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Zachary Louisiana Legal Blog

Louisiana probate law: Trust questions

What is a trust? Is it something every Louisiana resident should consider having? How does one create a trust? These are all questions that will briefly be discussed here. A probate law attorney can provide more in-depth answers to those who want to know more.

Question number one: What is a trust? This is simply one of many estate planning tools available to Louisiana residents. There are a number of trusts available, all of which work to protect assets and ensure beneficiaries receive their inheritances. By placing assets in a trust rather than transferring them to a will, it may be possible to avoid probate and allow beneficiaries quicker access to the assets.

Did a truck driver on a cellphone cause you personal injury?

The day you or your loved one got into an accident with a semitrailer probably started out just like any other day. You had no idea what was coming your way or that your life was about the change forever. Then it happened. A distracted semi driver slammed into your vehicle leaving you or your loved one injured. According to the state of Louisiana, you may seek relief for any personal injury suffered. 

While commercial drivers are professional drivers, it does not mean that they are immune to the distractions that often affect everyone else -- such as paying attention to their phones rather than the road. They, too, may get caught up in phone conversations, dialing, texting or looking at various things on their smartphones. Federal laws prohibit truck drivers from using hand-held devices while they are driving, unless their devices are equipped with one-touch answering, texting or dialing capabilities, or if voice controls are enabled. Those caught using their cellphones in a way that is not deemed acceptable can face significant fines and even the loss of their professional licenses.

When to see a family law attorney about divorce

Numerous Louisiana residents are struggling in their marriages. It is normal for couples to go through good and bad times. So, when is it that a person might want to seek out the assistance of a family law attorney to end a marriage?

Deborah J. Cohan, who holds a Ph.D. and is a sociology professor at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, says divorce should probably be considered when one feels nothing else but feelings of anger and resentment for his or her spouse. These feelings are difficult to hide from children and other family members. These feelings make it difficult to go home at the end of the day. No one should have to live day in and day out with someone who makes them feel that way.

Suffer a personal injury at the hands of a drunk driver?

It seems impossible to go a day without witnessing or hearing of impaired drivers on Louisiana roads. Drunk driving is a real problem in this state and across the country. Anyone who has suffered any form of personal injury at the hands of a drunk driver may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses.

December is quickly coming to a close, but it seems right, with New Year's Eve coming up, to touch on the fact that it is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. This time of year more people will be heading out to social gatherings where alcohol will be in rich supply. Sadly, a number of these individuals will try to drive after drinking rather than making other arrangements to get home. Because of this decision, some innocent bystanders may get hurt or even lose their lives.

Louisiana criminal defense: Charged with assault?

Louisiana residents who have been charged with assault will find themselves facing significant consequences if they are ultimately convicted. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help such individuals navigate the criminal court system and fight for the best possible case outcomes. This week, this column will go over what is needed for prosecuting attorneys to achieve a conviction on an assault charge and what a defense attorney can do to help those accused of committing an assault.

Let's start with the basics. An assault is defined as threatening bodily harm to another individual in a manner that makes that individual fear for his or her safety. Many assault cases also include battery charges, which means physical harm to the victim allegedly occurred. In order for prosecuting attorneys to achieve a conviction on an assault charge, two elements must exist in the case, these are:

  • The accused intended to cause fear of harm.
  • The victim believed he or she would be physically harmed.

How to approach your partner with divorce

Ending a marriage is not always a smooth transition into single-hood. It begins by having an honest conversation with your partner. Sometimes the word 'divorce' may get tossed around during a heated argument, but how can you really be sure that divorce is what you really want?

Taking time to reflect on your relationship and trying to see a professional counselor are good ways to process the life change you are about to embark on. Once you are clear on your decision to leave a marriage, you will need to let your spouse know.

Louisiana family law: What to do with the marital home

Dividing assets when going through a divorce is rarely if ever an easy task. Each party is likely to have different ideas regarding what should happen. For example, the marital home. Maybe one spouse wants to sell it and the other wants to keep it. A Louisiana-based family law attorney can help one find the best way to resolve this issue.

There is not just one right way to approach the division of the marital home. Every couple is different and what they choose to do simply needs to work and make sense to them. Selling the home is typically what is done in divorce. Following the sale, any profit is split evenly between each party. If the mortgage is underwater, each party would be equally responsible for a portion of the debt.

Louisiana probate: Creating a will

Estate planning is something that numerous Louisiana residents put off. It is understandable that no one wants to think about their own mortality. Not thinking about it, though, can end up hurting one's loved ones in the end. A will is the most basic estate planning document anyone can have, but having one in place can help one's family get through probate as quickly as possible.

So, how does one go about writing a will? An individual can simply write one on his or her own. There are a number of online forms that can be filled out. Finally, one can seek assistance from an experienced estate planning attorney. The last option should be strongly considered as legal counsel can make sure the will includes everything it should, nothing it shouldn't and make sure it is properly executed so that it is actually valid.

Louisiana family law: Have child custody and support concerns?

Are you preparing to go through a divorce? Do you have children and have child custody and support concerns? If you do, an experienced Louisiana-based family law attorney can help you resolve your concerns and walk away from your marriage with custody and support orders that fit your family's needs.

When it comes to child custody, the state just wants to see children in living arrangements that benefit their emotional health and are just all around safe environments. You and your soon-to-be ex can negotiate terms you both believe are best for your children, or you can request that a judge decide. Custody cases only go to court if parents cannot come to agreeable terms. Generally speaking, the state would like to see shared custody arrangements made, but there are reasons to grant sole custody.

Louisiana criminal defense: Fighting field sobriety test results

When suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol in Louisiana, police may pull one over and ask him or her to participate in field sobriety tests. What exactly are these tests? Can a criminal defense attorney help one fight the results of these tests?

There are four different sobriety tests that are administered in the field: Breathalyzer, one-leg stand, horizontal gaze nystagmus and the walk and turn. A Breathalyzer is a machine that one breathes into and it gives a readout of how much alcohol is in one's system. It is the most commonly used chemical DUI test used by police officers while they are out on duty.

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