Do I need Power of Attorney?

YES!  Everyone needs a Power of Attorney (Louisiana Mandate).  A Power of Attorney gives someone of your choosing the legal authority to act on your behalf without Court intervention.  The person you choose is called your “agent” (mandatary).

It is important to know that a Power of Attorney (“POA”) ends at the moment of your death (conversely, a Will does not take effect until the moment of your death).  Many people have the misconception that they do not need a POA because they have a Last Will and Testament (“Will”).  Again, I reiterate – a POA and a Will are two completely different documents that take effect at totally different times—one before your death, and the other after your death.  Many lawyers draft Wills and claim to be “estate planning attorneys” yet they make no effort to provide protection if the client becomes incapacitated.  A comprehensive estate plan affords you the ability to protect your loved ones during your incapacity and after your death.

What happens without a POA?  Let’s assume that Bill and Mary have been married for 40 years and Bill suffers a massive stroke and is now mentally incompetent.  Let’s now assume that Mary needs to sell their condo in Gulf Shores, Alabama, in order to have funds to pay for Bill’s additional health care needs.  Can Mary simply show up at the title company to handle the sale and sign on Bill’s behalf?  Absolutely not!

If Bill did not have a POA (or a Revocable Living Trust), then Mary (or another interested party) would need to get specific court approval to be appointed “Curator” (i.e., put in control of Bill’s affairs) in order to be able to sell and/or liquidate Bill’s assets.  This proceeding is called an “Interdiction.”  The person petitioning the Court needs to actually sue Bill and declare him incompetent.  Usually, an attorney will be appointed to represent Bill.  Once approved by the Court, the Curator needs to post a bond and the Court will also appoint an “under-Curator” to make sure that the Curator is properly doing his/her job.  As you can imagine, this process can be humiliating, expensive, and extremely time-consuming.  All of this would occur during a highly emotional time.  This can all be avoided with a properly drafted inexpensive Power of Attorney!  Do you see now why a POA is the best investment any of us can make?

 
 

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Services Include:

- Revocable Living Trusts 
- Wills and Living Wills
- Powers of Attorney
- Successions 
- Charitable  Remainder Trusts
- Gift Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts 
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
- Credit Shelter Trusts
- Family Limited Partnerships/LLC
 
 
 

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Covington, Louisiana  70433-5903
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