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Making The Complex Understandable

Louisiana Legal Blog

Family law: Finding hidden assets in a divorce situation

When couples make the decision to part ways, the things they tell each other or don't tell each other may be skewed. Such is the case, at times, when it comes to divulging all assets. Louisiana family law, as in other states, requires full transparency when it comes to each person's assets. And there are some ways those assets may be uncovered if not disclosed voluntarily.

If one spouse believes the other to be less than honest when it comes to financial holdings, bank accounts might give the first clue. When it comes to a checking account, perhaps there are clues in cancelled checks. In terms of savings accounts, a partner could look at deposits and withdrawals to see if anything looks suspicious. It may be wise to ask for copies of these statements when gathering all this information.

Louisiana may allow granny cams to spot nursing home negligence

The escalating cases of elder abuse in nursing homes have been the main reason for setting up video surveillance. Louisiana recently joined other states in possibly allowing granny cams to be placed in nursing homes to try to spot elder abuse and nursing home negligence. The state recently approved Bill 281,which will give family members and loved ones the green light to install video cameras in the rooms of their family members in care.

There are some stipulations that come with the bill. Families must cover the costs of the cameras and the family and resident would have to sign privacy waivers. Any roommates would also have to agree to having a camera installed. Democratic House Representative Helena Moreno introduced the bill after she tried to have a camera installed in her own mother's nursing home room after her 92-year-old mother suffered a black eye and inexplicable back pain.

Financial exploitation: A risk the elderly face

Financial exploitation of an elderly loved one is a serious problem that has to be managed as soon as you notice it. If you suspect that your mother's or father's new friend is trying to edge into your parent's will or that the nursing home aide has been taking advantage of your loved one's good nature and bank account, talk to a lawyer about your legal options.

Whatever the issue, it's in your best interests to put a stop to it immediately. If you don't, other parties could do damage that is hard to reverse.

Louisiana family law: Legal age limits

Louisiana is a state known for its parties. With place like New Orleans and Mardi Gras festivities, it's important to know what the legal ages are for celebrating at some of these venues. Family law rules separate minors from adults with definitive specifications for certain things like drinking alcohol. The age of majority in Louisiana is 18, as it is in many states.

When it comes to those who are younger than 18, the law outlines rights and responsibilities. For instance, the law says that minors cannot enter into contractual agreements; minors can sue through a parent or guardian, and minors can consent to medical treatment without the consent of a parent. A minor can be emancipated by law -- in other words make decisions on such things as health care and school and his or her own well-being -- at the age of 15 with parental say so or at 16 through judicial consent.

More same-sex couples in Louisiana considering adoption

Rights for same-sex couples have come a long way. Changes have also occurred in same-sex couples and the adoption of children, even though the process may be slightly different from heterosexual couples. Same-sex couples in Louisiana can legally adopt children, but may have to wait longer and be prepared for some stressful, emotional times that can come with the adoption process.

There are three types of adoption: open, closed and semi-open with open adoption being the most popular type in the United States and where names and contact information of all those involved is shared openly. A couple has to decide which option is better for their particular situation and what would be in the best interests of the child. In any case, every prospective adoptive couple should create a profile when they're searching for a new addition to their family since a profile shows what's unique about a couple.

What a living will means in Louisiana

Having a plan in place in case life takes a turn is important for family members. Louisiana residents who have a living will may be doing a favor for their loved ones. A living will is a legal document that spells out a person's wishes when it comes to medical treatment when he or she cannot make those decisions because of being incapacitated. 

Louisiana residents can stipulate whether they want specific medical intervention or procedures to prolong their lives. That could include giving food and water or not. A living could be written, signed and witnessed by two people. It could also be an oral declaration which must be made with two adults present and can be made any time after being diagnosed with either an irreversible condition or a terminal illness.

Family law: Naming a guardian for children

The last thing people want to think about is not having the right guardian in place for their children in case the unforeseen should happen and they pass away. Family law rules in Louisiana pave the way for parents to name a guardian for their minor children in the event of their untimely deaths, but it likely is one of the most difficult, yet most important decisions they may make. No parents want their children to be cared for by just anyone, but that might be a possibility if they don't name a guardian in a formal, written document.

In choosing the most capable person, parents are advised to make a list of their own values and parenting style and what they see as being important when raising their children. From this information they can create a list of possible guardian candidates. But, it's not as easy as all that. The people chosen must be willing to take on the responsibility of caring for their children in case something happens to them and not everyone may be willing to do that.

Louisiana teachers may be able to help students deal with divorce

More and more children today have to deal with the reality of their parents separating. In fact, 50 percent of divorce situations in the United States today involve kids. Louisiana kids are no different and since children spend many hours each weekday in school, it makes sense that their teachers might be able to help their students whose parents are separating. Teachers usually have the respect of their students, and it is important that children going through divorce be heard, understood and cared for. In many instances a teacher can provide the care and nurturing these kids need.

Divorce can wreak havoc on all of the lives affected by it -- not only on the couple splitting up. When children learn their parents are divorcing, they might experience many emotions that cause them to act out in ways that they normally wouldn't. They might become aggressive or verbally abusive, so it's important for teachers to know when there's tension in their students' homes. Armed with this knowledge, teachers are in a better position to get their students the emotional support they may be needing.

3 reasons estate plans can be essential to your life

Estate planning is often more than just creating a will. It can include a wide range of steps such as limiting estate taxes, putting advanced directives in place and setting up your funeral arrangements.

Estate plans can play many important roles after you pass away or in the case that you are incapable of caring for yourself.

Feds apply heavy hand to those guilty of elder abuse

The senior population is one of the easiest targets of scams. For the most part, the elderly are very trusting and so it comes as no surprise that many older folks are taken advantage of by fraudsters and suffer this kind of abuse.  In fact, seniors in the United States -- and Louisiana is no exception -- have lost billions of dollars to shady deals and dealers. An elderly woman from Louisiana recently found herself embroiled in one of these scams.

The woman and her husband were ill and in dire straits. The person on the phone told her she won thousands of dollars, but there was a catch -- she had to purchase a product for six months. The woman fell for the scam and lost $2,500. She is one of thousands each year who do. Some unsuspecting seniors lose their entire life savings, and the federal government recently filed 200 charges against what it says are fraudsters who go for the elderly. 

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