Lake Charles Law Blog

The role of living wills in elder law

It is pretty normal to have strong feelings about medical treatments, care and interventions. Because of those feelings, people in Lake Charles usually feel that it is important to make their own health care decisions. But what happens when someone is not in the position to make those choices? Here is where elder law may come into play.

A living will is an essential part of estate planning, especially for elderly men and women. Not to be confused with a will used for distributing property upon one's death, a living will outlines preferences for medical treatments. Should that person become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make his or her own decisions, a designated individual can consult the living will and make decisions on the patient's behalf.

Police arrest man for burglary, other criminal charges

Louisiana authorities arrested three people believed to be involved in two separate burglaries. Two of the three are teenagers, and as such authorities have not disclosed the girls' names or charges. The other individual is an adult male who is facing several criminal charges, including two counts of simple burglary. A judge set his bond at $190,650.

Early in the morning of Jan. 5, 2020, a burglar alarm went off at a Dollar General store. A man can be seen forcing open the doors on the store's security footage, but he did not take anything and left only minutes later. That same man allegedly tripped another burglary alarm at a different store. Security footage from the second store showed a man forcing his way in and removing about $1,500 of tobacco products. He was also accompanied by a female teenager.

New Year's Resolutions for your estate plans

It's not easy to plan for the future, and many find the prospect of estate planning to be daunting or unnecessary. Because of this, people either neglect to put certain plans in place for the future, or they have plans that they never think about again. This can result in complications for that person and his or her loved ones in the future.

The start of a new year offers a Louisiana reader the opportunity to meet some goals, and perhaps one of your goals should be adjusting and updating estate plans to suit your current and projected future needs. You may even need to create new plans or start the planning process from the very beginning. These things are important, and you would be wise not to delay on getting the protection you need.

How to use estate planning for charitable giving

There is a lot to think about when crafting an estate plan, such as inheritances, funeral preferences and even medical wishes. But wills and trusts can also be used for much more. Creating a lasting legacy is an important function of estate planning, and gifting money or assets to an organization is an excellent way to do so.

Charitable giving may be a priority for some people in Lake Charles. That does not have to change because a person is either incapacitated, deceased or otherwise unable to donate money intended for an organization. Gift planning allows individuals to continue regular donations in all of these situations. It also gives recipient organizations the continued financial security to maintain current or launch new charitable initiatives.

Lake Charles couple facing multiple criminal charges

Two Lake Charles residents accused of illegally possessing multiple firearms are also accused of committing multiple burglaries. The man and woman were both arrested on multiple criminal charges, including possession of a stolen firearm and drug possession. A judge has yet to set bond for either person, and authorities say that they expect to file more charges soon.

Following an investigation into multiple vehicle burglaries, police suspected that the 34-year-old woman and 39-year-old man were somehow involved. Authorities were able to obtain a search warrant for the couple's residence. The execution of that warrant was a group effort carried out by the Anti-Crime and Tactical Team, the Sheriff's Office and the Combined Anti-Drug Task Force.

Why unmarried couples need to think about estate planning

Marriage is usually the next natural step for people who are in committed relationships, but it is not for everyone. There are actually many couples who choose to live and build lives with one another in Lake Charles without actually typing the know. While an unmarried couple may have created a successful life together, they might not realize just how difficult some things will be should either die without an estate plan.

Being married comes with certain benefits and rights, including certain legal protections regarding a spouse's estate. Unmarried couples can secure many of those same rights with careful planning. Creating a will is a great example. Wills give people the ability to leave their possessions, financial accounts and more to heirs, so someone who is in a committed, nonmarital relationship could use a will to ensure that his or her partner is not cut out of the estate.

How to bring up estate planning during the holidays

The holiday season is the time of year when many families in Lake Charles do their best to get everyone together, even if it means traveling from out of state. From buying gifts to deciding on holiday meals, a lot of planning can go into these gatherings. But families might be missing out on a valuable opportunity to talk about a difficult topic. Although it might feel counterintuitive to talk about end of life affairs in between celebrations, this could actually be a great time to bring up wills, powers of attorney and other estate planning affairs.

Many adults do not find out anything about their parents' estate plans until after they have already passed away. This can be difficult for everyone involved and may even lead to probate litigation. A common reason for this type of litigation is when one sibling feels slighted by his or her inheritance compared to those of siblings.

What are the consequences of a DWI conviction in Louisiana?

Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in the state of Louisiana. If you find yourself facing a DWI charge, the steps you take following your arrest matter. If convicted, you'll end up getting more than a slap on the wrist. Having a DWI on your record can affect your life forever.

It does not matter if you face accusations of driving while drunk or being under the influence of some other impairing substance. It does not matter if you are behind the wheel of a car or are operating a watercraft. If the police believe you are operating your vehicle while impaired, arrest is likely.

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.

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