Lake Charles Law Blog

Financial abuse is a common violation of elder law

Parents, grandparents, and even aunts and uncles spend much of their lives loving and caring for the younger generations. As these loved ones celebrate more birthdays year after year, they often need help from those whom they once took care of. Most people do their very best to provide that care, but not everyone is quite so dedicated. Fiduciary financial abuse is a violation of elder law and an unfortunate reality that affects many elderly people in Lake Charles.

This type of abuse involves a fiduciary who misuses or exceeds his or her authority for acting on behalf of an endangered person. An endangered person refers to someone with cognitive, physical and other impairments who is targeted for abuse. A fiduciary acts and manages an endangered person's affairs on his or her behalf. Relatives, guardians and professional trustees frequently take on the fiduciary role, although these individuals must be either appointed or selected for the job.

Criminal defense: former police officer charged for drug crimes

A former Louisiana police corporal is accused of being involved with the distribution of an illegal substance during off-duty hours. Following a brief investigation, he was arrested by police in his area, as well as Lake Charles authorities, and charged with multiple drug-related offenses. Since a judge set his bond at $257,000, he might choose to use his time in police custody to explore his options for a strong criminal defense.

In early Nov. 2019, an unidentified person tipped off police to possible drug activity involving an officer. According to the tip, the 39-year-old Senior Corporal was using his time off duty to use and distribute crystal meth. The Combined Anti-Drug Team -- CAT -- launched an investigation into the accusations.

College students: You need to be thinking about estate planning

College is one of the first steps into adulthood for many young people in Lake Charles. From living by oneself to navigating things like grocery shopping and laundry, college students may feel like they already have enough on their plates. However, these young adults often overlook one of the most important things that an adult can do -- create an estate plan. Estate planning might seem like something that only older adults need to worry about, but virtually everyone can benefit from creating three essential documents.

Parents have the legal ability to make medical decisions on behalf of minor children. While young adults might be happy to take charge of their health care, they often forget to think about what will happen if they cannot make those decisions. This type of situation is usually when a person is unconscious or otherwise incapacitated. That person's parents might be able to make decisions, but there is no guarantee. Parents will not be able to access relevant medical data because of HIPPA, which protects patients' medical information.

Police file criminal charges against Lake Charles father

Today's parents are usually under much more scrutiny than parents who were raising their kids in past decades. Many Louisiana parents worry about how their actions will be perceived on social media and other areas of the internet. In some cases, a parent's actions might even lead to criminal charges.

At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 5, police in Lake Charles were notified of a possibly unsafe situation. When police responded to the scene they spoke with the person who had initially called them about the matter. He or she claimed that three young children -- including one infant -- had been left alone at home without any adult supervision.

Ways you can strengthen an existing estate plan

Making plans for the future can be complicated and overwhelming, which is why people often skip over this important step. If you have an estate plan, you may feel confident about your future interests, but there may be more you could do. Even if you feel good about the plans you have in place, you may benefit from making certain improvements to what you already have.

There are specific things you can do that can help you strengthen the estate plan you have in place. Life changes, such as the death of a family member, birth of additional children, divorce or remarriage, can all necessitate updates and adjustments to what you already have. Failure to do these things could lead to complications in the future.

Why estate planning is for everyone

Every person in Lake Charles feels differently about his or her possessions and assets. Some people may have several items that hold significant personal or financial value that they wish to pass on to specific heirs. Others might not care so much about what happens to their belongings after they are gone. However, those who think that estate planning does not have much to offer may want to consider some of the following.

It can help to think about what might happen should a person pass away without a will. For example, family members will not be able to decide who gets what -- that is up to state law. This means that at least some of a person's estate may go to an estranged family member or a child who is not financially responsible.

Criminal defense: Lake Charles man charged with homicide

A Lake Charles man was recently arrested for his alleged role in a recent homicide. Police charged the man with second-degree murder. He is currently still in police custody and has not yet posted his $300,000 bond. Facing serious charges while being unable to post bond can feel especially distressing, but it can help to use that time thinking about possible criminal defense options.

Police believe that the 42-year-old man was involved in the death of a 34-year-old man. The victim was discovered on the far side of a road with a dead end with what they believed to be wounds from gunshots. It is not clear whether police or someone else first spotted the man.

Selecting the right trustee while estate planning

Trusts can be excellent additions to estate plans. There are various types of trusts that function in different ways, and selecting the correct one to handle a person's needs or wants should be treated seriously. However, for as much time as a person in Lake Charles might spend on creating a trust during estate planning, he or she might not understand just how important the trustee is. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting the right trustee.

A trustee is responsible for managing the trust according to the wishes of the trust's creator. This could involve managing investments, filing taxes, distributing benefits and generally protecting the trust's assets. Many people choose family members or close friends to act as trustees without considering whether these individuals have the right skills to manage a trust. It is important to select a trustee who can handle the obligations of managing a trust. This means that it is not a good idea to simply choose the closest relative unless he or she is capable of taking on the role.

Criminal defense: Attempted church theft leads to arrest

Police in Louisiana recently arrested a man for what they believe was an attempt at a theft. He is charged with resisting an officer as well as simple burglary of a religious building. A judge set his bond at $9,000. He also has multiple prior arrests. Lake Charles defendants who are facing new charges after past arrests should be sure to consider the implications of such when working on their criminal defense plans.

A witness to the alleged incident was apparently driving when he or she saw that there were lights on inside of the church. It is unclear what relationship this person might have with the church or why noticing that lights were on might have been a cause for concern. The witness stopped and entered the church, at which point he or she spotted a man who was moving various items. The man then left by running through a back door and the witness called police.

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.

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