The cost of probate in Louisiana can have a wide range. Probate (more commonly referred to as The Succession Process in Louisiana) is the court-supervised proceeding that begins the process of settling taxes and debts the estate owes, and then transferring ownership of remaining assets to the appropriate heirs and inheritors.
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The cost can fluctuate, depending on a number of factors like:
The estate’s size
How complex the estate is
How thorough the Estate Planning was
If an attorney is used
How much the Personal Representative is compensated
How much debt the estate has
Common Probate Fees in Louisiana
While the average cost of probate in Louisiana can widely range, it’s generally a fairly expensive process. Many probates will cost a minimum of $5,000.
There are some probate fees that most estates will need to pay. These can include some or all of the following:
Various filing fees and court costs
Any attorney fees
Any Succession Representative compensation - in the state of Louisiana, reasonable compensation is allowed. Compensation is often clarified in the Will, but if nothing is listed, 2 ½ percent is common
Miscellaneous professional fees
Executor Bond (if required by the court; will typically be returned upon completion of succession)
Real estate recording fees
Common Questions About Probate in Louisiana
How Long Does Probate Take in Louisiana?
Probate (succession) in Louisiana on average will take two to nine months to fully close out. Larger, more complex estates can take substantially more time and very simple basic states can be relatively fast.
How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Louisiana?
Probate lawyer fees in Louisiana range, making it hard to give an accurate amount. Some attorneys will charge a flat rate for the process, and others may bill hourly. Probate attorneys can also bill by a percentage of the estate value. Total attorney fees could easily amount to $3,000 - $5,000.
How to Avoid Probate in Louisiana
If you’re looking for ways to avoid probate in Louisiana, you should know that not all estates are required to go through the process. Certain circumstances could drastically reduce the complexity of the process, and others might even eliminate it all together.
Create a Revocable Living Trust
Don’t have any assets that are titled only in your name
Look into the independent administration procedure that Louisiana offers
Louisiana also has what’s known as “Affidavit of Small Succession” (commonly known as a small estate).
What is Considered a Small Estate in Louisiana?
An Affidavit of Small Succession can be used by any surviving spouse or any adult inheritor. It can be used only if the decedent owned less than $125,000 in total assets and property, and if he or she passed away intestate (without a Will).
Who Pays Probate Fees in Louisiana?
Probate fees - including probate attorney fees - in Louisiana are paid for out of the estate.