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What You Should Know About Interdictions

Whether through illness, injury, or other means, anyone can require a guardian to become appointed if they become mentally incapacitated. In such cases, if there is no estate planning in place (or insufficient planning), the court process in probate court must appoint a curator.

Appointing a curator in Louisiana can be a challenging and expensive process. It begins with filing a petition in court for interdiction and requesting the court declare the incapacitated person incompetent. Such a petition can result in a heated dispute between family members and friends, who may claim they'd be better suited for the role. In some cases, these fillings are "ex parte" or in secret, and interdiction can be established before the family or close friends even know what's happening.

Sadly, most people don't think of the possibility of incapacity. To prevent court and conflict, in the case of incapacity, you must have the proper planning in place that includes a valid durable power of attorney and advanced health care directives.

If you or someone you love would need to appoint a guardian, here are some of the things you'll need to know:

Who can be a curator?
Any interested person can petition for interdiction if there is no legal plan or document for this situation. That said, most courts give preference to the spouse or other immediate family members. In some cases, the person petitioning would need to post bond, which typically requires good credit and some level of deposit in the event of the guardian's wrongdoing.

Suppose a relative or friend is not willing—or capable—of serving. In that case, the court will appoint a professional guardian or public guardian. A professional guardian is one of the expenses that can deplete an estate very quickly.

What are a curator's responsibilities?
Depending on the extent of the person's mental capacity, a court-appointed guardian can have near-complete control over the person's life and finances.

The scope of approved duties is up to the court.Some of the most common responsibilities include:

  • Paying bills and handling finances

  • Determining where they live

  • Monitoring their residence and living conditions

  • Providing consent for medical treatments

  • Managing real estate and other tangible personal property

  • Making end-of-life and other palliative-care decisions

  • Reporting to the court about the person's status at least annually

The court can also divide out responsibilities to multiple parties. For example, one person may oversee the financial decisions, while another handles living arrangements and healthcare decisions.

Are curators compensated?
The appointed curator is paid a reasonable compensation directly from the ward's estate.

Don't leave you or someone you love at risk. Contact us as your neighborhood Personal Family Lawyer® to get your planning in place, even if you have an estate plan.


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