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Making The Complex Understandable

Louisiana Legal Blog

Estate planning: Keeping the peace in the family

One of the most important things people want to accomplish when writing their estate plans is to keep the family peace. There is nothing that may cause Louisiana parents more upset than to think their estate planning decisions have caused a rift among their children. One of the best ways parents may be able to keep everyone happy -- in addition to having a comprehensive estate plan -- is to have open and honest conversations with children who will inherit their assets.

Parents will usually choose one child to be the executor of their wills. Although that may be a natural inclination, some experts believe it may not be the wisest. Appointing a trustee or having an attorney look after this important task may take some of the stress off grieving family members. It may also prevent children from thinking parents favored one child over the rest.

Choose the right nursing home for the best care

If your mother or father is getting to the age where they need to enter a nursing home, it can be a difficult decision to make. You want to do all you can to guarantee that they'll be cared for and receive support.

When choosing a nursing home, there are a lot of things to consider. Here is some information that may help you choose the right nursing home for your loved one.

Family law: The advent of the infidelity postnuptial agreement

There are some very definitive things some couples are doing to ensure the success of their marriages. Having a postnuptial agreement drawn up by a family law attorney may be one of those things. But there is a new document on the table today and some Louisiana couples may have added it to their important documents -- an infidelity postnuptial agreement.

The agreements usually come into play after one partner has been unfaithful in the marriage. The documents usually stipulate that there will be some financial restitution to pay if the spouse is ever unfaithful again. They are sometimes known as lifestyle clauses inserted into postnuptial agreements or could be documents on their own. These agreements can often help a couple move forward after an affair or an infidelity and can be drafted by a family law attorney.

Nursing home negligence: Louisiana gets an F for seniors' care

Seeing that senior citizens are taken care of is the responsibility of everyone. Louisiana nursing homes have been notorious for nursing home negligence. One nonprofit group which dedicates itself to improving seniors' quality of life in nursing homes says Louisiana has received a failing grade over the last three years for keeping seniors safe, and neglect seems to be running rampant.

The group says that one of the most contentious issues is the lack of staff in these homes and because of this, seniors just aren't getting adequate care. One home in particular was identified by this group as being particularly harsh when it comes to residents. This home is being investigated by both the State Department of Health and the local sheriff’s office. 

Medicaid planning: Protect your assets as you age

As you get older, the realization that you may need to enter a nursing home at some point down the line dawns on you. At this stage in your life, you're healthy and in good shape, but that doesn't mean you'll always be that way.

Many people fall back on Medicaid once they go to a nursing home, but before you can, you must have limited assets. That means that you'll have to use all your hard-earned assets if they're not protected.

Health care directive a necessary document for the elderly

Having a plan in place for when individuals can no longer make decisions for themselves is crucial. An advance health care directive may be one of the most important documents an aging Louisiana resident can have. It allows a person to share his or her wishes when it comes to things like whether or not to take life-saving measures, and it can also help medical staff when caring for a patient who may not be able to convey his or her wishes.

When a health care directive is in place, decisions can either be made by an individual acting as a health care surrogate or by physicians. The same objective can be accomplished with a health care power of attorney. The costs to create such an important document is typically minimal, yet the necessity for it can't be overlooked. It may be best to have a doctor certify that the person creating the health care directive was of sound mind when he or she did so. 

Louisiana residents may benefit from a revocable trust

There are many things of which people should be aware when sitting down to plan their estates. Having some knowledge of how a revocable trust may benefit them is just one of the questions that might be pondered. Louisiana residents ought to know how these trusts could help them to pass their assets on to their beneficiaries.

The grantor -- the person to whom the revocable trust belongs -- can also act as the trustee, but can name someone else for the job as well. A revocable trust ensures that the grantor's assets are used for his or her benefit while he or she is still living and if he or she becomes incapacitated. It also offers the flexibility of naming whomever the grantor sees fit to administer that funded trust after his or her death. But one of the most appealing benefits is avoiding the probate process -- something a revocable trust can do.

Dividing retirement plan assets upon divorce in Louisiana

Ending a marriage is never a road that's easily traveled. When Louisiana couples make the decision to divorce, they have a number of issues to consider, one of which includes the decision on how to divide assets. If there are retirement plans in existence, more than likely a couple will also have to split them as well unless an agreement exists that stipulates otherwise. 

Retirement plans can be complicated when it comes to the divorce process. If there is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) attached to the retirement plan, then a plan may be set up to pay spousal or child support. Those who receive benefits from a QDRO must report payments as though they are a plan participant, according to the IRS. When it comes to a defined contribution plan like a 401(k), those who receive payments from a former spouse's plan can roll them over into an account of their own without tax repercussions.

R. Kelly alleges former wife breaking divorce agreement

Musician R. (Robert) Kelly is asking a family court judge to send his former wife, Andrea, to jail. Louisiana residents may be familiar with the rap artist who is alleging his former wife is not living up to their divorce agreement by violating its confidentiality clause and by making disparaging remarks about him in public. She has apparently appeared on numerous broadcasts where she is said to have breached the divorce agreement.

R. Kelly's legal team alleges that his former wife has profited from these appearances and should be forced to divulge the amount of money she has earned from them. However, his former wife's lawyers have accused Kelly of violating the agreement himself by publishing a book in which he chronicles bits from his married life and the couple's divorce. They assert that Kelly is using control and punishment to keep his former wife in line.

Get to know the importance of a special needs trust

A special needs trust, which may also be called a supplemental needs trust, is a trust that allows any disabled beneficiary to use property held in the trust without affecting their government-awarded benefits.

As the parent of someone with special needs, you know how important it is for them to receive monthly benefits. Those benefits provide them with an income and medical care, among other services. If they no longer qualify due to their wealth, they'll have to qualify again in the future and will pay out-of-pocket fees for their needs until they run out of money.

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