Wondering if Your Louisiana Estate Plan Should Include a Power of Attorney - Read This


Many of our clients come in to the office and want to get their affairs in order.  The thinking is that signing a last will and testament will do so, and often times it willl.  But what happens if you're incapacitated, either by sickness or another accident for an extended period of time?  In that case you may need a power of attorney.  Laws in Louisiana differ from the laws in other states for power of attorney. 

I would like to share a situation that we hear about all of the time.  Jerry has three kids, Harry, Larry, and Mary.  Jerry is getting older and his health is beginning to decline.  He takes no action, however, and suffers from a heart attack.  Luckily,he survives but for weeks he is in no condition to handle his own affairs. 

This is a terrible situation and since a power of attorney was not executed there will likely be a court-supervised interdiction proceeding.  Harry, Larry, and Mary will have to sue their dad and have him interdicted.  The family will be at the mercy of the court and after a great deal of time and cost the court will pick a curator whose job it will be to manage Jerry's affairs and report to the court for permission to act on Jerry's behalf.

Let's take the same example, but this time when Jerry notices his health is declining he decides he wants his son, Harry, to handle his financial affairs for him if he ever becomes so sick that he can't take care of his own affairs.  Jerry signs a power of attorney authorizing Harry to take care of all of his financial affairs. 

There are many benefits to signing a power of attorney in Louisiana including:

* Your family avoids the court supervised interdiction proceeding that may be required if you have not properly executed a power of attorney.

* YOU can designate the person who will handle your medical or financial affairs for you if you ever become incapacitate

* YOU can authorize your agent in your power of attorney to engage in tax planning and Medicaid planning techniques that he or she would have been able to perform in an interdiction proceeding.

At Rabalais Estate Planning almost any estate planning documents we draft will include this important document.  We want to make sure to cover all of your bases when protecting your estate.  If you want to know how to establish a power of attorney, then give me a call.  I will be happy to help you take all of the necessary steps to get a complete estate plan in place and move you closer to having the peace of mind you deserve.