When Do I Need A Power Of Attorney?

Most people think that you need to worry about getting a power of attorney when you are sick or get older. The problem with delaying is that a person can lose capacity very quickly when they get sick or older.

Most people are surprised when I tell them that everyone over the age of eighteen (18) should have general durable powers of attorney concerning their person and their property. So, the correct answer to the question is that you need a power of attorney as quickly as possible regardless of your age or your health.

The reason why it is important to take action: is that no person in this world is guaranteed health or capacity next year, next week, tomorrow or even today.

If you have questions concerning powers of attorney, you should consult an experienced estate planning attorney. Kent S. DeJean

Putting Off Getting A Will Till You Fly? Think Again!

 

One of the biggest things that motivates people to our law firm to engage in estate planning or updating their wills is when they go on a airplane trip. The thoughts to traveling high in the air in a large aircraft scares people into executing wills and powers of attorney. The perception is that flying is very dangerous. However, human perception is sometimes not based in reality.

What is your probability of dying in a commercial airplane crash? According to statistics, you have a one in 3.5 million chance of being involved in a commercial airplane crash where at least one person dies (not necessarily you).

In comparison, statistics show that you have a one in 100,000 chance of dying in an automobile accident. That’s right. You are at least 35 times more likely to die riding in a car accident today than if you got on a commercial aircraft.

So what is the moral of the story? Instead of waiting to estate plan when you are taking a trip on a plane, you should be much more worried about estate planning today if you are riding in a car. One should not put off estate planning or the execution of powers of attorney. Our health and/or capacity is not guaranteed. Plan today!

If you have any questions about wills, estate planning or powers of attorney, contact an experienced estate planning attorney.

Kent S. DeJean

THE DANGERS OF HAND WRITTEN WILLS

 

Kent S. DeJean | Attorney at Law

It’s not unusual for people to take shortcuts and try to avoid spending money on wills by hand-writing one. Although this practice is permitted under Louisiana law as long as the form requirements are met, there are some inherent dangers in this practice.

People who write their own wills are usually not attorneys themselves and have limited knowledge of the law. If they attempt to be too technical, they can create legal entities or legal transfers that are not recognized by Louisiana law and cannot be enforced by the Courts.

People can also be imprecise with their language, making it difficult to interpret what a person who wrote their own will wanted. This can lead to costly and time-consuming litigation, bringing in the very attorneys that the decedent attempted to avoid in the first place.

The old saying “you get what you pay for” applies here. I cannot tell you the number of handwritten wills involving large estates that end up being litigated in courts. If your estate  is important to you, you should spend some more time and money to ensure that your will is legal and will be recognized, and that your intentions are clear so they can be enforced.

If you have any questions, you should consult and experienced estate attorney.

I Want My Daughter To Have My Wedding Ring If I Die. How Do I Make Sure She Gets It!

Every person owns certain property that is special to them. Wedding or engagement rings, furniture, or art collections are examples of sentimental items that people can accumulate  during their lives. These items may be worth a lot due to their collection value. Sometimes items are special for personal reasons.

It is not unusual for people to want certain family members or friends to have these sentimental items or particular things.

People that have these items need to be very careful when it comes to estate planning. Many times people take short cuts. They give verbal instructions to the family as to who will get what when they die. Persons sometimes put names on the bottom of items to indicate who will get the item when that person dies.

It is important to remember that to guarantee that a someone gets that sentimental item, it should be provided for in a will. Under Louisiana law, a will must be in proper form. Verbal instructions and labels on items are not in proper form. Unless there is a legal will, the bequest will be not be enforceable if any of the other heirs contest it.

So it is important to provide for particular bequests of movables in your will or make a clear written donation of the item while you are alive.

If you have any questions regarding wills, please consult an experienced estate planning or succession attorney. Kent S. DeJean

 

I Moved To Louisiana And Have A Will Executed In Another State. Should I Get A New Will Done In Louisiana?

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.

Kent S. DeJean

The Baton Rouge Head Injury Support Group

The Baton Rouge Head Injury Support group held an informative session this past Wednesday entitled “Caregiver Legal Issues”.  Mr. Pete Losavio spoke to the organization regarding legal documents designed to protect the interests of long-term caregivers and their charges, such as Wills, Trusts, and Power of Attorney, as well as provided advice for after-life care.  The seminar was held to assist caregivers in making more secure and informed decisions. 

As a member of the Brain Injury Association of America and of the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Head Injury Support Group aims to work in support of the families and caregivers of those who have suffered from debilitating brain injuries.  Pursuit of  prevention, research, and advocacy allows the BRHISG to provide growth opportunities to patients of brain injuries as well as their support groups.

Monthly support group meetings and social events are held in and around Baton Rouge for interested parties.

Want more information? Contact Toni Hamilton at:

toni.hamilton@brrehab.com

Or William Moak at 225-978-3990