What’s a Property Power of Attorney, and what can it do?
A Property Power of Attorney (also known as a Financial POA) is a legally binding document empowering you to designate a trusted individual to make financial decisions on your behalf. Things like:
- accessing accounts
- managing expenses
- engaging in buying or selling transactions
- exchanging assets
- entering legally binding contracts
- creating trusts
- making donations, and more
As a practical matter, a Property POA usually sits on a shelf until you need it. But when you need it, you REALLY need it, so your Power of Attorney must be valid for all intents and purposes.
Louisiana law mandates that a Power of Attorney must expressly delegate certain powers to be validly transferred to your Agent. When a Power of Attorney is defective, it usually is not discovered until it’s too late to change it (after a person has lost capacity).
What Happens if I Need One and Don’t Have One?
In the event of your incapacitation without a valid power of attorney, the legal process of Interdiction in Louisiana becomes necessary to declare you legally incompetent. During this process, the court will appoint a curator to manage your affairs, and the chosen curator could be anyone.
Interdictions are known for being highly contentious and often result in significant expenses. This underscores the importance of having a property power of attorney in place to avoid potential challenges!
What’s a Durable Power of Attorney?
A Durable Power of Attorney in Louisiana indicates that the power granted remains effective even if you become incapacitated. In contrast, a non-durable POA terminates upon loss of capacity, potentially undermining its purpose of enabling someone to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so.
Contact Our Estate Planning Team
If you need assistance with a Property Power of Attorney or a Durable Power of Attorney, our team is here to help you. Please feel free to call our office at (504) 831-2348 or use our contact page to send us a message.