Q: I have a question about Louisiana probate law and succession.
Until just recently I never knew my fathers name, but only how and where he died.
After researching the time and cause of his death I discovered that just five months before I was born in December of 1954 a man I suspected of being my father was killed in his New Orleans business.
By mere circumstance I confirmed my relationship to him and my half sister through DNA we separately submitted to a DNA lab.
He died single, with plans to marry my mother before his untimely death, and with only one other child.
My half sister is a former college president and very well off. Her inheritance had to have been substantial as our father was a very successful business man.
We have spoken and I have proof of our relationship to one another and to our father. Subsequent to our accidental verification of shared DNA she has stopped communicating with me and I have evidence of her unloading properties, etc. in what I think is an effort to hide her wealth. What can I do.
A: Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors still requiring answers and too much time may have already passed. First, if the father passed back in 1954, succession was likely opened long ago. If there was a testament, the prescriptive period to contest a Judgment probating a testament is 5 years. Then, if you thought any ill practice/fraud occurred, the time period to annul a Judgment after the discovery of the wrong is only 1 year. Thus, those timelines may have passed. In addition, would your birth father have had any reason to know he had another child? Perhaps, you can hire counsel local to the area of the father's death/Parish where the succession would have been file to take a look at the succession and allegations of fact, but, given the potential timeline and potential lack of knowledge as to other children, there may be very little that could be done.
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