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How Are Wills Probated in Louisiana?

The process of probating a will in the state of Louisiana is the first step in a succession proceeding.  In the event that the decedent had a will, the will must be proven to be authentic.  Probate refers to the official process of authenticating the will for the succession process before placing the heirs or legatees into possession of the property left to them.

The decision of where to file the succession is important because the court must have jurisdiction in order to issue enforceable orders and judgments.  The succession needs to be open in the proper parish based on the following guidelines:

  • If the decedent lived in Louisiana at the time of the death, the succession must be open in the parish in which he or she lived.
  • If the decedent was not living in Louisiana at the time of the death, the succession should be open in the parish in which the individual owned immoveable or real property.
  • If the decedent did not live in Louisiana at the time of death and did not own any real property in the state, the succession may be opened in the parish where other assets of the decedent are located.

Once you have determined where to file the succession, it’s a good idea to hire a Louisiana succession attorney to file the petition for probate of testament.   If the will is a notarial testament, it is also considered self-proven.  In basic terms, this means that no additional testimony is necessary in order to establish the authenticity of this will.  If the will is holographic, evidence is required to establish the authenticity of the will.  As you can see, these matters can be complex and often require the experience of a Louisiana succession attorney.