Anytime you can’t be in two places at once, you need to appoint someone else to act for you. The right Mandate (called Power of Attorney in other states) for the situation is critical to your success.
Durable General Mandate (Power of Attorney)
At Field Law, we combine our Financial & Property Mandates into a single Durable General Mandate (Power of Attorney). A Louisiana Durable General Mandate can have a considerable impact on the chosen agent’s ability to deal with matters and the situation.
The benefit of having a POA is that it provides a way for your trusted agent to handle your financial and personal affairs without the need for an interdiction proceeding, which can be incredibly time-consuming and costly.
Your mandate is an authoritative document that gives your agent – whether it’s your grown children, your spouse, a trusted family member or someone else you trust – to act on your behalf in the event you are unable to. This includes things such as paying your bills, buying/selling real estate, filing taxes and handling your personal affairs.
Life is unpredictable and full of uncertainties. Everyone – no matter your marital status or age – should have a mandate in place. Because incapacitating accidents and illness are not predictable and can happen at any age, it is important to choose the right agent, prepare a clear and concise mandate and also to understand the ways that the mandate can be terminated.
A Durable General Mandate does not apply to health care decisions. You will need a separate Health Care Mandate for those situations.
You have the right to give instructions about your personal and financial affairs. Louisiana law states “The principal may confer on the mandatary general authority to do whatever is appropriate under the circumstances.”
While you may grant to your agent general authority to act, certain actions require your express written consent before your agent may undertake them on your behalf. Louisiana law further states “The authority to alienate, acquire, encumber, or lease a thing must be given expressly.”
You may appoint any competent adult to be your agent. You should make sure the person you select understands your wishes and is comfortable accepting the responsibility.
Effective Until Death
Our General Mandate is Durable. This means it will remain in effect until your death (unless you revoke it), even in the event of incapacitation.
Don’t Have a Power of Attorney?
If you don’t have a power of attorney and become incapacitated or are unable to take care of yourself or your financial affairs, and you have not appointed an agent through a power of attorney to take care of those things for you, an exhausting interdiction proceeding must be filed in Court, where the costly proceedings are public record. The purpose of the interdiction process is to have the judge declare that you are incompetent and to appoint someone to handle your affairs for you, called your curator.
This procedure can be both time-consuming and costly, but it can very easily be avoided by executing a power of attorney while you are still healthy and have the capacity to do so. So, think of a Durable General Mandate as an investment so you don’t have to spend a bund of many and many months in court down the road.
Contact Us For A Free Initial Consultation
Field Law is in Baton Rouge, and we serve clients throughout Louisiana. We are also pleased to work with clients outside the state on matters related to Louisiana estate law. To arrange a free consultation, call us at (225) 341-8221, or send us an email.