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The most recent PwC U.S. Family Business Survey (2019) found that 58 percent of respondents had succession plans, but the vast majority of them were informal. If you don’t engage in proper succession planning for your family business, you risk your family and others involved in your business engaging in heated arguments that can lead to expensive legal proceedings. Additionally, family business conflicts sometimes play out in the local media, which can hurt sales when loyal customers take sides.

Below we provide five important steps to a successful family business succession plan so you can rest assured a smooth transition occurs if you become incapacitated or pass away, or you are ready to sail off in the sunset towards retirement.

1. Collect Information

Preparation is the key to a successful family business succession plan. Before you begin planning, you need to collect relevant information to share with your estate planning attorney. This might also include enlisting the help of accountants and financial advisors. Not only does this provide your lawyer with the things they need to help you plan, but it also provides an opportunity to get your personal and business records organized and implement a system to keep them organized and up to date. Examples of documents you will need for business succession planning include:

  • Current business governing documents
  • Related party contracts
  • Vendor contracts
  • Any estate planning documents that can impact governance, ownership, or succession of your business

2. Get a Current Valuation of Your Business

For a successful family business succession plan, you need a reliable valuation of your business. This includes an assessment of each family business entity and all business assets. If you do not yet have a current valuation, your estate planning lawyer can help you obtain one. In fact, getting an attorney involved in the valuation of your business can help avoid major mistakes during the planning process. If your attorney helps you with a succession plan and starts with a faulty valuation, it follows that everything that relies on that valuation will be inaccurate.

Your family business succession plan can also benefit in other ways by obtaining a current business valuation. As you go through the valuation process, information about the strengths and weaknesses of your business will emerge. This gives you the opportunity to improve your operation and increase profits. The valuation professional can also help your lawyer draft the best language for your buy-sell agreements. Finally, establishing a relationship with a valuation professional allows you to more easily get updated valuations on a regular basis, allowing you to update your buy-sell agreements and other aspects of your plan as needed.

3. Choose Who You Want to Take Over

Arguably, one of the most important aspects of a successful family business succession plan is choosing which child will run the business, or whether multiple children will share the responsibility. You and your children might have assumptions about who will take over, but it’s important to spell these things out ahead of time to avoid difficulties in the future. It’s highly likely the child or children you intend to take over the family business already play a large role in your organization.

To ensure success, you need to spend time early in the planning process working with your attorney to address any potential business interruptions that might occur as a result of the sudden death or incapacitation of any family members who currently play a key role in your business, and will continue to play a key role once you’re gone. For example, you should ensure the right parties have updated powers of attorney for voting by designating a “transfer-on-death” beneficiary to avoid probate delays. You should also have measures in place to replace the chief executive if he or she exits the business unexpectedly. By the time your succession plan is complete, these business structures will be more permanent.

4. Create Rules for Governance and Ownership

Before making any transfers of ownership, your estate planning lawyer needs to help you develop the rules that will regulate governance, ownership, and owner exits after succession has been implemented. This includes rules in four main areas: unit voting, governing board, executive authority, and beneficial ownership.

  • Unit voting refers to the power to exercise voting rights as an owner by appointing and removing board members and approving or rejecting major transactions.
  • Governing board rules includes deciding who sits on a board and how those members will be elected to deal with top executives, oversee budgets, issue dividends, and other board duties.
  • Executive authority refers to rules for owners and board members with regard to making decisions about appointments, titles, duties, and compensation.
  • Beneficial ownership includes family members who get profits from the business but do not hold an employee role. You must make decisions about whether family members should own shares or whether shares should be held in a trust, as well as other issues related to the acquisition and ownership.

5. Update Your Estate Plan

Prior to transferring control and implementing your family business succession plan, you need to update your estate plan with all the decisions made above. This typically includes adding wills and revocable trusts in accordance with any governance decisions made such as allocation of voting rights, allocation of business equity, and allocation of other personal assets. You should also include instructions for the use of life insurance proceeds and how estate taxes should get paid. Additionally, if you plan to leave any assets to charity, you need to include that information in your estate plan.

Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney to Create Your Family Business Succession Plan

The experienced estate planning attorneys at Stephenson, Chávarri & Dawson have helped numerous family businesses plan for succession. We help clients collect the needed information to draft legally-binding documents to ensure succession goes smoothly when senior owners retire, pass away, or become incapacitated. Contact us today online or at 504-523-6496 to discuss your family business succession plan with a member of our skilled legal team.

