Children usually have someone who will automatically be there to take care of them when they become sick. However, as people grow older, that certainty is no longer there. Therefore, rather than run the risk of having a court appoint a caretaker in the event of incapacitation, it makes good sense for many adults to take steps to make their elder law plans.
Louisiana residents who hope to be cared for in a manner they find fitting may wish to appoint power of attorney agents. When appointing a health care agent, parties can detail any specific desires they have for how their care should be carried out. Additionally, the person appointed is chosen directly by the person who may one day need care, and therefore, that agent is hopefully a trusted and responsible individual.
If an agent is not appointed in such a personalized way, a guardian may be appointed by the court. The guardian must file reports and updates regarding the ward's welfare and financial affairs. Additionally, a court-appointed guardian is likely permanent. Though having someone to provide care may be useful, a court-appointed individual may not be the same choice the incapacitated person would have made on his or her own.
Preparing for the possibility of incapacitation is a prudent step for anyone who has reached the age of adulthood. The older a person gets, the likelihood of needing some sort of care may increase. Therefore, Louisiana residents may wish to review their power of attorney options and speak with experienced elder law attorneys in hopes of making their desired plans known.
Source: fdlreporter.com, "Easing the Burden: Estate planning, power of attorney key", Isabell Mueller, Jan. 28, 2017