Powers of Attorney

Louisiana Power of Attorney

A Louisiana Power of Attorney allows you to authorize someone (your agent or attorney-in-fact) to handle your financial and legal affairs in the event you are unable. With a properly drafted power of attorney, you select someone you know and trust to handle your affairs. In Louisiana, a power of attorney is also known as Procuration or Mandate. We believe that a power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents. You may become incapacitated due to a medical issue such as dementia or a stroke or from other occurrences like a car accident. Regardless of the reason for losing capacity to make your own decisions, secure your peace of mind with a power of attorney. Houma estate planning lawyer John Sirois will work with you and your family to understand your needs and your current family situation. We can draft a power of attorney to accomplish your planning goals and protect your assets. Contact Houma estate and elder law attorney John Sirois at 985-580-2520 if you have questions about Louisiana powers of attorney or to draft your power of attorney document.

Houma – Thibodaux Power of Attorney

If you lose capacity to manage your own affairs, a general power of attorney for financial decisions will be needed to help avoid an interdiction. If you are interdicted, the courts decide who will make decisions on your behalf. Unfortunately, if you are interdicted, all of the planning options to protect your assets from Medicaid spend-down are lost. A general power of attorney helps keep all of the planning options viable, and, compared to an interdiction, is a less expensive and nonpublic method for someone to manage the affairs of another person.

Metairie Power of Attorney

A key question is who to select as your agent (attorney-in-fact). Consideration should be given to the degree of maturity and financial sophistication when selecting an attorney-in-fact to manage financial decisions. The proximity of the agent to the principal and the availability of the agent are additional considerations. The bottom line is you should select someone you trust with sufficient maturity to make decisions on your behalf. Thibodaux elder law attorney John Sirois can help you determine who is best suited to be your authorized agent.

Not all Louisiana Powers of Attorney are Equal

Louisiana Law requires certain powers to be expressly granted in the power of attorney. As a result, many powers of attorney are woefully inadequate to handle the estate planning and asset protection goals of retirees and seniors. For example, it is critical that the power of attorney include the power to donate when planning to protect assets from Medicaid spend-down. For this reason if a power of attorney has already been executed, it may have to be updated to provide the family with maximum planning flexibility. If you are unsure if your power of attorney is worded to provide maximum planning options, call Houma estate planning and elder law attorney, John Sirois at 985-580-2520.

Powers that Must be Expressly Granted in the Power of Attorney.

Pursuant to Louisiana Civil Code, the following powers must be expressly granted in the power of attorney:

  1. To donate, sell, mortgage, acquire or lease a thing;
  2. To make donations either outright or to a new or existing trust or custodial arrangement;
  3. To accept or renounce a succession;
  4. To contract a loan, acknowledge or make remission of a debt, or become a surety;
  5. To draw or endorse promissory notes and negotiable instruments;
  6. To enter into a compromise or refer a matter to arbitration; or
  7. To make healthcare decisions, such as surgeries, medications and nursing home residency.

In addition if your agent is or may be a donee of transfers from the principal or named as a
beneficiary of the principal’s life insurance, annuities or retirement accounts, the power of
attorney should specifically allow your agent to engage in self-dealing. The benefits of allowing
self-dealing should be considered if one or more of your children are your agent(s). These
powers are critical to maintain flexibility for Medicaid long-term care planning in Louisiana.

Houma-Thibodaux Advanced Directives (Healthcare Power of Attorney)

A special type of power of attorney known as a medical power of attorney allows you to authorize someone (the attorney-in-fact) to give consent for medical procedures or to obtain medical records when you are unable to make such decisions. This is a type of limited power of attorney that only empowers the attorney-in-fact to make medical decisions on your behalf. Medical powers of attorney, sometimes called advanced directives, may be incorporated into a financial/general power of attorney; however, you may wish to name a different person to make health care decisions. You should include a HIPPA authorization to allow your agent to obtain medical information.

Kenner Healthcare Power of Attorney

A properly drafted Louisiana medical power of attorney can provide you with peace of mind. In the event of a medical emergency, the choices to be made can be overwhelming. It is critical that you don’t leave your loved ones struggling to come to a consensus for medical decisions when they are simultaneously dealing with the emotional impact of an accident or illness. Designating a health care proxy minimizes conflict and confusion during some of life’s most stressful moments by clearly identifying the individual responsible for medical choices.

Contact Houma – Thibodaux estate planning and elder law attorney John Sirois today at 985-580-2520 or by email at  if you have questions about power of attorney in Louisiana. From his offices in Houma and Metairie, Louisiana he provides residents from New Orleans, Metairie, Jefferson, Houma, Thibodaux and surrounding areas with sound advice regarding power of attorney and planning for incapacity.

Click here to order a copy of John’s book, Louisiana Retirement and Estate Planning.

Click here to download John’s Estate Planning Checklist

Click here to download John’s Long-Term Care Planning Checklist.