Following a divorce, you may need to make many changes in your life. Your income changes. Your residence may change. You may need to change your child custody arrangements.

Do you need to change your will and other estate planning documents, too?

In short: you should always review any binding legal documents following a divorce, since the way you want to deal with them may change substantially. Consider these documents that you may want to revisit.

Child Custody Arrangements

You may have plans for what happens to your children if you and your former spouse both die. Do those plans change now that you have divorced? Carefully consider how you want to manage any child custody arrangements. Keep in mind that you may need to work with your former spouse. Generally, the child’s other parent will get full custody if something happens to you; however, you may want to make arrangements that will allow visitation for grandparents, for example. You may also want to have another discussion with your former spouse about what you would like to happen to the children if both of you pass away. If either of you remarries, you may want to visit these documents again.

Your Will

What happens to your possessions after your death? A joint will, put together before your divorce, may have assigned those assets to the individuals both you and your spouse wanted to include. Your will may also have clearly stated that your spouse would receive all property and all of your assets if you died first. You certainly want to revisit that document after your divorce, since you may have very different plans for your assets once you no longer need to take your former spouse into consideration. Even if you did not name your former spouse directly in the will, assuming that community property would continue to belong to them in the event of your death, you may want to reconsider who will receive your finances and other assets after your death. Did you name a beneficiary in your former spouse’s family? Do you want to change that information based on your divorce?

Carefully revisit your will after any major life events to ensure that it still reflects your wishes. Keep in mind that if you do not change your will, the executor of your estate may end up following the instructions laid out in your current will, even if it no longer reflects your circumstances or the individuals you wish to benefit in the event of your death.

Your Living Trust

Have you set assets up as a living trust to create an easier transition of ownership in the event of your death? You may have created a living trust intended to streamline settling your estate after your death. Ownership may transfer easily to your direct heirs. If you named your spouse on that living trust, you may want to remove them.

Handling an Inheritance for Minor Children

If you have minor children who will receive your assets in the case of your death, you may want to carefully consider how you want to set up their inheritance. Depending on how and when your children will take possession of those assets, if you die before your former spouse, he or she may end up with control of those assets until your children reach the age of adulthood. You may want to set up a trust for your children that will remain closed until they can manage it for themselves. Some parents do not allow minor children to take command of their inheritance until they reach 18, 21, or even 25, when they are more likely to make positive financial decisions.

Medical Power of Attorney and End-of-Life Instructions

A medical power of attorney designates who you want to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself. Most married couples assume that their spouse will automatically have the right to make those decisions. However, if you set forth a medical power of attorney that specifically named your spouse, you may want to consider who you now want to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them for yourself. You may also want to consider who you currently have named as your medical power of attorney if you chose a family member or friend of your former spouse.

You may also want to consider any end-of-life directives you left behind in your legal instructions, particularly if your spouse influenced those decisions. For example, if your spouse preferred to take all possible measures to keep you alive, but you prefer that doctors not use extraordinary measures to prolong your life, you might want to change that directive after your divorce. Review those documents carefully to ensure that they reflect your current desires.

Your Life Insurance Policies

Most people, when they take out a life insurance policy, name their spouse as the primary beneficiary. If you die, your life insurance policy will pay out to the beneficiary named in your policy—even if you have since divorced your spouse. In addition to the other legal paperwork you may want to revisit following your divorce, you should carefully examine your life insurance policy, whether private or employer-sponsored. Who benefits in the event of your death? You may want to name your children rather than your spouse. If you fear that your spouse will mismanage those funds even if they go to your children, you may want to set them up to pay into a trust set aside for your children. You may also choose to name an outside beneficiary. On the other hand, you may want to name your spouse as the beneficiary even after your divorce if your spouse will continue to provide care for your minor children and will need those funds to ensure that your children have what they need. Consult your attorney to learn more about your legal options.

After a divorce, you have many considerations you must keep in mind, including the legal paperwork. If you need to revisit your estate planning needs, including your will, your medical power of attorney, and any other planning documents, Stephenson, Chavarri & Dawson, L.L.C., can help. Contact us today at 504-523-6496 to change your legal documents or to learn more about what changes you need to make following your divorce.

