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In Louisiana is necessary to open a succession to transfer real estate. The heirs have the choice of either putting themselves in possession of the real estate in which case they own it jointly or else putting the succession under administration. If the succession is put under administration the real estate may be sold and then the heirs are put in possession of the proceeds of the sale after paying the costs of the estate.

In Louisiana if one dies without a will then the decedent died intestate. In an intestate succession there are rules based on their relationship with the decedent that specify which heirs are entitled to inherit the property of the estate.

If one dies with a valid will then the property of the estate will be distributed according to dictates of the will. There is an exception for forced heirs. Louisiana used to have a strong laws in favor of forced heirs but those laws have been relaxed and today it is uncommon to have forced heirs who impinge upon the will.

You may have heard warnings about avoiding probate. In Louisiana most wills that are drafted by attorneys are simply filed with the court. If there is no opposition to the will there is no need for any other proceeding.