Power of Attorney Lawyer in Denham, Louisiana
Giving someone you trust the authority to act and make decisions on your behalf is a powerful yet lesser-known estate planning tool compared to wills and trusts. This tool is called a power of attorney (POA). You can establish a POA to enable a trusted family member or friend to manage your finances, healthcare, and other designated tasks.
However, granting someone power of attorney can be an overwhelming and intimidating process. Fortunately, you do not have to do this alone. Our power of attorney lawyer in Denham Springs, Louisiana, can assist you with drafting the necessary paperwork and making sure that your POA is compliant with the law. Reach out to the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham to get started. Our law firm also serves the surrounding area in Louisiana, including Holden, Livingston, Colyell, and Albany.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal instrument through which a person (called the “principal”) delegates authority to another (called the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) to act on their behalf in a specific manner. The attorney-in-fact may manage the principal’s affairs, sign legal documents, and make financial or medical decisions on behalf of the principal. In Louisiana, a POA is commonly called a Procuration or Mandate.
There are four primary types of POA:
General. General POAs give the agent broad authority to manage the principal’s affairs.
Limited. Limited POAs give the agent specific authority to carry out a particular task (like managing bank accounts and paying taxes).
Financial. Financial POAs authorize the agent to make financial decisions on behalf of the principal, such as accessing bank accounts or managing investments.
Healthcare. Healthcare POAs authorize the agent to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal.
The power of attorney is a crucial document that can give you peace of mind because you can be certain that your affairs will be managed according to your wishes in the event of your incapacity.
What Happens if You Don't Create One?
If you become incapacitated due to illness or injury and do not have a POA in place, your family may need to go through a court process called interdiction. Interdiction is a legal proceeding in which a judge appoints a legal guardian or curator to manage the incapacitated person’s affairs. It can be a time-consuming and costly process that can cause significant stress for your family.
How to Create a Power of Attorney
Creating a POA involves choosing someone you trust to act as your agent. You will need to work with an attorney to draft the document and ensure that it complies with state laws.
In Louisiana, creating a power of attorney is a four-step process:
1. Choosing an Agent
An agent is a person selected by the person creating the POA to perform functions and duties granted in the document. Before drafting the document, you need to choose an agent.
2. Considering the Scope of the Power
Once you have chosen the agent, you need to consider which areas of your life the agent should have control over and whether there should be any limitations when granting the power.
3. Drafting the Document
This one is the most difficult part. When drafting the power of attorney, you must ensure that it complies with state law requirements. In Louisiana, POAs must be in written form, as the state does not recognize verbal POAs as valid. The document should include the names of the principal and the agent, the scope of the power, as well as commencement/termination date.
4. Signing/Notarizing the Document
Louisiana law requires notarizing POAs in order to ensure that these documents are certified under state law. Notarizing a document means signing it in front of a notary and two adult witnesses not named in the document and not related to the principal or the agent.
Powers of Attorney Lawyer in Denham, Louisiana
At the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham, our Denham Springs power of attorney lawyer can review your specific circumstances and help you draft a POA tailored to your specific goals and needs. Reach out to our office today to schedule an appointment.