Too often, we get busy with our lives and fail to plan for the future. Even when we take time to plan for retirement, we often overlook the importance of estate planning. What many fail to understand is why having Living Wills, Powers of Attorney for Healthcare and a DNR decision is something important to consider. While most of us believe our families know what our wishes are, it is best to have them in writing to avoid loved ones needing to make a decision when emotions are running high — such as after you have been involved in an accident, or you are otherwise incapacitated. Towards that end, there are some facts you should know about some of the most common estate planning tools at your disposal.

Understanding Living Wills

Sometimes these documents are referred to as an Advance Medical Directive. It is important to understand how a living will is used, and what it will not be used for. First, a living will is only used in the event you are unable to communicate with your medical team and advise them of what steps they should take to perform life-saving medical procedures. The specific language contained in a living will shows exactly what must occur for the living will to become effective. Specifically, these documents state:

 If at any time I should have an incurable injury, disease or illness, or be in a continual profound comatose state with no reasonable chance of recovery, certified to be a terminal and irreversible condition by two physicians who have personally examined me, one of whom shall be my attending physician, and the physicians have determined that my death will occur whether or not life-sustaining procedures are utilized and where the application of life-sustaining procedure would serve only to prolong artificially the dying process, I direct . . .

Living wills also cover important information for your medical team which directs or forbids them to take specific actions. For example, if your condition is terminal, your living will also go further and directs whether you will receive invasive nutrition and hydration support, normally through the use of intravenous and feeding tubes. Living wills also direct your medical team on the use of pain medication to ensure you are not suffering in your last days.

A properly executed living will ensures you have control over your medical care when you are faced with a life-ending disease or injury. Rather than depend on your family to recall your wishes pertaining to organ donation or end of life care, these documents clearly spell out your wishes.

What You Should Know About Healthcare Powers of Attorney

Unlike a living will, these powers of attorney can be exercised at any time you are unable to communicate with your healthcare team. Examples of this would include if you fell and suffered a concussion which resulted in your losing consciousness, you were involved in an auto accident and were unable to speak, or in any circumstances where medical authorization would be required to perform any procedure and you are unable to communicate.

It is also important for you to understand the wishes expressed in your Living Will are to be held up by the person you designate as your health care proxy or agent. Remember, this person only has the authority to control medical procedures or treatments when you are not suffering a terminal illness. This means if you are taken to an emergency room and have no ability to communicate, they will authorize the team there to treat your injuries. Treatment may include surgery, tests, or medication depending on the extent of your injuries.

When you decide who your healthcare agent should be, you should make them aware of other documents you may have executed including a Living Will and DNR order. Taking this step will help ensure your wishes are carried out in the event your injuries are life-threatening. You are free to change health care agents at any time, and as in the case of a Living Will, you also have the right to modify your healthcare power of attorney at any time.

Important Facts About DNR Orders

Do not resuscitate (DNR) orders are used when your heart stops beating. These orders are designed prohibit medical teams from stepping in and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) through person-to-person or mechanical means. These orders will only be used by a physician when you are critically ill and CPR is only prolonging your life.

You should also be aware these orders are used only after checking with the agent named in your Healthcare Power of Attorney. If you do not have a DNR order on file, doctors are mandated to use all measures to save your life, regardless of how invasive those measures may be. While someone who is young may not need a DNR, patients who have a terminal illness or are elderly and not in the best of health may wish to have one on file.

Living Wills, Powers of Attorney and DNRS Legalities

You should be aware none of these documents are valid in Louisiana unless they are properly executed and witnessed. Additionally, each person who has these orders on file should regularly review their choices and make changes if they wish to. In some instances, people have orders on file and later decide to change their minds about some specifics. This would involve drafting new documents, having new ones signed, and making sure your family is familiar with your wishes.

Estate Planning is Important for Everyone

You may not think these documents are essential for your personal situation. However, the time to have some of these documents on file is well before they are needed. For example, if you were involved in a car accident tomorrow and needed life-saving surgery you need someone to approve that surgery. While a spouse, or a parent of a minor child, may make that decision for you, if you are single and above the age of majority you need someone prepared to ensure your wishes are carried out.

Contact an Estate Planning Attorney Today

You may think an estate planning attorney is not a necessity. However, if you draft any of these important healthcare documents on your own, you run a risk of not having the proper signatures and authorizations you need to make them enforceable. This is why you should contact Stephenson, Chávarri & Dawson, LLC today, at 504-523-6496 for all your medical care planning — not wait until it is too late and you cannot communicate on your own.

