I create and notarize a lot of Power of Attorney (POA) forms. I would guess that I help around 10 people a week with this. I actually love doing these because I am extremely confident with it, and I feel like I am actually helping someone.
One of the most common questions I get about a Louisiana POA is if it will continue to be in effect after death. Short answer: no! Longer answer: let’s talk!
For starters, let’s explain the basics of a LA Power of Attorney. You have a “Principle” and an “Agent”. The Principle is the person that needs help. The Agent is the person that is the helper. The Agent helps the Principle by acting on the Principle’s behalf to perform certain powers and duties appointed to him.
That’s pretty legalese sounding right? Let’s break it down with a quick example.
Poor old Mary is stuck in the bed with a bad case of arthritis. Mary can’t get out of the house to do anything. Luckily for Mary, her daughter Susie is able bodied, trustworthy, and wants to help old Mary.
Mary wants Susie to be able to do to the bank for her, pick up her mail, talk to the doctors, and basically handle all of her affairs. Susie is able and willing to do all that she can.
Mary calls George Tull (the #1 Mobile Notary Public in all of Baton Rouge) at 225-907-5280. George helps them create a POA. In that POA, Mary is the principle, and Susie is the Agent. Mary grants certain powers and duties to Susie so that Susie can legally represent Mary, all according to the powers granted in the POA.
Simple, right? I think so too, but if you’re confused (my fault!), just give me a call and we’ll chat about it.
Now back to the Louisiana Power of Attorney continuing to be in effect after death question:
When poor old Mary dies, that POA is no longer in effect. Since the POA was “Durable”, it was in effect during Mary’s last days when she was no longer competent and conscious, but as soon as Mary passes Susie can no longer represent Mary. Why? Because Mary is no longer in existence, so Susie has no one to represent.
But….. Mary’s estate is still in existence, according to LA law. So should the POA help Susie to represent Mary’s estate? No!!! The will kicks into effect at this point, and Mary’s estate will be handled according to LA’s probate laws.
I hope this little article helps someone out there. If you have any questions about this at all, feel free to call me at 225-907-5280. You can also call me if you need assistance in drafting a POA. I’m more than happy to travel directly to you anywhere in the Baton Rouge area. After all, I am your #1 Baton Rouge notary!!!