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Making The Complex Understandable

Louisiana Legal Blog

Dixie Chick lead singer, husband battle over prenup in divorce

Understandably, celebrity marriage breakups are difficult for those involved. Unlike most Louisiana couples going through a divorce, their private situations are displayed in the media for all to see. Such is the case with the Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines and her estranged husband. They've been battling over the contents of a prenuptial agreement.

Maines' husband, Adrian Pasdar, says he does remember signing the agreement, but doesn't remember what events led to its contents. He is seeking spousal support from Maines and that is something that was apparently not mentioned in the agreement. Pasdar says his wife's assets are much healthier than his, and he claims he doesn't have the financial means to provide for their children or for himself.

Here's what to look for in a great elder law attorney

Something that many people have to be concerned about as their loved ones age is the risk of elder abuse. Elder abuse can be a real issue for some families. Even if the abuse isn't physical, it could be financial or exploit the elder in other ways.

If you're worried that your loved one may be taken advantage of or is being taken advantage of, then one option is to seek help from an elder law attorney. This type of attorney is different from others because they focus on helping families and the elderly protect their rights. They specialize in the needs of older adults, like getting Medicaid, planning an estate and protecting them against financial or physical abuse.

Health care directive: Preparing for life's curve balls

Growing old is something most of us don't escape -- if we're lucky. Getting older doesn't have to mean losing out on many of life's adventures, especially for those Louisiana residents who have peace of mind having an advance health care directive in place. It's comforting for people to know that they have something in place that allows someone to make health care decisions for them if they can't. No one knows what life has in store and it's better to be prepared.

Communicating wishes is as much for loved ones who, if there is no directive, would be left with decisions to make they may not be certain their loved one would have wanted. That may cause a lot of anxiety. Some people would choose not to have certain life-prolonging measures to take place, but if no one knows, they can't direct caregivers to do what the person would have actually wanted or not wanted.

Hidden assets in divorce: Cryptocurrency posing a challenge

It's difficult to find cryptocurrency online. Divorcing Louisiana residents who are intent on hiding assets during their divorces may use this to their advantages. It's something the legal profession has been wrestling with for a while now. There are more divorce cases heading to court that involve these kinds of hidden assets, and statistics show that the majority of people who own these assets are men under the age of 30. That's also around the average ages of couples divorcing in the country.

Bitcoin, a common form of cryptocurrency, has been utilized as a loophole for hiding assets. Modern technology has given financially deceitful spouses the one-up since it is almost impossible to find these assets, especially if they're not held on an exchange. The only way it may be possible to find them is to hire a forensic accountant and then petition a court to seize and search a person's electronic devices, such as cell phones and iPads.

5 estate planning components to consider

Creating your estate now helps you to feel more secure since you know that you've done what you can to help provide for your loved ones after you pass away. Many people don't take the time to create this plan because they think it is going to take too long or that it is pointless. No matter what your financial state is right now, an estate plan is important.

There are several components of an estate plan that you should consider as you are developing it. These all work together to let those who are close to you know exactly what you want to happen.

Elder abuse on the rise, but more seniors reporting incidents

When it comes to abuse of the elderly, seniors can be both on the receiving and giving ends of things. Some Louisiana seniors in care who struggle with dementia display outbursts of anger and can be guilty of physical abuse of other elders. Dementia can change once placid people into those with violent tempers.

Stats show that one in 10 people age 65 or older has some form of dementia -- many of them with Alzheimer's disease. It is no wonder incidents of elder abuse are climbing. On a positive note, more seniors are reporting when they've been abused, whether that be at the hands of another senior or by a caregiver. Abusive behavior can come from a partner, a relative, a friend or a paid caregiver. 

Divorce in Louisiana: What happens if a spouse is hiding assets?

Divorce can be filled with all kinds of animosity and the last thing on many soon-to-be former spouses' minds is sharing. But with divorce in Louisiana, by law each spouse has to be transparent with the other when it comes to financial assets. That's not always the case, however, and some spouses resort to hiding what they have because they don't believe everything they have should be shared.

There are telltale signs that a spouse may be hiding assets in the event of an impending divorce. The first clue may be found on bank and credit card statements. If he or she starts getting statements that stem from unfamiliar accounts, questions should be raised. As well, the occasional ATM receipt found lying around from such accounts is also another clue. There is all kinds of fakery associated with hidden assets such as paying employees who don't really exist, underreporting income and opening a custodial account supposedly for child custody purposes.

Estate planning: Keeping the family business afloat

Entrepreneurs are busy people and usually don't have the time to think about unforeseen events, especially their own deaths or retirements. However, if Louisiana business owners don't do some estate planning regarding how their businesses can outlive them or live without them at the helm, chances are they won't be able to survive for long. Planning for a transition in ownership is crucial if a business is to continue on for many years.

Owners of family businesses usually have their ideas in their minds and don't always write down what those are, so that others can take them and continue to grow the business with them. Those unwritten ideas and ways of doing things that have been successful for years are no good to anyone if they're unknown. Inclusion of family members who are slated to take over a business once its primary stakeholder is no longer able to oversee operations is imperative.

Special-needs trusts are important for the disabled

There are many things you may wish to do for your loved one with a disability, but one of the best things you can achieve is opening a special-needs trust. There are various types, like first- and third-party trusts, community trusts and others, but the outcome is the same: They protect your loved one's best interests.

Trusts made for those who are disabled help them maintain their government-provided benefits, which is their major appeal. Funding can come from anywhere, and it may even come from a group, as is the case in a community trust.

Jenna Dewan serves Channing Tatum with divorce papers

It looks like Jenna Dewan wants to make the split from Channing Tatum legal. The actress recently filed for divorce from her actor husband, from whom she has been separated since April of this year. Used by some individuals in Louisiana as well, Dewan cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. The couple share a five-year-old daughter.

Dewan, 37, has requested that she and Tatum, 38, share joint legal and physical custody of their daughter and is asking for child and spousal support from her estranged husband. She also wants her named changed from Jenna Dewan Tatum back to Jenna Dewan. At the time the separation was announced, the couple said they still loved each other but they are on different paths.

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