Estate planning allows you to lay out what happens with your assets after your death: how your property will be distributed and what you will provide for your loved ones. The process can also help set up a plan that designates the party responsible for providing financial and medical assistance for you following your death. Is estate planning really necessary? Without proper estate planning, your family may face substantial difficulties along the way. Consider these reasons why proper estate planning is critical to your family’s future.

1. Estate planning allows you to designate who can make decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself.

Many people have a highly developed idea of what they would like to happen at the end of their lives. You may, for example, want to make use of every medical possibility to prolong your life for as long as possible; or you might prefer to avoid extensive measures past a certain point in your life. If something happens and you cannot make those decisions for yourself, you may want to designate a specific individual to make those decisions for you.

As part of your estate planning, you can set up a medical power of attorney that will allow the person you choose to make decisions for you. For most married people, their spouse will automatically get that right if they cannot make decisions on their own. You may, however, want to designate someone else to make those decisions–or you might want to designate which one of your children you want to be responsible for making those decisions. An advance healthcare directive can also help set out exactly what you intend to happen in certain medical situations, making your wishes clear.

Likewise, as you age, you may lose the ability to continue your own financial management. Many elderly individuals choose to designate a financial power of attorney: someone who can handle their finances, pay their bills, and help them stay financially stable even as they continue to age.

2. You may need to take a fresh look at your life insurance policies.

Your life insurance needs may change dramatically at various points throughout your life. If you have a spouse and a young family, for example, you may need to make sure that your life insurance will provide adequate support, especially if you have a spouse who will have to go back to work or find childcare for your children after your death. As you age, you may want to take a look at how your life insurance policy will help pay for your funeral and burial expenses.

Likewise, you may need to consider who will receive the benefits from your life insurance policy. For example, if you have been divorced, your former spouse may still be named the beneficiary on your life insurance policy. You may want to designate your children as beneficiaries as they age, or change the provisions when you no longer have minor children. At each stage of life, reexamining those benefits can help you choose the life insurance option that works best for you.

3. Estate planning can help you designate what you want to happen to your children if you pass away before they are of age.

As part of your estate planning, you will need to designate who will get custody of your minor children if you die. Most parents do not want to think about the possibility that their children will be left with no one to care for them, but you do not want the decision made by the courts, who do not know you or your children. Without a will, however, the court will be responsible for deciding what happens to your children, and your wishes may not be taken into account. As you handle estate planning, you can select who will receive custody of your minor children if you die. You can also help make provisions for those children financially, whether you choose to provide money to help their guardian raise them or you want to set aside money in trust for them when they reach adulthood. This provision can prove critical to your family’s future, especially if you pass away before your children reach adulthood.

4. Estate planning now can help reduce arguments after your death.

All too many families find themselves split apart by arguments surrounding the disbursement of a loved one’s possessions. Even the most loving family can wind up arguing over who deserves what or what cherished possessions they should get to take. Your will, however, can help reduce many of those arguments. Through your will, you can set out exactly what you intend to happen to your money and possessions after your death, which can help reduce squabbling.

5. Creating a living trust can make it easier for your loved ones to take possession of your assets after your death.

In many states, moving the deceased’s assets through probate can take a long time. A living trust may still require some time for transfer of assets, but it can streamline the process and make it easier for everyone involved. Your living trust can be altered as long as you live, whether you want to add assets, remove them, or change beneficiaries. It can still take time to settle a living trust. Your beneficiaries may need several months, and need to handle accounting fees, before they take full possession of your assets. The living trust, however, can streamline that process and help them avoid probate, which can prove time-consuming and frustrating.

Whether you have been putting off estate planning and recently recognized how important it is for your family’s future or you need to review your will, living trust, or medical directives to ensure that they meet your current needs, working closely with an attorney can make the process easier. Contact  Stephenson, Chavarri & Dawson, L.L.C. at 504-523-6496 to schedule an appointment to start working on your estate planning needs today. It’s never too early to start preparing for your family’s future!

With so much uncertainty right now, it is natural for people to consider getting their affairs in order, specifically making sure their loved ones are taken care of, and their assets are protected. Even though estate planning should be a top priority at any time, with the world battling COVID-19, it is more important than ever to settle your accounts during these unprecedented times.

