This is the most common form of succession procedure. In this form, we collect information from you, and use that information to prepare several documents that you must execute before a notary. We then file the notarized documents with the clerk of court and present them to the judge who the case is assigned to. The judge signs a document called a Judgment of Possession. The Judgment of Possession establishes who inherits the property and identifies the property being inherited. A certified copy of the Judgment of Possession is recorded in the property records, and it becomes your title to real estate. It also directs banks and other financial institutions to release any assets to the heirs.
The amount you will pay for a simple putting in possession is $1,950. If there are two people who have died, and we can complete a joint succession, that is both successions in one legal proceeding, the charge will be $2,700.
This process works surprisingly quickly. If you have all the information that we need, it can usually be completed in about two weeks. This can be a significant issue if you are trying to sell real estate.
This is a more complicated process. Sometimes a simple putting in possession is not available, for example, if there is a challenge to the validity of a testament, if there are questions about the assets, or if there is some obstacle to the heirs accepting their inheritance.
A succession under administration happens in stages. If the decedent had a will, the first step is usually to "probate" the testament. That means that the judge looks at the testament to determine that it is in valid form to be a testament.
If the testament names an executor, the judge will also appoint that person to be executor. If the testament does not name an executor, the judge will appoint someone. If the decedent didn't have a testament, the judge will appoint someone to serve as administrator.
Then the executor or administrator will work to resolve whatever issue made an administration necessary. When that issue has been taken care of, there is a process to close the succession.
Because the succession under administration is more complicated, we cannot quote a flat fee for handling those cases. In that situation, we will charge by the hour. Mr. Koehler's time is billed at $300 per hour, Ms. Warren's time is billed at $150 per hour, and any paralegal time is billed at $120 per hour. There will also be costs, such as filing fees.