estate.
Last Will & Testament
A Last Will & Testament is a legal document that explains and communicates the wishes of the Testator (the person making the Will) pertaining to the transfer and distribution of the Testator’s assets upon their passing.
Given the unique nuances of Louisiana succession laws relating to ownership and heirship, a Last Will & Testament is a vital instrument in ensuring that your wishes are known and honored according to your intentions.
Without a Last Will & Testament, an individual’s assets will be subject to the default Louisiana laws, which oftentimes result in undesired heirship dynamics.
Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby the individual making the Power of Attorney (the “Principal”) designates another person or persons (the “Agent(s)”) to act on his or her behalf. Such actions may relate to the management of financial, property, and medical affairs, and a Power of Attorney is a very important tool in obtaining a comprehensive estate plan.
In the event an individual becomes incapacitated and is therefore unable to take actions on his or her own, and that individual does not have a power of attorney in place, then the alternative under Louisiana law is an interdiction proceeding, which is often costly, laborious, and difficult for families.
There are many types of trusts, each with specific intentions and effects, all of which depend upon an individual’s estate planning goals. Trusts can be used for organizational purposes, for helping to avoid probate, for creditor protection, estate tax planning, preservation of assets, and other long-term advantages.
Generally, we most often incorporate Testamentary Trusts and/or Revocable Living Trusts into an individual’s estate plan. A Testamentary Trust is one that is part of an individual’s Last Will & Testament, and which only comes into existence upon the Testator’s death, whereas a Revocable Living Trust is one that comes into existence during the individual’s life.
Otherwise, more complex trusts may be advisable for certain estates, and the experts at Arena Law Firm are here to walk you through the details, advantages, and options relating to a multitude of trust dynamics.
Living Will Declarations
A Living Will Declaration is a legal document that provides written instructions and advanced directives for family members, doctors and caregivers. For example, a Living Will Declaration is observed in the event that an individual is terminally ill, comatose, in the late stages of dementia, or near the end of life.
The Living Will Declaration is very effective for providing peace of mind and eliminating unknowns that your loved ones may otherwise face if your estate plan lacked a Living Will.
Disposition of Remains
A Disposition of Remains document is one that sets forth an individual’s wishes relating to the handling and disposition of their body after death. Whether the wishes involve traditional burial, cremation, or other intentions, a Disposition of Remains form is advisable for ensuring that your loved ones know with certainty what your desires are.
We want to see you succeed—it’s our passion and our motivation. Whether you are starting a new business, at a turning point to scale your business to the next level, or winding down looking for a succession plan, we can help you navigate those paths.
Here are several of the ways that the Arena Law Firm can help you navigate your business needs.
If you have a great idea for a business or product, and don’t know where to start – we got you! Our services cover everything a new business owner could need. We can help you avoid the most common mistakes of startups by assisting with choosing an entity and registering it with the secretary of state, working with your investors, creating your operating agreement and other contracts, applying for trademark protection, and guiding you through any regulatory requirements. After you’re up and running, it is important to have lawyers on standby that know you and your business to handle any issues that come up along the way.
It can be intimidating to file a trademark with the Secretary of State or USPTO. We can help you pick a unique, creative registerable mark or provide a clearance report to help you determine if a mark you’ve already selected is registrable. You have us from start to finish, we can file the application and follow the process until the protection is granted – and defend your mark if someone infringes on your protection.
Regulatory and Compliance
We have extensive experience dealing with regulatory matters, whether it’s dietary supplements, food and alcohol, cosmetics – we will walk you through the regulatory red tape, so your business is off to a good start. We have the expertise needed to guarantee you are in full compliance with the myriad of federal and state regulations governing your business.
Now that social media is a major source of communication for consumers, laws around advertising and product claims are fast evolving. We help businesses by developing product claims or vetting proposed product claims to make sure they avoid false or confusing statements that could mislead consumers. Our goal is maximizing business creativity and sales while minimizing risk!
Business Sales and Acquisitions
Purchasing or selling a business is a big decision for anyone and the process has a lot of moving parts. Our attorneys can help with any step of the process or handle the whole transaction. Our experience includes structuring and analyzing proposed transactions, negotiating the terms of the deal, and preparing the transactional documents.
Employment Law Consulting
We have helped countless clients create employee handbooks that are tailored to their actual business activities and practices. We can do the same for you, we will get to know your company inside and out, then work with you to create this essential document. We can also help with developing recruitment strategies, compensation packages and employee contracts.
Outside General Counsel
Many small businesses that don’t have room in the budget for on-staff attorneys, hire us to represent them on an as needed basis. We typically handle reviewing, drafting, and negotiating contracts, employment law advice, regulatory compliance, corporate governance, negotiating disputes and handling any matters that end up in litigation.
Our attorneys will guide you through the complicated process of establishing your nonprofit as a business entity, creating your articles of incorporation and bylaws, and obtaining tax-exempt status from the IRS. We can also advise choosing an appropriate name, developing your mission statement, structuring the operations, corporate governance and board fiduciary obligations, hiring strategies and recruitment and compensation of employees and consultants.
Schedule a Complimentary Consultation
Need a complimentary consultation? Call us at the number listed below or fill out the contact form and someone will reach out to you shortly to schedule.
We look forward to showing you how we can help. Join us in the Arena.