Making The Complex

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Elder law: Why a letter of competency is so crucial

Some documents are absolutely necessary for seniors to have in their portfolios or estate plans. Louisiana elder law paves the way for seniors who are still able to make their own decisions. One of the most important documents to have is a letter of competency. It could mean the difference between having a valid will and one that could be contested.

A lawyer can offer advice to an individual regarding a letter of competency during the estate planning process when a will is drafted, along with powers of attorney, health care directives and other crucial documents. Such a letter will go a long way to ensure that the testator was making decisions with a sound mind and without confusion. Making sure a testator has both the legal and medical capability of making decisions regarding his or her finances and health care should thwart any questioning as to the validity of the documents in place. 

A family doctor is usually the person from whom a letter of competency is obtained. Having the document reviewed by a psychiatrist or neurologist may also be a prudent step. The letter should state that the individual is able to make independent decisions regarding finances, health care and legal issues on his or her own.

An attorney experienced in elder law in Louisiana may be able to help a client to obtain a letter of competency by recommending appropriate experts in the health care field. A lawyer knows legal competency when he or she sees it. A lawyer is able to evaluate a client’s competency when it comes to being able to create, think about and execute legal documents.


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