In Louisiana, except for estates worth less than $75,000.00, it is necessary to judicially open a person’s succession to transfer the real estate. If the estate is uncomplicated and the debts are few, this can be done least expensively by a simple putting the heirs into possession. If there are issues, then the succession can be opened under administration in the control of an executor. The executor has vast powers to manage the estate, including the power to sell the real estate and pass on the proceeds to the heirs. There are two types of administration. Under an independent administration, the executor can act without much oversight. In the more traditional administration, court approval is necessary for most decisions.
Consider a practical example: A common problem occurs when Mom leaves the family home to all of her children, wanting to be “fair to everyone.” Junior lives in California. Sister has her own home in the Bywater. And Baby who took care of Mom, is now living in the family house where Mom lived until she died.
Six months have passed and Baby still lives in the house. She is the only one benefitting from it and the kids can’t agree. Sister and Junior want to sell the house, but Baby doesn’t want to do anything.
One option would be for Sister to qualify as the court appointed executor or administrator of the estate. She could petition for the power, with the proper noticing to all parties and with the lack of objection, to sell the real estate. Then she would put all three heirs into possession of the funds from the sale of the property.