POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Powers of Attorney describe in detail your specific intent for a certain person to manage your affairs should something happen to you, rendering you unable to take care of your finances, medical needs or day-to-day life responsibilities. They come in many forms (Financial, Medical, Limited, Durable). Contact us and we can talk about what you want and make sure your instructions are properly recorded.
Living Wills are sometimes called “Advanced Medical Directives,” but in Louisiana, these two terms are actually very different. Living Wills are for your physical health, while Advanced Medical Directives are for your mental health. The one thing they have in common is that both act as your voice should you not be able to communicate your medical requests. Both are imperative to make sure that your desires for long-term health care are respected. You can choose not to be institutionalized, receive shock therapy, be resuscitated, be kept on life support, or anywhere in-between. Living Wills and Advanced Medical Directives are key to ensuring that a family member or partner doesn’t just “keep you around” … or to make sure they do.
CHILD CUSTODY MANDATES
Child Custody Mandates are especially helpful when families are non-traditional. Sometimes you might need to assign care of your children over to another, or perhaps you want to make sure someone else has the right to act in your place for your child’s well-being. You must take the necessary steps to make sure that the person you choose is treated as an equal when it comes to your kids. Whether to bring your daughter to the doctor or enroll your son in school, it is vital that you put your desires in writing.
Curatorship Directives allow you to decide who can care for you in the event you become incapacitated. They allow someone to speak for you and to manage your affairs when you no longer can. They are important for you to make sure that your wishes are protected when you can no longer speak for yourself.
These are the equivalent of contracts with certain people who act as your “agent.” In civil law, we call these “mandataries” and they have just about all the rights you have, save a few. We can help you put into writing exactly what rights you want someone to have over your business or personal affairs — from family responsibilities (see Services for Individuals) to running your business.
DISPOSITION OF REMAINS DIRECTIVES
Disposition of Remains Directives allow you to decide who will manage your remains when you pass away. Want to be cremated? Buried with Aunt Hazel? Have your own plot? Lay out your entire plan now before it’s too late.
Wills are not always as simple as they should be, but we want to help make the process as smooth as possible. Deciding who gets what now is quite possibly the best gift you can give your loved ones when you are gone. Because each person and family requires special consideration, wills are tailored to your needs and desires.
A “succession” is the legal word for the distribution of assets after an individual has passed away. Smart estate planning allows this process to be done easily, and we offer this service to help you manage the affairs of a lost loved one. Whether the person had a will or not, it matters that you have a legal judgment proving that you own something. After Hurricane Katrina, we saw so many people who were unable to rebuild their homes simply because the family home had been in their grandparents’ names and they never changed it over. The family just agreed: we’ll move in, and then their kids moved in and then their kids moved in after them. After generations of living in the family home, when it came time to prove ownership, they couldn’t. Don’t get caught in this same predicament. Transfer the ownership of the property of your loved ones as soon as possible – trust me, trying to get an insurance company to remove your grandmother’s name off a claim check is near impossible.