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What are the pros and cons of filing succession 5 years after a death occurs?

New Orleans, LA |

My mother died 5 years ago but her succession was just completed this year. The children paid all left over bills that we knew were due. She left a home but we are not collecting any income from it. Family stays in the home rent free. We've been paying taxes on the home, as well as insurances, up-to-date. We've kept the home up the best way we can based upon our personal funds. Now we are concerned about filing the succession late. Are there pros and cons to filing a simple succession more later than sooner?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. It is unclear what you mean by "succession." If there was a probate that was just completed this year, then there are no problems with getting the title in order following the probate. Sometimes probate takes a long time.

    If there has not been a probate initiated, then it needs to be initiated asap. You may have paid expenses/debts that were unnecessary already. You should seek the advice of an attorney.

    THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Mrs. Cook is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California with offices in San Diego County. She is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States, and is also licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court. IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, please be advised that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used or relied upon, and cannot be used or relied upon, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.


  2. Your question is confusing. You say her succession was just completed but you ask about filing a succession 5 years late. There is no required time to file a succession, however if there is a will it should be filed sooner that later as it may be lost or destroyed before it is filed. That occurred with several families in New Orleans after Katrina. You will not have any penalties for filing this long after her death, however there may be certain claims or defenses which may have been lost because of the passage of time. You should consult an attorney to get more complete information. Another factor to consider in filing late is that some heirs may have died and you would have to place that heirs children in possession which would require more signatures and effort to complete the succession.

    Every situation is different and you should consult your own attorney to go over all the particular facts in your case. The answer given is only intended to provide general guidance regarding rights and responsibilities.

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