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Making The Complex Understandable

Louisiana Legal Blog

Filing for divorce and closure are 2 different things

When a couple makes the decision to separate it's likely that each person just wants put the past behind, move forward and find some type of closure. But, psychologists suggest that filing for divorce doesn't necessarily mean partners will experience that sense of closure. Louisiana couples who jump into divorce proceedings, thinking it will be the cure for unhappiness might want to slow things down.

Making quick decisions from an emotional point -- especially from hurt or anger -- may not be wise. Rushing to end a marriage may be a big mistake and not necessarily because it's not the wisest thing to be doing, but because there may be ways of going about things in a more civilized manner, such as through mediation or collaborative divorce. Discussions about divorce might be better put on hold until each person experiences living apart from the other for a while -- moving away physically, emotionally and, in some cases, financially.

Saving assets while qualifying for Medicaid

As you grow older, one thing you want to do is to protect the assets you've accumulated over time. You've worked hard, and you don't want to see everything you've earned depleted to pay for your nursing home care or other needs.

One thing you can do to protect yourself and interests is to look into Medicaid planning. Planning ahead of time means you can make decisions that save more of your assets while helping you qualify for Medicaid at the same time.

Elder law: Woman dies of neglect; safeguarding seniors

A 77-year-old woman recently died as a result of infected bedsores. Police found the elderly woman lying in her own feces in the horrible case of elder abuse. Elder law in Louisiana is definitive when it comes to protecting seniors. The woman was in such a terrible state that her flesh was starting to fuse with sofa on which she was lying. The woman's two granddaughters -- who are cousins -- were arrested and charged with manslaughter and cruelty to the infirm.

The victim's apartment was in a horrendous state unfit for habitation. Authorities found insects and other pests, cigarette butts and a toilet filled with human waste around which flies were buzzing. Authorities said the place was filthy and the victim was also suffering from dehydration and malnutrition. The victim's 36-year-old granddaughter -- who had been living with her since 2016 -- said she could have done a better job taking care of her grandmother.

Avoiding Medicaid planning mistakes in Louisiana

Planning for old age is crucial, especially when Medicare won't pay for life in a nursing home. But, with some prudent Medicaid planning, Louisiana residents may have financially stress-free senior years. One of the goals of wise planning is to ensure than any countable assets are rearranged in a portfolio so that they can exchanged for assets that are tax exempt.

With this having been done, financial resources won't be drained for Medicaid to pay for top level care. However, there are some mistakes that could be averted when it comes to Medicaid, one of which includes applying for it. Applying too early may mean having to wait longer to become eligible and could cost a lot of money, while applying too late may mean losing months of eligibility, causing a depletion of assets.

Family law: What does in the best interests of the children mean?

When children are a part of the divorce scenario, the phrase, best interests of the child, is often heard. Under family law rules in Louisiana, the courts will always look at what is in the best interests of the children when it comes to anything that affects them, including custody, support and co-parenting. A doctor who leads the field when it comes to the best interests of children of separation and divorce says shared parenting should become the foundation of family law.

He said the evidence relating to co-parenting shows that having both parents play an equal part in children's lives is definitely in the best interests of the children unless family violence or child abuse is a factor. But, more research needs to be done especially in the areas of parental alienation and intimate partner violence. Research has found that keeping a child from a parent has more adverse effects than originally thought. 

Cryptocurrency makes property division more difficult

Divorce conjures up all kinds of emotions. When a Louisiana couple decides to call it quits, there may be a lot of volatile emotions at the surface for each individual. One of those can entail people wishing to keep what they believe is theirs, and that can include a number of assets. Even though it's not legal, some people may wish to hide certain assets. In the 21st century, and with the fairly new cryptocurrency revolution, property division may be an even more involved process in a divorce scenario.

Dividing a couple's assets can already be a painful process, but when assets include this type of currency, it may be even more difficult since it may be more easily hidden as an asset. They can also be very difficult to value since they're so volatile. Other assets, like shares and stocks, are more easily evaluated; however, it doesn't appear that cryptocurrency is going away, so courts and lawyers have to figure out how to deal with it.

The role of a revocable trust in estate planning in Louisiana

There are certain things that may be wise to include in an estate plan. One of those is a revocable trust. Louisiana residents who decide to incorporate a trust into their estate plans likely know that a revocable trust is changeable or can be canceled at any time. The grantor -- or the person who makes the trust -- gives a trustee the right to hold assets such as investments and real estate on behalf of another or others (beneficiary or beneficiaries).

Also known as a living trust, a revocable trust affords privacy since most don't have to go through the probate process. A will, on the other hand, usually does go through probate and becomes public record. A revocable will can be used for tax advantages since, through it, a credit shelter trust can be set up to help heirs and married couples to avoid the taxable portion of an estate.

Elder abuse signs: Elder abuse can impact the estate

Sometimes, the elderly are abused by the people who are supposed to care for them. They're victimized and exploited, hurt in ways that their families don't realize. Later, when the truth comes out and the elderly person passes away, the family may want to challenge the decedent's will or other estate matters.

To do so successfully, it's a good idea to understand and have proof of elder abuse taking place. Here are a few types of abuse that could take place and what you can do to collect evidence for the courts.

Hidden assets during a divorce in Louisiana is against the law

The trust level between spouses who are divorcing may already be strained. Add to that a spouse who is thought to have hidden assets and the situation can become even more volatile. This type of problem can occur in a marriage in Louisiana where financial transparency is nonexistent and when one spouse handles the financial affairs within the marriage. Often a spouse may hide assets when he or she has an inkling that a marital split is imminent.

There are some key points to notice when one spouse may be rifling assets away. If the person doesn't want to answer questions regarding finances, it may be an indication that something is amiss. If there are noticeable changes in financial areas like an increase in the amount of transactions in bank accounts, that, too could be a sign that something is not right. Hiding assets in a divorce situation is actually against the law. The law requires a complete financial statement.  

Helping to make a Louisiana divorce less painful

When a couple decides to end their marriage, there are bound to be many emotions surrounding the split. No matter what the circumstances, Louisiana couples who divorce are bound to have some pain, but there are ways to minimize that when moving forward. One of the main things for each person to think about is what they want to have happen during the divorce process.

It may be hard to take and it may seem cold, but the two people getting divorced are actually in a business transaction. Looking at it from this perspective may actually make things easier. The law marries a couple and the law can dissolve that marriage, so it's important for those involved to safeguard their interests. If need be, involving others like attorneys, perhaps a financial planner and a therapist might be a good move. 

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