WHAT IS AN Interdiction? It is the legal process where a court judicially declares a person incapable of managing his/her person, affairs or both. Most often, a loved one becomes unable to consistently make reasoned decisions due to an illness, like Alzheimer’s or dementia. The end result of an Interdiction is a Judgment that removes powers from the interdicted person to enter into legal agreements. Instead, the court appoints a representative, a Curator, who acts under the court’s supervision on behalf of the interdicted person.
Why worry about Interdiction? The Alzheimer’s Association provides that in 2018, 5.7 million people live with Alzheimer’s, but this number is forecasted to increase to 14 million in 2050. Often, when someone attempts to help a loved one suffering from such an illness, that person will hit roadblocks with financial and insurance entities, medical providers, and government offices, especially without a Power of Attorney or Judgment. Thus, these helpers often realize the only remaining option is an Interdiction, which is a legal suit filed against the person who is no longer able to consistently make reasoned decisions. This process can be very expensive, requiring medical evidence and testimony, and like most legal matters, the process can be very stressful.
So how can Interdiction be avoided? A properly drafted Durable Power of Attorney most often alleviates the need for interdiction. This type of power of attorney remains in effect despite later incapacity. The principal can also name the agent to serve as a Curator, if necessary, and that provision can alleviate others from needlessly filing an Interdiction. The Power of Attorney is a very cost-effective, and arguably, the most necessary estate planning tool.