Three Things You Should Do Today
Planning for our future and our loved ones includes more than having a Last Will and Testament, which only comes into effect upon your death. Many families have found themselves in the position of managing medical and financial affairs while a loved one is still alive, although incapacitated. Incapacity in this context refers to the inability to manage one's own finances or make medical decisions. Ideally, family members will have frank discussions about their medical wishes. But, until your doctors and financial institutions are aware of your wishes - your work is not done. You should have a legal document informing your physician who you would like to speak and act for you if you cannot communicate your requests. In addition, financial institutions require a legal document to allow another party to manage your account(s).
A Power of Attorney allows someone you trust to act on your behalf. You nominate that person to be your "agent" so they can step in and manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. Louisiana Law requires that certain powers must be named in your Power of Attorney. Your Baton Rouge Attorney can assist you in complying with Louisiana Law.
A Medical Power of Attorney grants a person you trust, usually a loved one, the power to communicate with your medical staff and direct them in making medical decisions. Both Financial and Medical Powers of Attorney only come into effect when you are unable to discuss your wishes, or take action on your own. As a result, it is particularly important for you to discuss with your chosen medical agent how you would like to be treated in various medical situations. Your Louisiana Attorney can help you create a broad document that includes most situations that may arise.
The third thing you should do today: create a Last Will and Testament. A well crafted Last Will and Testament follows your wishes and distributes your estate to your loved ones.
A Medical Power of Attorney, a Financial Power of Attorney and a Last Will and Testament are legal tools that allow you to express your wishes clearly to your family, your medical staff and financial institutions. Powers of Attorney protect your goals and values when you are incapable of managing your affairs. In addition, these tools help lessen the stress your loved ones will feel when you cannot make decisions. Your attorney can help you spell out your wishes and choose someone to speak and act for you when you cannot act or speak on your own behalf.