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Naming a Tutor in your Will is a Crucial Step: It’s difficult to think about the situation where a young child loses both of his or her parents, but this is the time when a tutor would step in to take care of the child.  Naming a tutor is often overlooked when preparing a last will and testament, especially when someone writes their own will.  In many instances though, naming a tutor is the main reason for writing a will.  It is not uncommon for someone’s final wishes to coincide with the default laws of intestacy. For instance, perhaps a

Debt May Survive Discharge When a Debtor Fails to List a Debt in Bankruptcy: It is required that a debtor list all of his or her creditors and their most current address in the bankruptcy schedules.  If they fail to do so, a judge may not discharge the debt.  Listing all debts is required so that the court can properly notify the creditors by mail.  Creditors have important rights in a bankruptcy, such as filing proofs of claim and objections, and not listing them deprives them of exercising those rights. If a debtor forgets to list a creditor on their

Why Having a Last Will for Separate Property is Crucial: It is common for married couples to acquire property prior to the marriage.  This property is considered separate property.  Because the order of succession is different for community property and separate property, it is imperative to know what will happen to your property if you die without a last will and testament.  Often times, the intestate laws are in direct conflict with the actual wishes of the property owner.  When that is the case, you should strongly consider creating a will as part of your estate plan. Classification of Property:

Section 8 Evictions Explained: Many landlords choose to participate in the Section 8 program.  Afterall, it offers the benefit of guaranteed rent subsidy payments.  However, it may not always work out as expected.  The tenant may stop paying their portion of the rent, seriously damage the property, or some other lease violation may arise.  If it becomes necessary to pursue eviction, the landlord must follow not only state and local procedures for eviction, but also U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations. As a landlord participating in the Section 8 program, it’s essential to understand and protect your

Louisiana Law of Usufruct: Full ownership in Louisiana is broken down into three elements: (1) usus which is the right to use or possess a thing; (2) fructus which is the right to the fruits or income of a thing; and (3) abusus which is the right to abuse or dispose of a thing (either physically or juridically). Per La. Civ. Code art. 535, a usufruct is a real right of limited duration on the property of another.  It combines the first two elements of ownership, usus and fructus.  The person who truly owns the property is known as the naked

Self Help Repossession Notices are Often Targeted: The Louisiana Additional Default Remedies Act provides the “self-help” laws permitting creditors to repossess motor vehicles and motorcycles directly.  This is a form of non-judicial repossession that creditors can do themselves.  It can certainly save a creditor some court and legal fees, but certain steps must be carefully followed, especially if the creditor wishes to later pursue a deficiency judgment. Basic Requirements of Repossession Notices: A number of notices or letters must be sent to the debtor in order to properly effect a “self-help” repossession and to later be able to sue the debtor

Health Care Decisions without Medical Power of Attorney: If a person is unable to make decisions about personal medical care, some other person must provide direction in decision making.  Many people create a medical power of attorney in advance of any anticipated physical problems.  A power of attorney allows them to appoint an agent or representative to manage their affairs when they become unable to do so themselves.  However, if there is no medical power of attorney in place and no judicially appointed tutor or curator, then health care professionals usually rely on the next of kin or even a close

How Attorneys Collect Foreign Judgments Across State Lines: Debtors often move across state lines.  A judgment in one state is virtually unenforceable if the debtor does not hold property there or is not working there.  When a debtor or assets are discovered in another state, collection attorneys must take extra steps to enforce a foreign judgment in that state. The United States Constitution requires that states give “full faith and credit” to the laws and court judgments of other states.  Most states have therefore enacted laws that provide the procedure for enforcing an out-of-state judgment.  However, the process varies widely

Successions When a Legatee or Heir Dies: Successions are either intestate or testate.  Intestate successions occur when there is no will, the will is invalid, or the will does not dispose of all the decedent’s property.  Testate successions occur when there is a valid notarial or olographic will.  An heir is a person who inherits property in an intestate succession.  A legatee is a person who is bequeathed property in a testate succession. In Louisiana there are three ways to inherit: (1) in his or her own right, (2) via representation, or (3) via transmission.  An heir inherits in his or her

Inheriting Mortgaged Property: In most instances, the estate debts must be fully paid during the succession proceedings.  However, some debts such as mortgages are not easily paid in full.  Clients often ask if they have to refinance when they inherit property with a mortgage.  Heirs generally have a few options when inheriting mortgaged property.  The property can be sold and the sale proceeds can pay off the mortgage.  Other assets in the succession can be used to pay off the mortgage.  The succession can be renounced, in which case the property will likely be foreclosed on if there are no