If either the Last Will authorizes it, or if all heirs agree, an executor named in a Louisiana Will can be what is known as a "independent executor."
An independent executor can take many necessary actions without the necessity of seeking and obtaining court approval. So what does the Louisiana law say about an independent executor being accountable to the heirs?
In successions where all of the heirs are in agreement on how the estate should be settled, the heirs will often sign documents waiving the final accounting. However, if at least one of the heirs does not waive a final accounting, then the independent executor must file a final account with the court.
So what is a final account? A final account is a succession document prepapred by either the independent executor, his attorney, or his accountant, which shows the money or other property received by and in the possession of the independent executor at the time the independent executor took office, the revenue, other receipts, disbursements, and disposition of property during the period, and the remainder in the possession of the independent executor at the end of the accounting period.
Preparing an accurage accounting can be exhaustive work. It's much easier to have all of the heirs waive this accounting. But if at least one heir requests this accounting, it has to be done and filed with the court. The independent executor cannot be discharged until all of the heirs waive the accounting or the accounting is filed with the court.
If you are an executor or an administrator of a Louisiana succession, and you want to make sure you comply with your obligations as the succession representative, and maybe even more importantly, avoid personal liability for acting inappropriately, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give my office a call at 225-329-2450. Put in the subject line of your email, "EXECUTOR NEEDS HELP," and I'll give it my undivided attention.