A power of attorney is a legal document in which you appoint another person to help manage your property or to make medical decisions in your stead. The document can be implemented immediately, or upon your incapacitation. Without a power of attorney, Louisiana law provides a "default" method that allows certain parties to make medical decisions only in case of a medical emergency. It does not, however, provide such a default method for property/finance management in non-emergency medical situations. A third party will be unable to assist you in property/financial matters or non-emergency medical matters if you do not have a power of attorney.
In the absence of a power of attorney, your family and friends could incur substantial expenses in order to have control of your affairs via a much more expensive, complex process known as interdiction. Without knowing who you prefer to manage your person or property, the Courts have the power to appoint whatever individual they see fit.
There are other legal documents attorneys customarily recommend to their clients in addition to powers of attorney. These documents include:
Health care directives in which you give written medical instructions about how you want your medical care handled and
A living will in which you give written instructions to be executed upon your death.
At our initial office conference, you will be asked about your personal preferences concerning who you’d like to handle your personal health care decisions and financial/property management. An attorney will discuss and make recommendations regarding the above legal issues and give you a cost estimate. If you decide to retain our firm and our firm accepts your case, a written contract will be executed.