Managing the succession process in Louisiana can be quite a challenge. Individuals often struggle to understand their responsibilities and properly fulfill them. Small mistakes can lead to litigation in succession court or even personal financial liability.
Mistakes can occur for all kinds of reasons, ranging from oversights to misunderstandings about legal responsibility. There are certain mistakes that are far more common than others, and they often result in significant consequences for the succession representative managing the succession proceedings. The three errors below are some of the most common complications that may inspire challenges in succession court.
Distributing resources too soon
Certain parties have an interest in the state of the deceased party. Tax authorities and personal creditors generally have a right to repayment that supersedes the right of inheritance enjoyed by the people named in someone’s testamentary documents. The failure to retain sufficient resources to repay creditors and to cover all tax obligations might mean that those responsibilities fall to the succession representative who failed to properly handle estate resources.
They don’t keep adequate records
Parties ranging from creditors and the courts to beneficiaries disappointed with their inheritance might have questions about how someone handled the resources of the estate. Succession litigation could possibly follow if there aren’t adequate records affirming why someone made certain financial moves or how they used the assets from within the estate. Keeping thorough records of every bill paid and piece of property distributed or liquidated will be of the utmost importance for protecting someone from conflict in succession court later.
Letting emotions override responsibility
Sometimes, people feel bad for a family member slated to receive less property than others and will let their feelings influence how they handle estate resources. Pre-existing relationship issues and conflicts that arise during the succession process could lead to someone failing to follow state law or abide by the instructions provided by the testator. Such mistakes could easily lead to the representative’s removal or their responsibility for assets that they distributed improperly.
Those tasked with managing the succession process should seek to fulfill their responsibilities appropriately, keep records of their actions and follow the instructions provided by the testator, as well as state law. Understanding the most common mistakes that people make can take some of the risk out of succession proceedings.