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Baton Rouge Legal Blog

What to consider before purchasing a company

Buying a business is one way that a person in Louisiana can become his or her own boss. However, it is important for an individual to understand why he or she is buying a business and how it fits into his or her life. Ideally, those who are looking to purchase existing companies will purchase entities that have a track record of profitability. This shows that they have systems in place that are or can be successful.

While an existing business may cost more than starting a company from scratch, it may be less expensive to operate. Furthermore, it may be easier to obtain financing to buy a company that has a record of generating revenue. Of course, it is necessary to understand why a company is available before buying it. In some cases, an owner could be trying to exit a business or industry that won't grow much in the future.

Create an estate plan before an unforeseen event occurs

In Louisiana and across the United States, people tend to procrastinate about planning their estates. Drafting wills and creating trusts are not at the top of most to-do lists. Sadly, financial affairs can become complicated if a person becomes ill. Most lawyers advise clients to create family trusts. Estate planning before something unexpected happens is the best plan. Contacting an estate planning attorney can help clarify any questions or concerns.

Additionally, a lawyer offers an explanation about the different types of family trusts. For instance, a person may wish to establish a revocable family trust or an irrevocable family trust. People who have already established their trust funds may want to speak with an attorney to make sure new assets are added into the trusts. It is important to remember that an investment portfolio and a trust fund are two different entities serving two distinct purposes.

More than 15 million recalled air bags still due for repair

AAA is reaching out to drivers to encourage them to have a large number of air bags repaired or replaced as soon as they can. A recall was issued in 2015 covering vehicles in Louisiana and across the country that had certain Takata air bags installed. These air bags pose a serious risk to both drivers and passengers, and roughly 15.4 million vehicles remain on the road with these air bags equipped. According to a senior manager of traffic safety for AAA, the air bags will be repaired for free at dealerships all over the country.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a recall of the air bags in May 2015, but there was a parts shortage initially that forced drivers to wait for long periods before the repairs could be done. The required parts are now widely available for most vehicles, and the repair work can take as little as a few hours.

Global recall issued for breast implants linked to rare cancer

Women in Louisiana and elsewhere around the country are advised to be aware of the possible risks associated with textured breast implants. This comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked the manufacturer of Biocell textured breast implants and tissue expanders to issue a voluntary recall. The reason is because of a link to a rare form of cancer.

The textured breast implants being recalled are less common in the United States than in other countries. In fact, they represent less than 5% of all breast implants sold in the U.S. Even so, the FDA believes that "hundreds of thousands" of women may have these implants. In 2011, the FDA reported a link between certain breast implants and a rare cancer known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL.

Using trusts for young beneficiaries

Parents in Louisiana who have young children are likely to want to leave certain high-value assets to those children. However, they should make sure that the estate plan they develop is more complex than just a will. In fact, including a trust as part of an estate plan can help parents ensure that the assets they leave to children or young adults will not be irresponsibly managed.

A trust can be used to create financial guidelines and boundaries for young beneficiaries. One of the duties of a trustee can be to work with the beneficiaries to create a flow of income that will address their needs and that will allow the trust principal to be maintained. The trustee can also be obligated to instruct the beneficiaries about financial matters so that when they are allowed more access to the inherited assets, they are able to manage them responsibly.

Estate planning for chronically ill people

People in Louisiana who have a chronic illness might want to revise their estate plan. They do not necessarily need documents that are different from those that others have. However, some types of chronic illness may eventually lead to a person's inability to understand and sign documents, and in those cases, it is important to get the right estate planning documents in place while this is still possible.

One type of document that may be needed is a HIPAA release. This authorizes someone to have access to the person's health information. The release can specify what information the person can access and may also specify an end date. Along with the HIPAA release, the person may need a health care proxy. This appoints someone to make medical decisions on a person's behalf. A living will outlines a person's wishes for end of life care. It may also address other issues, such as whether the person consents to experimental treatments or organ donation. It might be specific based on the person's illness. The person may also want to consider a Physician Order For Life-Sustaining Treatment to reinforce the living will.

Porsche recalls Panamera sedans and Cayenne SUVs

Almost 100,000 Porsche owners in Louisiana and around the country will soon be receiving recall notices in the mail. The German carmaker recently announced that 99,665 Cayenne SUVs produced between 2003 and 2010 and Panamera sedans built between 2010 and 2016 have transmission bushings that will likely need to be replaced. The recall is scheduled to begin on Aug. 11 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The transmissions of the vehicles being recalled feature plastic bushings that connect their main transmission units to the gear selector lever. If the plastic wears down over time, the bushing could detach. This could lead to a situation where the gear selector indicates that a vehicle is in one gear while it is really in a different gear. The recall has been ordered because a detached bushing could cause a rollaway accident. Porsche says that audible chimes or warning lights would not warn drivers about the danger. Media reports about the recall do not mention any accidents caused by the problem.

About trusts and estate planning

There are many different legal devices Louisiana residents can use to develop an estate plan that will ensure that their wishes are honored after they die. One of these is the trust, which can be a very important part of an effective estate plan.

Individuals can use a trust to provide protection of assets in the event that they are unable to make decisions on their own. After creating a trust and transferring their assets into the trustee, individuals can serve as the trustee, maintaining control of the assets and benefiting from any income. A successor trustee should be designated to assume control of the trust should the initial trustee becomes incapacitated.

Avoiding mistakes with estate plans

One of the mistakes Louisiana residents can make with estate planning is not developing an estate plan at all. There are many people who do not have a will, and if they die without a will in place, the state will be required to determine who should step into the role of executor and who will receive their assets. Married couples should be sure to develop an estate plan as intestacy laws do not stipulate that all assets will be transferred to the ownership of a surviving spouse.

Another estate planning misstep is not being prepared for the unexpected. It is important that an estate plan includes the legal documents that ensure an incapacitated individual's wishes and preferences will be honored regarding certain decisions. A financial power of attorney, which can be used to designate a trusted person to act on the behalf of an incapacitated person in the management of their financial affairs, should be completed. It is also important to have a health care power of attorney in place so that a trusted person can make medical decisions. For people who would prefer to not have extraordinary measures taken if they are on life support, they should also make sure to have a living will on file.

Should I establish a gun trust in Louisiana?

Estate planning involves analyzing everything we have and planning on where it goes after we pass. It’s not a pleasant task, but it is an essential step for our family and friends. We don’t want them to be caught up in court for years, fighting for our possessions.

One possession that usually causes problems is guns. They tend to be valuable and hard to handle in court. Luckily, there is a way to ensure your firearms end in the right hands – a gun trust.

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