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 elsewhere) for the situation is critical to your success. Our clients appreciate the fast turnaround, so they can get the Mandate they need when they need it.
Durable General Mandate
At Field Law, we combine our Financial & Property Mandates into a single Durable General Mandate (Power of Attorney). A Louisiana Durable General Mandate can make a huge impact on your agent’s ability to deal with the situation. Having a mandate in place provides a tried and true means for your trusted agent to handle your financial and personal affairs without the need for an interdiction proceeding, which can be time consuming and extremely costly.
Your mandate is an authoritative document that allows the individual you name as your agent (your spouse, adult children, a trusted family member, or whomever you choose) to step in and act on your behalf in all respects including, pay your bills, file your taxes, buy/sell real estate and continue to handle your personal affairs.
Life is full of uncertainties. Every person, married or single, of any age or stage of life, 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.
Affordable Fixed Pricing
Field Law charges an affordable fixed price for Mandates. We recommend you talk to three lawyers before hiring someone to handle a Succession. Field Law should be one of them. Here’s why:
- We start with a convenient no-obligation Free Attorney Consultation, either in person or on the phone.
- We focus on Estate Planning so you know you are getting our full attention.
- Our Mandates are customized to fit your situation.
- We keep copies of your documents so can always stop-by to get another one – free of charge.
- You never pay extra for asking question at Field Law – like with typical hourly billing at other firms.
- We work hard to streamline the process to avoid unnecessary fees and costs.
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.” Authority must be given expressly to:
- Make an inter vivos donation
- To impose conditions on the donation, including the power to revoke.
- Accept or renounce a succession.
- Contract a loan, acknowledge or make remission of a debt, or become a surety.
- Draw or endorse promissory notes and negotiable instruments.
- Enter into a compromise or refer a matter to arbitration.
See La. C.C. Art. 2994 and 2997
Financial Mandate Powers
A Financial Mandate (also known as Powers of Attorney) is an incredibly powerful, yet private tool. Normally Financial Mandates are only shared with third parties when they are in use, so the public can’t find out who is managing your affairs in some database. Having a Financial Mandate means you have shared your decision making for specific actions with a trusted loved one or advisor. He or she will act as your agent and must always act in your best interest.
Property Mandate Powers
Property Mandates allow your agent to buy, sell, donate, manage or otherwise act on your behalf with regards to your property. From cars and boats to houses, your agent will act for you when you cannot to make sure your interests are looked after when you are not able to be present yourself. You can easily place restrictions on what your agent can and cannot do on your behalf and you should only appoint someone you trust to be your agent, so there is no reason not to be prepared.
Field Law can provide you with a Mandate to fit most any situation. We often provide clients with Mandates for selling real estate, provisional custody, buying a car or boat, or just about any situation that arises. Contact us today about your circumstance.
Not Having a Mandate
If you don’t have a mandate and become incapacitated or are unable to take care of yourself or your financial affairs, and you have not appointed an agent through a mandate to take care of those things for you, an interdiction proceeding must be filed in Court, where the proceedings are public record. The purpose of the interdiction process is to have the judge declare that you are incompetent and to appoint someone handle your affairs for you, called your curator.
To initiate an interdiction proceeding, one of your family members or another interested person must hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit alleging facts to show you are unable to take care of your person or your finances. Once a judgment of interdiction is granted, the judge must appoint a curator to look after you and/or your financial affairs and an under-curator to make sure the curator attends to his job properly. At least once a year, the curator has to file an accounting with the court detailing the expenditures he has made and this may also involve accounting fees and additional court costs. The curatorship will continue until your death or until you petition the court to remove it and prove that it is no longer necessary. This procedure can be both time-consuming and costly but it can very easily be avoided by executing a mandate while you are still healthy and have the capacity to do so. So think of a mandate as an investment so you don’t have to spend a bund of many and many months in court down the road.
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 will have the authority to make important decisions for you.
Your agent can be a spouse, adult child, relative or trusted friend. It should be noted that, except in certain circumstances, the actions of your agent are legally considered to be your actions so the principal should always choose a trustworthy individual. This is especially important because the mandate is not regulated by the court system so it may be easy for the agent to misuse his or her power. As such it may be wise to include clauses that prohibit the agent from giving gifts or by setting a limit on the amount of such gifts.
Immediate or Delayed Effect
Your agent may exercise the powers you grant them throughout your lifetime, even after you become incapacitated, unless you expressly limit the duration of these powers, you revoke these powers or a court acting on your behalf terminates your agent’s authority.
Immediately – If your mandate becomes effective immediately, your agent will be able to act on your behalf in your absence, such as calling to discuss financial or personal affairs with a bank or other service provider. You do not give up any of your rights when granting a mandate. As long as you are able, you will make all the decisions.
Springing – Your Mandate can also become effective only when you are temporarily or permanently unable to make your own decisions regarding your personal and financial affairs. This is called a springing Mandate. If your treating physician determines you have regained the capacity to make your own health care decisions after the Mandate becomes effective, your agent’s authority ends and your consent is required for all future decisions. If you become incapacitated again, the Mandate will once again become effective.
Your General Mandate is Durable. This means it will remain in effect until your death (unless you revoke it), even in the event of incapacitation. Although Louisiana calls this document a Mandate, it is called a Durable Power of Attorney in other states and under federal law. This Mandate is written to be valid and effective while you are traveling in the United States.