Recent Trends Causing Concern


  • Storage of Testaments has become a large concern. I would estimate that as high as 20% of testaments are never located and probated. Many clients are not storing the testament safely, or place too little importance on possessing the original. It is the original which is offered to the proper Court to be probated or to receive the effect of probate.

  • A bank box is the best place to store a testament. If a client becomes disabled or mentally incompetent, any person coming into the home may take or destroy the testament, making the client’s home a poor choice for testament storage.

  • It is very important that you obtain a qualified attorney to draft your will and oversee its execution. Many testaments which are only notarized by a notary, are pulled from the internet, or purchased from an office supply store fail to have the form required in Louisiana. An invalid testament is the same as having no testament. A valid testament expressing your binding desires is well worth the reasonable fee charged to prepare it.

  • Some sitters and other personnel hired by the elderly or the family are under pretense endearing themselves to the senior and taking advantage of them financially. The problem originates in the desperate loneliness of the senior, who may even have reasonable visitation with at least one family member daily. The senior may be very needy at this season of life and typically the senior’s children may be in the age range of 45 - 55, fully employed to meet the needs of their own family, be incurring the heavy expenses of teenagers and/or college students, and have numerous obligations stemming from having a home, spouse, and children. The disabled senior’s children are called the “sandwich” generation because they are sandwiched in between caring for their children and their parents, leaving them exhausted. They are also not able to retire to care for their parent, leaving the parent with hired persons for primary care givers. The senior may also not be strong enough to say “no.” This makes the senior and the family vulnerable to unscrupulous employees.

    Helps in this situation include: (1) Gaining a Power of Attorney from the senior; (2) Personally selecting the sitters or other personnel so that each is accountable to you realizing fully that they may be unemployed if they abuse your and your parent’s trust. You are then accountable to your parent (You are interposed between the employee and your parent). I do need to emphasize that you should make clear to the employee that if your parent is displeased, you are likely to be displeased and that while you have hired them, you will consider strongly your parent’s wishes.; (3) You paying the sitter/personnel so that the money is carefully scrutinized; (4) Maintaining good payment records to evidence that each has been paid having them sign for each week’s wages; (5) Openly but privately discussing with your parent his or her satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the employee and your concerns or observations; and (6) reporting any abuse to Elderly Protective Services (from within Louisiana only) at 1-(800) 259-4990 or, if out-of-state, call 1-(225)-342-9722.

    “Changes in the 2012 Legislative Session resulted in the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs, Elderly Protective Services Program to be merged with the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Aging and Adult Services as of June 25, 2012. There will not be a change in phone numbers, office locations or staff. EPS staff will continue to receive reports, conduct investigation and interact with their community and resources. There will be no visible change to the public. Please continue to call the regional offices to make reports or request presentations for your staff. The population we serve will remain 60 years and older.” Governor’s Office For Elderly Affairs

  • Sometimes the person who is taking advantage of the senior is his or her child who lives locally or lives with the parent. I often have this discussion with a child who lives out of state. The fact is that the parent most often knows that he or she is being taken advantage of, but out of dire loneliness and concern that they will be forsaken by the child who is local, able, and willing to visit with them, often running errands and the like, they are willing to turn a blind eye. Would you want to be essentially captive because of disability with no help? The senior parent has reached the conclusion that they are willing to “pay” rather than be alone with no one to bring them items from the store or sit with them for a while. I have seen many a long distance child cry when I tell them this. They wrongly assume that their parent is unaware. Some may be, but most are not. This treatment is not right. It is the reality.

    Help in this situation is to move the senior to where you are if you are the out of state child. This is more difficult than it sounds. The senior may not want to go, may have formed some attachments if in a nursing home setting, and may resent the move. Be honest about what you see occurring; express your concern; acknowledge the very difficult position of your parent; express understanding about why the parent is allowing the theft, extracted gifts, or “loans” to occur; do not assess blame. Whether or not you agree with your parent’s choices, you must respect their right to choose differently than you would choose. Do not rush a decision and tell them that you will give them time to consider your proposition. Sometimes what is needed is the time to process the option. Bring a computer and show them options of places that they might choose to reside in your city and state if you are not inviting them to live with you. Let them take a virtual tour. Many of us fear what we do not know.



(Elderly Protective Services)

Alexandria Region

100 Pinecrest
Building 975
Pineville, LA 71361
Phone: (318) 641-3697
Toll Free: (In state only): 1-800-256-7001
Fax: (318) 484-2236

Parishes Served:

Shreveport Region

1525 Fairfield Avenue, Room 538
Shreveport, LA 71101-4388
Phone: (318) 676-5200
Toll Free: (In state only): 1-800-259-5284
Fax: (318) 676-5212

Parishes Served:
Red River


Monroe Region

804 North 31 Street, Suite A
Monroe, LA 71201
Phone: (318) 362-4280
Toll Free: (In state only): 1-800-954-6902
Fax: (318) 362-4295

Parishes Served:
East Carroll
West Carroll

Lake Charles Region

196 Williamsburg
Lake Charles, LA 70605
Toll Free: (337) 475-3500
Toll Free (In-state only): 1-888-491-2619
Fax: (337) 475-3510

Parishes Served:
Jefferson Davis

Lafayette Region

300 Iberia Street, Suite 120
New Iberia, LA 70560
Phone: (337) 365-9855
Toll Free: (In-state only): 1-866-491-5044
Fax: (337) 365-9753

Parishes Served:
Saint Landry
Saint Martin
Saint Mary



Baton Rouge Region

2124 Wooddale Blvd,
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Phone: (225) 400-9576
Toll Free (In state only): 1 800 256-4277

Parishes Served:
East Baton Rouge
East Feliciana
Point Coupee
Saint Helena
West Baton Rouge
West Feliciana


New Orleans Region

320 Old Hammond Highway, Suite 300
Metairie, LA 70005
Phone: (504) 832-1644
Toll Free (In-state only): 1-800-673-4673
Fax: (504) 835-0409

Parishes Served:
Saint Bernard
Saint Charles
Saint James
Saint John
St. Tammany


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