Lake Charles Law Blog

Have identity theft allegations come as a shock to you?

If Louisiana police suspect that you committed a criminal act, you may wonder what that will mean for you. In many cases, suspected criminal activity leads to serious charges, and as a result, you may find yourself in need of important information relating to the allegations, your defense options and the legal proceedings ahead.

If authorities charge you for identity theft, you face a serious predicament. This allegation means that law enforcement officials suspect that you used someone else's identifying information for personal gain. The charges may come as a shock to you, but that does not mean that you do not have to handle them appropriately.

Estate planning: what are the benefits of a revocable trust?

While no two people in Lake Charles are alike, things like wills, trusts and more can all be used to meet each individual's unique needs. Revocable trusts are especially effective in this respect, as they can help address a variety of concerns. When used in conjunction with other estate planning documents, these trusts can round out a person's plan and ensure that his or her wishes are carried out to the fullest.

Revocable trusts are especially appealing since, as the name implies, they can be changed or revoked entirely. This changes upon the grantor's death, when the trust becomes irrevocable. Since no one else can come along and make changes after his or her death, the trustee will manage the assets in the trust according to the grantor's wishes and the beneficiaries receive their intended inheritances as planned. In short, a revocable trust can be changed during its creator's lifetime but not after.

2-vehicle wreck leads to drunk driving charges

Several people were injured in a recent two-vehicle accident. According to Louisiana police, the wreck was caused by a driver who they believe was under the influence of alcohol at the time. He has since been charged for drunk driving in addition to several other offenses. Although it is only his first DWI offense, even a first-time charge can have serious consequences for people in Lake Charles.

The crash occurred on US Hwy 167 at approximately 10:30 p.m. Authorities believe that the allegedly intoxicated driver was driving southbound in his truck just before the collision. For reasons that are not clear, the driver of the pickup truck struck a Jeep from behind.

Importance of powers of attorney in elder law

Those who care for aging loved ones understand that doing so will not always be easy. Although those who take on the responsibility of being a caregiver generally do not do so because they expect it to be a breeze, most can still take steps to make things somewhat easier. Utilizing various aspects of elder law, such as powers of attorney, can help ensure that individuals in Lake Charles are able to provide the best possible care.

Encouraging a relative to create various powers of attorney can be important in these types of situations. An especially important type is the health care power of attorney. These give an individual the right to make medical decisions on behalf of another person -- in this case on behalf of an aging loved one. Even if that relative has a living will, it cannot possibly cover every potential medical issue. The person named in the power of attorney can ensure that both the wishes within the living will are upheld and that any additional medical decisions fall as close as possible to the patient's wishes.

9 college students face criminal charges for hazing

Louisiana police recently arrested nine young men for their alleged involvement in fraternity hazing. They each face multiple criminal charges, including misdemeanor criminal hazing and felony battery. The Louisiana State University chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon was also closed down.

The hazing incidents allegedly took place in the fall semester of 2018. It is not clear when university officials were first alerted to the possibility of hazing, but those officials then reported the problem to the university's campus police. The results of the investigation led the police to revoke the chapter's charter and turn matters over to local authorities.

Why are you hesitating to sign a power of attorney?

You are not alone if you dread the days when you will no longer have control of your circumstances. Perhaps you fear that your health will fail, and you will not be able to perform routine tasks, manage your finances or take care of yourself. It is not easy to imagine having to rely on others for those basic needs, but it is a common event in many lives.

One way to plan for the possibility that you may need help with your legal and financial issues is to sign a power of attorney. Granting power of attorney to a trusted agent means your loved ones will not have to go through the courts to get permission to handle your important matters if you should become ill or incapacitated. However, it is important that you understand the general terms of a POA and dispel any misconceptions you may have.

Traffic stop leads to serious criminal charges

A recent traffic stop ended in the arrest of two Louisiana men. Both are facing serious criminal charges for drug possession, while only one is charged for possessing a firearm. These types of allegations are quite serious, and some Lake Charles defendants might find the prospect of dealing with the criminal defense side of things overwhelming.

Reportedly, the attending officer who initiated the traffic stop did so after noticing that the 21-year-old driver was having trouble maintaining his lane. Both the driver and his 19-year-old passenger were allegedly acting nervous at the time of the stop, and a drug-sniffing dog was brought to the scene. Even before the dog identified the scent of marijuana, its handler supposedly caught the scent of the drug from inside the vehicle.

Do digital assets mean more frequent estate planning updates?

Just a decade or so ago, Lake Charles families shared pictures through physical photo albums, flipping through the pages while visiting with one another. Now, sharing a photo album tends to be a digital task that can be accomplished by a single click of a button. This might have made day-to-day life easier for most people, but it has made estate planning somewhat more complicated.

Many items of sentimental value -- including pictures, videos and even letters -- are now stored in digital format rather than physically stowed away somewhere. Passing on a digital item is more involved than when bequeathing a physical item. This is because digital assets are usually locked away behind usernames and passwords, and heirs rarely have access to that important information.

Driver faces criminal charges re 2018 hit-and-run wreck

A man who allegedly fled the scene of an accident was recently apprehended by Louisiana police. Facing multiple criminal charges -- including careless operation and hit and run -- he is apparently still in police custody. Authorities also charged him with drug-related crimes.

According to police, the accident happened back in Nov. 2018, when a 26-year-old driver rear-ended another vehicle. The driver who allegedly caused the accident initially stopped and spoke with the other driver. At one point he pulled out his ID and handed it over to the other person, but then purportedly ran away from the scene. He left his vehicle on the side of the highway where the wreck occurred.

After divorce, it's time for estate planning

Going through a divorce is a tremendous life change that can be both emotionally freeing and exhausting. By the time everything is finalized, most Lake Charles divorcees might not feel like so much as looking at another piece of paperwork for years if not decades to come. However, despite these feelings, it is still important to attend to estate planning after major life changes.

One of the first things a recently divorced individual might want to take a look at is his or her will. Since property is divided during divorce, a person's will might list assets that he or she no longer owns. Provisions for ex-spouses should probably be removed as well, and guardian designations may also need to be updated. If the previously named guardians were family members or friends of an ex, it might not make sense to stick with those choices.

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