Tragedies generally get people thinking about their preparedness or the lack thereof. This recent pandemic is a perfect case in point. Yes, Congress is sending cash payments to individuals, but many are concerned about their current personal needs from a planning standpoint.
Do you have a general durable power of attorney or a healthcare power of attorney? Hopefully, you do not have to go to the hospital, or you are in a high-risk category. Have you thought about your living will or advanced directive? Have you started or finished that will that you have been meaning to do? Do you have burial instructions in written form to guide your children when the time comes?
Yes, we do procrastinate on the above questions. It’s not like the electric, water or cable service which could be turned off if we don’t pay our bill. A power of attorney can be very useful if one is incapacitated and can’t make financial decisions. A healthcare power of attorney is important if you are a single individual and want that one particular person to make healthcare decisions for you if you can’t.
Wills are always important. Keep in mind that Louisiana law does allow you to complete a handwritten will. With the current social distancing efforts and office closures, it may be impossible to meet with an attorney to do a notarial will. To have an effective handwritten will, it must be written entirely in the handwriting of the person making the will, it must be dated, and it must be signed. There is no need for a witness or a notary. So, DO NOT type it on your computer, DO NOT have your son or daughter write it. DO write the date as April 5, 2020 (if that is the date you sign) and DO NOT write 4-5-2020. Writing out a bequest, appointing an independent executor and revoking prior wills and codicils can be problematic, but an attorney can guide you through those things over the phone. We hope that you stay safe during this pandemic. If we can answer any questions on the above during these times please contact Carey J. Messina at 225.382.3498 or Kevin C. Curry at 225.382.3484.