When To Open A Succession

Generally speaking, it is a good idea to not delay handling succession matters. If you delay, important documents can be lost, witnesses needed to sign affidavits or testify in court if that is needed can move away or die. These events may complicate handling the succession and increase the cost. If you delay, assets of the succession may deteriorate or lose value.

As of January 1, 2012, Louisiana no longer collects inheritance taxes, so there are no time constraints on opening succession to meet tax deadlines for Louisiana inheritance taxes. If the United States Estate and Generation Skipping Tax Return is needed, it will be due within 9 months of the date of death.

It may also be necessary to open succession early to pay the urgent debts of the decedent, such as medical bills and funeral bills, or to obtain access to a safety deposit box which the decedent had rented.