Our legal team at Stephenson, Chávarri & Dawson understands that this challenging time has brought with it many worries and as a result, a high number of last-minute Wills.  That is why we have made it a point to help families and individuals in Louisiana finalize their estate planning needs while ensuring that each gets the professionalism, experience, and turnaround time that they want. In this blog post, we will explain in more detail what estate documents you should be considering right now and how COVID-19 has brought some significant changes to Louisiana’s estate planning rules.

What Estate Planning Documents Do You Need?

What’s great about estate planning, is it can be as detailed as you want it to be.  However, our law firm recommends that, at a minimum, the following estate planning documents should be created.

  • Wills or a Trust
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Directives or a Living Will
  • Guardianship Designation (if you have a child)
  • HIPAA Authorization

Wills

A Will is a legal document whose primary purpose is to express a person’s desires of how their property will be allocated upon their death and which individual will manage the property until it is distributed. In addition, a Will may also legally specify certain provisions ensuring that their partner receives all of their possessions. During this COVID-19 emergency, certain aspects of creating a valid Will have changed in Louisiana, and it is important to understand these updates:

Does Louisiana require the Will to be witnessed?

Yes, the best practice is to sign your Will with two witnesses. However, the state also allows a Holographic Will to be admitted into probate court. A Holographic Will is an alternative to a Will produced by a lawyer, and it is handwritten and signed by the Will maker without witnesses.

Does Louisiana require the Will to be notarized?

Yes, a notary is required unless the Will is Holographic. A notarization is extremely beneficial to show that the Will is legally valid.

Does Louisiana allow for remote witnesses and/or a notary?

In general, Louisiana does not allow for remote witnesses and or a remote notary. However, due to the COVID-19 emergency, the state has issued the  Executive Proclamation 37 JBE 2020 which provides for remote notarizations in certain situations and when the following elements are met:

  • The individual creating the Will, any witnesses, and the Notary has to be able to communicate simultaneously by sound and sight through an electronic device or process at the time of the notarization.
  • The Notary has reasonably identified the individual creating the Will.
  • The Notary or an agent of the Notary has to create an audiovisual recording of the notarization. This recording must be retained for a period of at least ten years from the date of execution unless the Louisiana law states otherwise.
  • The individual creating the Will, any witnesses, and the Notary must affix their digital signature to the act in a way that makes any subsequent changes or modifications apparent.
  • This waiver for physical presence cannot be used when notarizing trust instruments, testaments, donations inter vivos, matrimonial agreements, or specific acts modifying, waiving, or extinguishing an obligation of final spousal support and authentic acts.

Trusts

A trust is a three-party fiduciary relationship where the first party, the settlor, or the trustor, transfers their property on to the second party for the benefit of a third party, or the beneficiary. These trusts are created to provide legal protection for the trustor’s assets and make sure they are distributed according to their wishes. Trusts not only help save time and reduce paperwork but in some instances, they can even minimize estate taxes. Some important legal aspects to consider when creating a trust include:

Does Louisiana Require a Trust to be Notarized?

In Louisiana, notarization of trust is only required if transferring real property. And even though the Executive Proclamation 37 JBE 2020 has allowed remote notarization in certain situations (as indicated above), it, unfortunately, does not apply to executing a trust. According to the proclamation, trusts are part of the exception and cannot be created using remote notarization.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

Another important legal document that you should consider is the Power of Attorney for Health Care. As this virus continues to spread, it has resulted in many people becoming critically ill and many others dying. That is why it is so vital to have this document in place right now as hospitals will usually look to your specific designee in your Power of Attorney to take control of your health care if you cannot do so yourself.

As you can see from the information listed above, there are many specifics that come into play with an estate plan, and we have only begun skimming the surface. If you are considering an estate plan, it is crucial to discuss these documents with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. These lawyers can go over your individual goals of what you want to accomplish with your estate plan and help you carry out these particular desires.

Why Call Stephenson, Chávarri & Dawson, LLC?

When it comes to issues involving taking care of your family and loved ones, we know that they need to be handled with the utmost vigilance, respect, and dedication.  With over 50 years of combined experience, the legal team at Stephenson, Chávarri & Dawson have served the diverse legal needs of countless individual clients, families, and businesses, ensuring that each gets the attention and the representation they deserve.

With all that is unknown right now, do not let the stress of not having things in order get you down. Instead, if you are looking to create your own estate plan, contact us through our website or give us a call at 504-523-6496 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.

