Incapacity planning is a broad area of law that covers how you are cared for if you become physically or mentally unable to care for yourself. The type of care could range from simple tasks like buying groceries, paying bills, and handling financial matters to more important decisions such as selling real estate, gifting assets to your children, or making critical medical decisions.
Depending on the needs of the individual or family, incapacity planning should include several planning techniques such as Property Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, or Advance Health Care Directives or Guardianships/Conservatorships.
What is Interdiction?
In Louisiana, interdiction is the legal process that must take place that allows a loved one to assume decision-making authority and take on the responsibility of caring for an individual who is incapable of consistently making decisions about his/her person and property.
During the court-supervised interdiction process, a judge is asked to determine, from testimony and other evidence presented, whether or not the individual has the ability to consistently make sound decisions on his person, property, and finances. If it is determined that the individual lacks capacity, a curator is appointed by the court to
- care for the interdicted person or his affairs,
- make decisions for the interdicted person,
- or to act in the place of the interdicted person.
When may an Interdiction be Needed?
If an adult is not able to do things like pay bills, make decisions on property, sign contracts, or secure appropriate medical care, someone has to be chosen to do those things on behalf of the individual who cannot act on his own. Interdiction proceedings may need to be initiated by a friend or family member if an adult becomes unable to act autonomously and manage his affairs.
What can I do in advance to postpone or avoid interdiction?
Morrison Law Group believes in proactive, practical planning. We have helped many families design incapacity plans so that interdiction proceedings are NOT needed at a time of incapacity:
- A general power of attorney and medical power of attorney can be drafted to give someone of your choosing the right to make financial and/or medical decisions for you should you ever become incapable of doing so yourself.
- Under Louisiana law, your assets can be placed in trust.
- Make your wishes known to your family, friends, and physicians about your end-of-life choices by completing a living will.
- Choose a person to become your curator should you ever need to be interdicted and place the choice in a legal document to make sure your wishes are followed.
How much does an interdiction cost?
The cost of an interdiction depends on the circumstances of each case. Whenever the court system is involved, processes and costs vary greatly depending on the physical and mental condition of the person, if family members are not in agreement and the amount of property the person has.
Our legal team provides excellent, comprehensive assistance in incapacity proceedings and advises curators in fulfilling their roles. Give us a call at (504) 831-2348 to find out more about the personalized assistance we can offer you. You can also contact us online to set up a meeting with our estate planning lawyer and find out how we can help.