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Making The Complex Understandable

Louisiana Legal Blog

Protecting Louisiana seniors with dementia suffering from abuse

There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing an elderly loved one get taken advantage of. It's especially disconcerting when the senior has dementia. But there are some unscrupulous types in Louisiana who wouldn't bat an eye scamming an elderly person out of his or her money. It is one of the worst and most prevalent forms of elder abuse today.

People who have been diagnosed with dementia may be easily talked into giving their money away. If groups are asking for money, another family member can ask to that their loved one be taken off a mailing list. These elderly people can also be removed from mailing lists of organizations that call to solicit funds. Family members can also help their loved one with opening mail, paying bills and keeping an eye on the financial situation. Some elderly people don't remember who they did or did not give money to.

Breaking divorce news to young children in Louisiana

Most parents go to great lengths to protect their children from pain, whether that be physical or emotional. Louisiana parents who have decided that divorce is the only way out of a painful marriage have the tough job of breaking the news to their kids. No matter how old children are, finding out their parents are separating or divorcing is never an easy thing to process. There may be a more gentle way of telling a younger child without totally devastating his or her life.

After telling the children, it's crucial parents reinforce the fact that the divorce is not their fault and they will always be cared for and loved by each parent. They need to know that even though they will be living apart that each parent will continue to be there for them. The news needs to be delivered in an atmosphere of peace, not one in which each spouse blames the other. Parents need to discuss the dynamics of delivering this life-changing news to their kids, which includes comforting them. Children will likely have a lot of questions and parents need to be prepared to offer truthful answers that allay any fears kids may have without creating false hope of a reconciliation if that is not realistic.

Options for dividing the family home upon divorce in Louisiana

There are certain assets that must be divided when a couple divorces. Louisiana couples who own a home and who are in the midst of a divorce need to decide how they're going to deal with their family home. It may be the most emotionally-charged conversation soon-to-be former spouses may have since a family home is tied to many memories. There are basically three options available in this situation.

The first scenario is to decide to sell the home and to split the proceeds. It's likely the most simple way, but not always the best for some couples. Capital gains tax may need to be paid on any profits generated on the sale. As well, each party will have to decide whether he or she will want to purchase another home or will do the rental route. Another solution is one spouse buying the other out if one person wishes to remain in the home.

Elderly financial abuse from a family member

Financial abuse, while different than physical abuse, still takes a tremendous toll on a person, especially an elderly person. The elderly are frequent targets of financial abuse because they have more assets and may struggle with certain issues -- dependency on caregivers, for instance, or mental diseases -- that make it easier to take advantage of them.

The unfortunate reality is that financial abuse often comes from people who are close to the elderly individual: caregivers, trusted friends, and family members. These are the people who should take the best care of that person when they need it most, but they are also in a unique position to take advantage of them, and many do so.

Visitation in Louisiana: When one parent won't see the kids

When children are left looking out the window for the parent they're expecting only to be disappointed yet again, it can wear on their self-confidence and sense of security. Their parents may be divorced, but they're very much still connected to their moms and dads and inconsistent visitation is not in a child's best interests, nor is it conducive to his or her positive mental health. Louisiana parents who don't show up for their kids are not placing their needs first because children need connection with those who matter most in their lives.

Unfortunately, apart from talking with a no-show parent, there is nothing more the other parent can do legally. Being confrontational and angry with a former spouse or partner won't help matters. The parent who is there for the child can comfort him or her over missing an absent parent and try to help the child who may be feeling rejected. 

Louisiana Medicaid planning: How income and assets play a role

Getting older is an inevitability and planning for a time when extra help may be needed is definitely something that should be done before the time comes. Although many Louisiana residents may need help, Medicaid planning isn't always that straightforward and there may be some hurdles to overcome in the qualification process. After all, Medicaid eligibility is dependent on a number of things and one of the most important involves finances.

Medicaid is not just for the elderly. It can also be for infants, young adults with special needs who are living with their parents or the working disabled. Some people can qualify using a modified adjusted gross income calculation, which is income after tax deductions. There are certain things that do and don't qualify as income and an attorney can assist clients in determining what those are.

Family law: Divorce especially difficult on older couples

There is never a time when divorce is easy, but it can be especially challenging for people who are in their 50s or older. Thankfully, Louisiana residents who find themselves in this kind of situation have some tools under family law which might help them get through what could otherwise be a painful process. This is especially true since the divorce rate has nearly doubled since 1990 for those over the age of 50.

Many of these couples have spent most of their adult lives together and most have adult children and grandchildren. All these family members could feel the brunt of an older couple's divorce. It also means, too, that each person has the support he or she needs while moving through life-changing circumstances. 

Louisiana adoption: Can a baby be adopted by a friend?

When a woman or couple is expecting an unplanned child, she or they often have to ask a lot of hard-hitting questions. It may be that the loving solution chosen is adoption. It's never an easy decision for Louisiana residents to make, and adoption, which falls under family law, can be confusing. For instance, is it possible for a woman or couple to have a friend or someone they know adopt their baby?

The short answer is, yes. These types of adoptions are known as identified or independent adoptions, but just because the decision has been made that the baby will be adopted by someone the mother or parents know doesn't mean it will be smooth sailing. There are a number of questions that should be answered when moving forward such as how well the person or people chosen to adopt the baby are known by the birth mother or parents and why the decision was made to choose them.

What kind of estate plan should you have?

When you are deciding on how to start estate planning, you may feel that every estate plan is the same. That could not be further from the truth. The reality is that all estate plans are different, and it's important to find the right estate plan for your situation.

Did you know that around 57 percent of consumers in America don't have a will? On top of that, around 69 percent of parents who have children under 18 don't have wills, either. This is frightening, because the individuals those people love and want to protect may suffer if their loved ones do not arrange their estate plans in time.

New tool aims to help identify Louisiana elder abuse cases

Being able to document incidents in which the elderly have been abused may make those incidents less likely to happen. Louisiana senior citizens are some of the most vulnerable in society. Elder abuse can take many forms -- physical, emotional and financial. A new tool called the Geriatric Injury Documentation Tool (Geri-IDT) aims to standardize the process for documenting elderly patients' physical injuries. 

A recent study which culminated in the new tool, specified the need to have one way in which physical injuries should be documented, making medical records more well-rounded and with the ability to ascertain whether those injuries were from falls or other accidents or injuries that were inflicted upon patients by others. Photographs and diagrams are part of the Geri-IDT which will help in any elder abuse investigations. The tool is also expected to help doctors, prosecutors and detectives.

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