Small Succession Affidavits

June 21, 2022

A person signing a small succession affidavit with a pen.

Small Succession Affidavits in Louisiana

A small succession affidavit can help families when their loved one has passed on and left behind a small estate. This legal document allows an heir to bypass the court proceedings when claiming a right to the inheritance.

With wills, estate plans, small succession affidavits, and more, planning for your family’s future after your death is a complicated matter. You can trust the knowledgeable succession lawyers at Dowden & Smith to help you protect your family’s future. Call our offices at 337-238-2800 today to talk with our representatives and hear your options.

What is a Small Succession Affidavit in Louisiana?

A small succession affidavit in Louisiana is a written legal document that is used in succession cases where the deceased party left behind assets valued below the state’s maximum threshold. In order to file a small succession affidavit in Louisiana, the estate’s value must be under that threshold, and the affidavit must be executed by two parties.

While the executing parties are typically two named heirs, being a named heir or executor of the estate is not always required to file a small succession affidavit. So, if the deceased only has one living heir, the affidavit can still be completed with the signature of another party.

[Related: Forced Heirship in Louisiana]

A man in front of a laptop thinks about filing a small succession affidavit.Do You Have to File a Full Succession in Louisiana?

You do not always have to file a full succession in Louisiana. You may be able to file for a small succession if the estate is below the allowed threshold. Alternatively, a small succession can be achieved if the deceased passed away more than 25 years ago, regardless of the estate’s value. Knowing the difference between a small succession and a full succession can save you money, time, and peace of mind.

Difference Between Small Succession & Full Succession

With a full succession, the inheriting party must petition the court, go through what is often a lengthy probate process, and wait on a judge’s approval of the succession. When you file a small succession affidavit in Louisiana, the process is much faster and much more cost-effective.

Determining if an estate or party qualifies for a small succession affidavit or a full succession can be challenging. Contact the experienced team of Louisiana succession attorneys at Dowden & Smith for help by calling 337-238-2800. Our team delivers exceptional service and reliable legal advice.

[Related: Basics of Louisiana Inheritance Laws]

Who Qualifies for a Small Succession in Louisiana?

A family of four holds hands on the beach on a clear day.In Louisiana, the same parties that qualify for a full succession will qualify for a small succession affidavit. The list of parties eligible includes:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents

If the deceased had children, the estate would pass to the children first, with grandchildren next in line. In the case of the deceased not having children, the estate would then pass to siblings or parents.

Can You Do a Small Succession Affidavit When There’s a Will?

Typically, if the decedent left a Last Will and Testament, a full succession probate process will need to take place. However, a small succession can be done to bypass the probate process. If the deceased left a will, there may be options for a small succession affidavit, but the Louisiana legislature has very strict guidelines in place for these succession cases.

Contacting an experienced and licensed succession attorney is your best option for filing a small succession affidavit in Louisiana. The succession attorneys at Dowden & Smith are ready to help you with honest and reliable legal advice. Call our office today at 337-238-2800 and schedule a free consultation.

[Related: Difference Between Will & Estate Plan]

Do I Need an Attorney for A Small Succession?

Yes, you should consult an attorney when planning to file a small succession affidavit in Louisiana. A Louisiana attorney will be able to guide you through the process as well as determine complex situations like if the heirs inherit in full ownership, naked ownership, or usufruct.

Succession laws are intricate and involved, so having an experienced attorney on your side is necessary to ensure the succession’s success. At Dowden & Smith, our attorneys can help you figure out your options, file a small succession affidavit, and much more. Schedule a consultation today when you call 337-238-2800 to hear your options.


The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice. The information contained on this site is for general information only and should not be applied to any specific situation. Any use of the site does not create or constitute a client-lawyer relationship between Dowden & Smith and the user of the site. If you require legal advice, consult with an experienced attorney.

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