Lake Charles Law Blog

Communicating may be the hardest part of estate planning

You may be ready to put together your estate plan. However, like others here in Lake Charles, you aren't keen on discussing what you want to happen after your death with your family. Most people are uncomfortable discussing their own death and their family members don't want to do it either.

However, in order to help make sure that everyone understands your wishes and knows why you want to make certain decisions, you will need to talk about it. Doing so could keep family members from ending up in unnecessary conflicts regarding your estate.

Business owner faces criminal charges

Social media is much more than just a distraction or way to waste time on the internet. Using social media is now an everyday part of people's lives in Lake Charles, and they use it to share pictures, news and details about their personal lives. It can be hard to avoid oversharing with all of this information. However, police claim that one man may have shared a little too much in one of his social media posts, which they then shared with the public after filing criminal charges.

An undercover police officer allegedly bought an ounce of heroin from the man in question. Police continued their investigation into the local business owner following the arrest. They were able to secure two different search warrants, one for the man's home and another for his automotive shop.

Diapers, bottles and wills -- new parents and estate planning

Most new parents have a dozen things to worry about. From feedings to sleeping habits to what may seem like endless hours of crying, it might not feel as if there is much time for anything else. However, Lake Charles parents might want to make room for at least one more thing -- estate planning.

One of the most important things a parent can do for his or her child is to create a will and designate a guardian. A guardian is the person who will raise a minor child should the parents both pass away. Not only can parents choose a guardian who they think will raise their child with similar values, but doing so can prevent family members from fighting about who will raise the child.

Louisiana man faces felony charge for illegal dumping

A Louisiana man was recently arrested for allegedly violating a number of environmental laws. The owner and operator of a Louisiana-based disposal company is facing a felony charge of dumping solid waste into state waters and two misdemeanors for illegally disposing of solid waste. Authorities also charged him with 12 misdemeanor criminal trespassing counts.

In March 2019, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality's Criminal Investigation Section -- LDEQ CIS -- received multiple complaints from various landowners describing what appeared to be illegal dumping on their properties. The following month, investigators with the LDEQ CIS teamed up with investigators from the Louisiana State Police to perform aerial surveillance in the area. Investigators collected both photographs and recorded video during the surveillance period, although it is not clear how long those efforts lasted.

Does estate planning stop with the will?

Having a will is extremely important for every adult in Lake Charles. It does not matter how young or old a person is or whether he or she only has a few assets -- a will can address a number of things. However, simply having a will does not mean that a person has approached estate planning as thoroughly as he or she should.

With a will, a person can name a guardian for minor children, dictate how assets will be transferred and to whom those assets will go. The will can even pass on that person's wishes regarding how heirs should treat certain inheritances or spend money. Unfortunately, there is usually not much that a person can do beyond extending his or her wishes. When using a will, it is largely up to the recipient to decide whether to follow the stated wishes.

Criminal defense: Man charged for ambulance theft

Police claim that a man in Louisiana recently stole an emergency ambulance. Authorities charged the man for driving without a license and for theft of a motor vehicle, and a judge set his bond at $20,150. Both of these allegations are serious, and a vigorous approach to criminal defense is usually necessary for defendants in Lake Charles.

The theft allegedly took place at a medical facility on Sept. 8, 2019. The driver of the emergency ambulance had just gotten out and was transferring a patient into the facility when the 28-year-old man may have spotted the unattended vehicle. Police claim that at that point he entered the vehicle and drove off.

Bail allows for your release, but it may not be easy to raise

If you watch enough TV crime dramas, you may hear defense attorneys and prosecutors arguing in front of the judge about the amount of bail the defendant should pay. For the sake of drama, the defense may suggest that the accused pay nothing, and the prosecutor may suggest a very high sum. The fictional judge often takes the middle road.

What does all this mean to you if you have been arrested? What is bail, and why is it important? What if you cannot afford to pay it even when the judge orders a reasonable amount? These are all valid concerns, and it is wise to obtain the answers to these and other questions as early as possible after your arrest.

Safely securing your estate planning documents

It takes a certain amount of time, thought and effort to create an estate plan. From creating wills and trusts to signing powers of attorney, it is important to be as thorough as possible when estate planning. However, other than updating those documents as needed, some people may not give much thought about what to do with them after the planning process is done. This means that many people in Louisiana might not be storing their estate plans safely.

Keeping the original estate planning documents at home is not an uncommon choice. In many situations, this works out quite well. Keeping a will tucked away in a desk drawer or a cabinet is not the wisest idea, though, as it can easily be forgotten or even stolen. Instead, a person would be better off keeping his or her original documents in a fireproof safe.

Traffic stop leaves 1 facing drunk driving charges in Louisiana

Being involved in a routine traffic stop can be a stressful and harrowing experience under any circumstance. Upon encountering a similar scenario, the average person may also lack the necessary legal experience to know how best to handle the situation. A 32-year-old man is reportedly facing multiple charges after he was accused of drunk driving during a recent traffic stop in Louisiana.

The incident is said to have occurred on a recent Sunday morning after police claim to have encountered a vehicle that was drifting in and out of the lanes of traffic. After initiating a routine traffic stop and approaching the driver, police claim to have caught a strong odor of intoxicants emanating from the man. After he allegedly admitted to consuming alcohol prior to operating the vehicle, field sobriety tests were administered.

Digital estate planning can be hard, but not impossible

Louisiana consumers might not think much about purchasing e-books, digital movies or songs from the internet. Digital technology and property is just another aspect of modern living. But how should people include favorite movies and books in their wills when that property is stored digitally? This estate planning task is harder than most people might think.

After making a digital purchase, a person might reasonably expect that he or she can treat the property much like a physical purchase. However, many terms of service agreements prevent people from doing certain things with digital property. A commonly overlooked topic in many TOSAs is account control outside of the original owner. Many TOSAs prevent anyone other than the original owner from controlling an account or asset. This means that passing on an e-book library to an heir could actually be quite difficult if not impossible.

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