Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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Finding help with decision making when family is obsolete

There is a lot of information out there to help people plan for their future when they are coordinating an estate plan. Often, this information focuses on recruiting family and friends to provide support when the time comes that independent decision making is no longer an option. However, what about the people in Louisiana who for whatever reason lack the support or availability of their family? Finding reliable help in preparation for the times when they become incapacitated and are no longer able to manage their health and finances is still critical. 

In these cases, the title of the person that would be hired to take on the role of what an executor or trustee would be doing if the family were around, is called a fiduciary. The process of recruiting and informing a fiduciary of concerns, unique circumstances and personal requests is a process that will take time and should be regularly revisited to ensure that both parties are on the same page. 

The first step that people should take is to compare their options and do some independent research to learn more about potential options. They can look for specialty areas and compare reviews from other people that may have worked with that specific person or entity. They should spend a considerable amount of time gathering points of discussion that they want to address in regards to their health, finances and overall end-of-life desires. An interview is a valuable resource that people can use to screen their options to identify which party would be a viable fit for their needs. From here, a decision will need to be made regarding which option to choose. 

When people are ready to begin planning for their future and finalizing documents such as a will, they may benefit from the guidance of an attorney. They can receive help and support and advice from people with applicable experience to their situation.  

Source: MarketWatch, "How to find someone to make health and financial decisions for you when you can't," Jodi Weisberg, Aug. 16, 2019

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