When you can’t speak for yourself, choose who will speak for you. The first thing they will ask your loved ones in an emergency is: where is the Power of Attorney? We call them Mandates in Louisiana, so be sure you have the right documents — because many documents found on the internet are generally null and void in Louisiana.
Healthcare planning is the important process of discussing values and goals of care, executing legal documents, such as Advance Directives, and appointing someone to speak for you when you are unable to do so yourself.
If a healthcare facility receives federal funding, they are required to ask if you have Advance Directives. In the event you do have Advance Directives, they must then place them in your medical chart. That way you know your wishes are being followed.
You have the right to give instructions about your healthcare. You also have the right to name someone else to make healthcare decisions for you. Louisiana law states “all persons have the fundamental right to control the decisions relating to their own medical care.”
Living Will vs. Healthcare Mandate
Both documents are considered Advance Directives.
In Louisiana, your written directions for end of life care are called your Living Will. It is used if you are in a continual profound comatose state or are terminally ill. It also only affects life-sustaining procedures.
If you name a healthcare agent, you will also have a separate document, a Healthcare Mandate (Power of Attorney), which authorizes your agent to enforce your healthcare directions. The Mandate is broader than the Living Will and gives your agent the authority to respond to unanticipated medical situations.
Healthcare Mandate (Power of Attorney)
A Healthcare Mandate (Power of Attorney) is a legal document by which you authorize another person – an agent – to make healthcare decisions in the event you become temporarily or permanently unable to make those decisions yourself. These can include healthcare decisions concerning surgery, medical expenses, nursing home residency and medication administration.
A Healthcare Mandate (Power of Attorney) does not apply to financial and property decisions. You will need a separate Durable General Mandate for those situations.
You may appoint any competent adult to be your agent. You should make sure the person you select has an understanding of your wishes and is comfortable accepting the responsibility. Your agent may be a family member, a close friend or advisor you trust to make serious decisions.
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.