Independent Administration of Estates

The Louisiana Legislature passed a statute which became effective on August 15, 2001 dealing with the “Independent Administration” of Louisiana successions. The statute allows the executor or administrator of an estate to handle all of the matters of the succession without the necessity of obtaining court authority. This eliminates the necessity of running advertisements in the newspaper to get authority to sell property, borrow money or pay debts. This power of the executor can significantly reduce legal fees, court costs, advertising expenses and the delays otherwise required under former law.

In order for an executor to use Independent administration it must be so provided in the decedent’s will. It is possible to use independent administration if it is not provided in the will or there is no will if all of the residuary heirs agree to independent administration and there are no objecting creditors.

If your will was executed prior to August 15, 2001 your will may not provide for independent administration. If you do want to provide your executor with this power, you need to either re-execute your will with the addition of these provisions, or execute a codicil allowing for this power. The codicil can be in olographic form, which means that all you would have to do is write it out in your own handwriting, date and sign it. The language is as follows:

My executor shall have the authority to administer my estate pursuant to the independent administration laws of any state in which my estate shall be administered, free from court-supervision, publication and notice requirements, and legal delays, to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

If you would like additional information on independent administration, or if you would like to re-execute your will with these provisions, please do not hesitate to contact us.