Louisiana Now Allows Probate Courts to Seal a Decedent’s Financial and Asset Information
Last year, the Louisiana Legislature passed a law that allows a decedent’s financial and asset information to be kept private from the public. Prior to this new law, a probate/succession proceeding required that all of the decedent’s assets be listed, along with the account numbers and date of death values for each asset owned by the decedent.
Our state has finally recognized the importance of our citizens’ privacy, and has instituted a procedure to protect family members and loved ones of a decedent from possible identity theft and fraud. The new law will prohibit “outsiders” and other fraudulent persons from searching the public records in order to find financial account numbers, account names and property that were owned by deceased individuals in Louisiana.
There is one caveat to the new law, the succession/probate proceeding must be conducted through an “Independent Administration.” The new law even allows prior succession proceedings to be reopened in order to Seal the financial records of decedents.
One simple tip resulting from the new law: your Last Will and Testament should contain a specific clause allowing for an Independent Administration of your estate and that it is your desire that your asset descriptive list be sealed.
If you would like to find out more about how to pass on and protect your family’s assets, please give our office a call.