In Louisiana, probate and succession are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they have slightly different meanings.
Succession is the legal process that occurs when someone dies. Without a will (i.e. intestate) in Louisiana, the law dictates who will inherit the deceased’s assets, and the court oversees the transfer of those assets to the appropriate heirs. If someone dies with a will, the will must be probated to ensure that the deceased’s wishes are carried out. During succession, the court oversees the payment of debts and distribution of assets to beneficiaries by the administrator (without a will) or executor (with a will).
So, while probate and succession are both legal processes that occur after someone dies, probate specifically deals with giving effect to a will, while succession deals with the transfer of assets to heirs (without a will) or legatees (with a will). The important thing is to consult a succession attorney with experience that can advise you on what you need to do when a loved one passes away.