Sophisticated Woman Magazine September 2014

Page 16

legal І


Trim Size 3.22 x 10.75” Bleed Size 3.50 x 11” (live area) 2.47” x 10” 1/3 Vertical Non-Bleed

2.43” x 8.875”


The Title Source OF LOUISIANA

LAST MONTH I had surgery for a health matter that arose rather quickly. I am happy to say that I am almost back to 100 percent and all went very well (Thanks to Dr. Vicki Steen and her wonderful staff and the incredible team at St. Tammany Parish Hospital!) But more importantly, I realized that this time…it was me. This was not a client I was preparing an Estate Plan for; it was now my turn. The good thing is that I really do “practice what I preach” and luckily, there was very little I needed to do before my surgery. Because there are so many things going through your head when dealing with a medical procedure, it was very comforting to know that my affairs were in order. During my pre-op visit, the hospital was very impressed with my “DocuBank” card. DocuBank is a service that safely houses scanned copies of all my medical directives: Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney, Declaration of Burial Desires, my emergency contact people’s home and cell numbers, and my Doctor’s name and phone number. This information is accessible anytime by internet, phone or facsimile, no matter where I am. For more information, see DocuBank. com. In the event of my disability, I already had both my Power of Attorney for Finances and my Power of Attorney for Health Care in place. This is important because it is now

the people I have chosen (not the Court), that will be in control of both my assets and my health care decisions. Without these documents in place, a Court action called an “Interdiction” would need to be filed on my behalf to declare me as incompetent. The Court would decide who would be appointed my “Curator” (the person in legal control of my assets and health care). It may not have been the person I wanted, had I not had these legal documents in place. And in the unlikely event of my death, I knew that all my non-beneficiary-driven assets would go exactly as I directed, handled by the person I chose, and all my beneficiarydriven assets (IRAs, life insurance) were in good order with properly named primary and contingent beneficiaries. The best part of all was that none of this was needed…but the comfort of knowing it was all there “just in case” was priceless. Ronda M. Gabb & Associates LLC, “A Louisiana Estate Planning & Elder Law Practice.” She is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Board Certified Estate Planning and Administration Specialist certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. Her office is located at 40 Louis Prima Drive in Covington. Call 985-892-0942 or visit her on the web at