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Dealing with digital assets in an estate plan

While many people may have estate plans that do not take digital assets into account, some Louisiana residents might want to look at the issue. Digital assets can range from photographs to emails to cryptocurrency and more. They may have both sentimental and monetary value.

Louisiana is one of the few states that has no legislation about digital assets and estate planning and that has not adopted a version of the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. However, despite this and the fact that digital assets offer a few unique challenges that are not true of physical assets, there are still steps people can take to plan effectively.

Chrysler Fiat announces recall of 182,000 Ram pickups

Louisiana drivers may be concerned to learn that Fiat Chrysler has announced another recall. This time, the Detroit-based automaker is recalling over 182,000 pickup trucks due to a potential problem with the power steering system.

According to the announcement, which was made on Jan. 25, the power steering issue affects 2019 Ram 1500 pickup trucks. However, approximately one-third of the involved vehicles have not yet been sold and are sitting on dealership lots. Chrysler Fiat said that fasteners for batteries in the power steering electrical system were not properly secured when the vehicles were made. As a result, they could shake loose and cause the power steering to fail. However, to date, there have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the problem. No official start date was announced for the recall, but regulations mandate that it must begin within 60 days. Once the recall begins, owners will be able to bring their vehicles to a dealership for a free repair.

What happens if a person dies intestate

Some people in Louisiana might think they do not need to create a will because they have so few assets. However, a will can also be used to name a guardian for any minor children. Family members may go to court if a guardian is not named, but the relative who is granted guardianship might not be the one a parent would have chosen. This is also true if the person is responsible for the care of an adult who is mentally incapacitated.

Dying intestate means dying without a will. State law determines who will receive a person's assets if he or she dies without a will. This is usually an individual's closest next of kin. As is the case with the guardianship, this could result in a distribution of assets that would not have been the person's choice.

A business owner’s guide to intellectual property

Entrepreneurs have to learn a tremendous amount of information when starting a business. Between the legalities of running a startup to balancing a budget, business owners have to pick up new strategies quickly and effectively.

A critical component of running a business is brand protection. Most owners learn how to protect their intellectual property (IP) through trademarks, patents or copyrights, but which one is the right protection for your company?

What to do in case of an audit or regulatory proceeding

Louisiana business owners might wonder whether they are vulnerable to audits or regulatory procedures. Any business could be subject to these, but there are steps a company can take to reduce the likelihood of such a thing happening. Companies can also protect themselves if they do face audits or regulatory procedures.

Properly training staff, communicating with staff and having an attorney review contracts are all important. For example, a medical company should make sure its processes for billing and coding are reviewed regularly and that staff are trained and certified as needed. Consultants can be hired to do audits and address any potential problems.

Incentive trusts control assets meant to benefit addicts

The prevalence of opioid addiction in Louisiana and throughout America rightly concerns people who intend to bequeath an inheritance to someone troubled by serious substance abuse. A benefactor worried that money given to an heir addicted to narcotics will encourage drug buying can explore the potential of setting up an incentive trust.

The terms of an incentive trust tackle the issue head on. This estate planning tool will deny funds to someone who has not provided evidence of reform. The trust could fund rehabilitation as long as the person demonstrates a willingness to follow a drug treatment program. Requirements imposed by a trust could include routine drug tests, employment and substance abuse counseling. Compliance would enable distributions of funds. Failure to meet requirements would prevent distributions.

Key items during a merger or acquisition

When Louisiana entrepreneurs think about buying or selling firms, they may have plenty to consider before finalizing a transaction. There are a number of reasons why companies may consider mergers or acquisitions. In some cases, a business owner may be ready to move on, and selling the company provides a clear and profitable path forward. On the other hand, a large company might benefit from obtaining unique skills or technologies developed by a smaller firm. In still other cases, smaller companies may have a difficult road ahead while a larger enterprise may function better in the business climate.

In order to emerge successfully from a merger or acquisition, it's important for business owners to do some research and ensure that the transaction is in the best interests of the business. Learning more about the other company may provide details that help business owners or executives assess the potential value of the merger. In addition, it can be key to understand what the other firm wants from the deal. In order for the transaction to be a success, both sides should understand each other's key interests.

What to know about creating a second trust

Louisiana residents and others may find that a trust is an effective estate planning tool. In fact, individuals can create more than one trust to meet their needs. Unless a new trust is created specifically to nullify an existing document, both trusts can be valid at the same time. However, there may be no need to create a second trust to amend or revoke an existing one.

In many cases, making changes to the language of an existing trust may allow it to meet a person's goals. For instance, the trust could be changed to stipulate that one child gets a larger share of a parent's property than the others. Technically speaking, restating a trust is an amendment to the original document despite the fact that it could completely change what the trust does. It is also worth noting that creating a second trust means spending more money and time keeping track of multiple documents.

Why would you factor failure into your business plan?

As you start a business venture, you have high hopes for your future success. You have done your market research, developed your concept and are putting your skills to the test. You may have even patented your product during your early stages of searching for investment dollars. However, some experts suggest that planning for success may be what leads to the demise of your company.

How can focusing on failure help your company grow?

Blood pressure medication recalled after contamination

Louisiana patients may be concerned about potential risks to their health if they have taken certain blood pressure tablets that contained trace amounts of a known human carcinogen. Two lots of Losartan potassium tablets, used to treat high blood pressure and other disorders linked to Type 2 Diabetes, were voluntarily recalled by Torrent Pharmaceuticals. The company announced the recall of two lots of the medication on the Food and Drug Administration website.

The pills were found to contain small amounts of N-nitrosodiethylamine, a naturally-occurring chemical that is also linked to air pollution and industrial emissions. It is considered to be a probable cause of cancer in humans. While drug safety officials said that patients should continue to take their medication, they also said that they should speak with a pharmacist or doctor about alternative treatments. As the recall only applies to specific lots of Losartan tablets, patients may be able to replace their recalled medication with a new, uncontaminated lot. However, stopping the pills without ensuring an alternative is in place may lead to serious health consequences for high blood pressure patients.

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