Unfortunately, it is common for agents in powers of attorney to continue to use them to conduct financial business even after the principal has died. Once a principal has died, the agent and the principal’s family or legatees should consult with a succession attorney.
It is important to remember that powers of attorney should never be used to conduct business once the principal has died. The agent has no legal authority to conduct business. Under Louisiana law, the administration of assets is governed by succession law. It will necessary to obtain the proper authority of a court or obtain necessary documentation to obtain the authority to administer the assets and debts of the principal’s estate.
Since the agent lacks legal authority once the principal dies, any actions taken by the agent using the power of attorney to administer the Principal’s estate, can be challenged. This can subject the agent to possible civil litigation and criminal actions.
If you have any questions regarding powers or attorney or succession, please consult an experienced estate planning attorney. Kent S. DeJean
In Louisiana, the general answer to this question is no. Life insurance proceeds are not part of a succession. This can be confusing because both successions and life insurance claims both result from someone’s death. So, it is often assumed that they are handled together.
However, it is important to remember that life insurance is not part of the estate of the person that died. The decedent doesn’t own the life insurance proceeds. The insurance proceeds are contractual in that they are paid to the beneficiary on the condition of the decedent’s death.
So, if there is a beneficiary that has survived the decedent, that beneficiary does not have to open a succession with regard to those insurance proceeds. The surviving beneficiary will probably only have to submit a death certificate and the insurance company’s application to obtain the life insurance proceeds.
However, if the beneficiary named in the life insurance died before the decedent or the decedent named their estate as the beneficiary, these life insurance proceeds would have to be handled in the succession.
If you have any questions concerning successions, you should consult an experience estate planning attorney.
Please join us for a informative workshop on Tuesday May 22, 2018 at The Blake at Lafayette 400 Polly Lane, Lafayette, La. We are having 3 sessions at 9:30 am, 12:00 pm, and 6:00 pm. To register please call 225-892-9702
It is common for people to move to different states. Potential clients come to my office asking if it is necessary to execute a new will in Louisiana. The answer to the question is somewhat complex.
The legal answer is that the law does not require that you have a Louisiana will. The will of another state can be probated and recognized by a Louisiana Court. There is a special procedure under Louisiana law that allows heirs and legatees to have these out of state wills recognized legally.
The problem with out of state wills is that they are drafted according the laws of that other state. Louisiana law can be very different from other states. Terminology can be very different state to state. Also, certain legal concepts may exist in one and may either be very different or not exist in another.
Although Louisiana courts will attempt to comply with the wishes of the decedent in their out of state will, they still may be unable to implement the directions due to the difference in the law. Sometimes, it may be difficult to implement the intent because there is no such legal concept under Louisiana law.
It is advisable that you have your out of state will examined by a Louisiana attorney to determine whether you need to have a Louisiana will drafted and executed to make sure your intentions are recognized and implemented.
If you have any questions concerning wills, you should contact an experienced estate planning attorney.
You are invited to attend our Free Senior Work Shop on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 12:00pm and 6:00pm at the East Baton Rouge Library – Goodwood, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA. Please RSVP seating is limited. Please call to reserve 225-892-9702
Appeal as soon as possible! You should appeal your denial of benefits as soon as possible. For unfavorable decisions from the local office and the administrative law judge, you have only sixty (60) days to file an appeal.
If you don’t file an appeal within sixty (60) days, your decision will become final and you will not be able to appeal it. Your only other possible option will be to re-apply with the local office.
By not appealing, you could lose significant back payments for Social Security benefits.
You should also appeal right away because the appeal process already takes a long time before you will receive a decision. Every day, week and month that you delay is adding additional time to what is already a slow process.
Appeals sent by mail can be lost and misplaced. I recommend that clients hand deliver their appeal form to the Social Security office. Make sure that the appeal form is stamped with a receipt date and make sure that you have them also stamp the receipt on your own copy. This way if the appeal is lost, you will have proof that you filed your appeal.
You do not have to have an attorney to appeal an unfavorable decision. However, I do recommend that should you obtain an unfavorable decision that you consult with an experienced Social Security attorney. Kent S. DeJean
It is very common for people to put off executing powers of attorney. In fact, recent studies show that 80% of adults do not have an executed power of attorney. Most people think that powers of attorneys are for people that are sick or old.
In the real world, none of us are guaranteed capacity even today. An accident or health issue can take our mental or physical capacity away from us quickly without prior warning. We would be unable to take care of our own person and property. No one can predict when a person will lose capacity.
The execution of a valid durable powers of attorney is relatively quick, easy and fast. When a person fails to plan in advance, that person is “playing with fire”. Many learn the lesson the hard way. They wait until it is too late. The family may be unable to get the power of attorney executed because the person has lost capacity. The family may have the person sign a power of attorney where capacity is an issue. This can lead to family disputes and/or challenges to the document.
If you have any questions concerning powers of attorney, living wills and advanced medical directives, you should contact an experienced estate planning attorney.
Mr. Losavio is giving a workshop at Amber Terrace Assisted Living Tuesday January 12, 2016 at 4:00pm and 6:30pm and Thursday January 14,2016 at 4:00pm an 6:30pm. Amber Terrace Assisted Living is located at 8585 Summa Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70809. Seating is limited so call ahead and reserve your seat 1-800-426-6104.