 

When the time comes in your life that a family member you love is incapacitated or can no longer make important, legal, financial, and medical decisions, you want someone to act in their best interest and follow their wishes. Designating a power of attorney is a crucial action that some people never do, or they wait until it’s too late to act. You can ensure that you can act on your loved one’s behalf when the time is necessary by helping your family member designate their power of attorney. Technically, you do not need a lawyer, but it’s in everyone’s best interest to have an attorney draw up the necessary paperwork to ensure it’s properly drafted and executed.

This guide provides a broad overview of power of attorneys in Louisiana, why you should have a lawyer help you draw up the necessary paperwork to help your loved one, and some common questions associated with your responsibilities as the power of attorney for a family member.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

If you’ve watched television or movies, you have at least a rudimentary understanding of power of attorney. Yet, Louisiana is different from every other state because it has a civil law system as opposed to common law. Power of attorney is a common law term; under Louisiana civil law, mandates and procuration are the correct legal terms. A mandate authorizes you to perform specific acts for your family member; you can think of a mandate as a limited power of attorney. A procuration is a broader authorization that you can think of as a general power of attorney. Family members who have power of attorney in Louisiana often fall under the procuration umbrella.

When Do You Need Your Family Member’s Power of Attorney?

Many scenarios arise where your family member will benefit from you having their power of attorney. In most cases, families plan ahead to prepare for the future possibility of debilitating illness, terminal disease, or accidents resulting in mental incapacitation. It’s in everyone’s best interest to take estate planning seriously and designate a power of attorney, but some scenarios urgently require action:

  • Families of service members must help their active-duty member designate power of attorney to make financial and legal decisions during deployment. Additionally, active-duty service members risk injury during deployment, so they need to assign their power of attorney to a loved one to make crucial decisions about medical treatment.
  • Families of those who work in high-risk careers also need to be diligent about helping their loved ones designate their power of attorney, especially with regard to medical care. Examples include police officers, agricultural workers, construction workers, and offshore workers in the Gulf.
  • Families of those who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease help their loved ones designate power of attorney because of the imminent loss of mental capacity. Planning while your loved one still has the ability to make decisions allows your loved one to share their wishes with everyone involved and designate their power of attorney to someone they trust.
  • Some individuals choose to designate their power of attorney to a family member for business purposes or convenience rather than an immediate medical or professional need. Your loved one might want you to handle financial transactions or legal issues.

Why Should a Lawyer Help My Loved One Designate Their Power of Attorney?

On the surface, you might think designating a power of attorney simply means having your loved one sign a form that assigns you or someone else as their agent, so a lawyer is unnecessary. Estate planning attorneys who draft mandates and general powers of attorney in Louisiana play a critical role in protecting the rights and wishes of your loved one. Fill-in-the-blank forms you find on the internet do not provide the customized language the document should provide to meet your family member’s specific needs and wants.

Specific considerations lawyers make when helping draft powers of attorney include:

  • A power of attorney document, especially a mandate, specifically outlines the powers an agent has such as buying and selling property, paying debts, making medical treatment decisions, making gifts, designating beneficiaries. The wording in the document is significant to its interpretation when executed. In some cases, your family member’s power of attorney document won’t be legally binding if the language isn’t right.
  • A power of attorney can immediately take effect or execution can occur when your loved one becomes incapacitated, known as a ‘springing’ power of attorney. Lawyers help clients determine the exact conditions required for execution and place the appropriate language in the document.
  • Sometimes people want to designate more than one person or agent. The wrong language can lead to unneeded family drama and do-it-yourself forms leave massive gaps for interpretation. A lawyer clearly outlines each person’s responsibilities and what should happen if one or all agents cannot act as a result of death or their own incapacitation.
  • Lawyers help your family member properly execute their power of attorney so it’s valid. In Louisiana, all power of attorney documents must be notarized.
  • As mentioned above, Louisiana law differs from every other state. There is a good chance any power of attorney forms you find on the internet will not work in Louisiana. Slight differences in the civil code make it a poor choice to trust form documents from the internet. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney will ensure your documents conform to Louisiana law.

Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney to Help Your Family Member

The experienced estate planning attorneys at Stephenson, Chávarri & Dawson have drafted countless powers of attorneys for clients and guided them through the proper execution of the document. We take careful measures to craft a customized, legally binding document that helps your family member put trust in another when or if they become incapacitated because of work, illness, or disease. Contact us today online or at 504-523-6496 to discuss your estate planning needs with a member of our skilled legal team.

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