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Understanding Louisiana’s Forced Heirship

– Guidance from Your Estate Planning Attorney in Shreveport

You work hard for what you have, spending years making investments, saving money, and choosing not to waste your income. It makes sense that you would want to leave your wealth to those you love. Louisiana has a unique set of estate planning laws. If you do not have a will when you pass away, you are leaving the state in control of your hard-earned wealth, leaving it up to strangers to decide who reaps the benefits. Creating a will is crucial to protecting your family. However, a simple will leaving everything to your spouse may violate Louisiana’s forced heirship laws.

You can have your wishes honored with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney in Shreveport. When it comes to navigating the law, David L. White understands the system and can give you the advice you need to protect your assets and family after death.

Forced Heirship Still Exists in Louisiana

Many people are surprised that forced heirship still exists. Louisiana is the only state that utilizes this unique set of laws. Here are the basics to help you better understand how this can apply to your situation:

  • Definition: Basically, a forced heir is a child who is twenty-three-years-old or younger or who is mentally or physically incapable of taking care of themselves at the time of the parent’s death. An attorney can help you with the statutory definition, which is much more complex.
  • Collation: Under these laws, any gifts made to other children within three years of your death can be demanded back by the forced heir. The gift is then divided equally among all your kids.
  • How they must be provided for: When you die with a forced heir, they must receive 25% of your legacy. If you have more than one forced heir they will receive at least half.
  • How this affects your spouse: Many couples believe the surviving spouse should receive everything they have worked hard for. That is not possible with forced heirship in the case of minor or disabled children. Instead, this would violate Louisiana’s laws.
  • Possible options: There are few options to ensure that your eighteen-year-old child does not squander what they have been left with and still provide for your spouse. Leaving the surviving spouse the legal right of their estate and naming their children as the forced heirs is one possibility. Another option is to put everything into a trust until the other spouse dies.

Plan Your Estate with a Dedicated Shreveport Attorney

Leave your legacy to whom you want while still honoring the Louisiana laws when you talk to a dedicated Shreveport estate planning attorney. David L. White has years of experience creating wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents. You can entrust your planning needs to him and know your loved ones will get their inheritance as you envisioned.

Contact your attorney in Shreveport to find out more about planning your estate in Louisiana. Call us today at 318-747-7023.

How Long Should I Wait to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

– Timely Advice from Your Trusted Bossier City Law Firm

Crunch! That is the sound you remember as the other vehicle slammed into your car and sent you spinning into the intersection. Getting out, you gingerly pat yourself and take a quick inventory – no broken bones. No one else seems injured at the scene either, and you go home realizing that you may be sore in the morning but you will be OK. That is until the aches and pains do not go away, or you notice your balance is off. As you get to thinking, nothing has seemed right since the accident and now you wonder if there is something seriously wrong. Is it too late for help?

Avoid losing out on your opportunity to get help with your healing. There are statutes of limitations to consider and insurance companies trying to save a dime so don’t wait to hire a Bossier City personal injury attorney after your accident. David L. White understands the intricacies of the judicial system and will fight to get you the medical attention and monetary compensation you deserve.

5 Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney without Delay

If you are sitting on the fence trying to decide if hiring legal counsel is necessary, consider these reasons to find a lawyer today:

  • They Can Talk to Your Insurance Carrier: There will be property damage and medical bills that need to be taken care of. Your law firm can act as your intermediary and make sure bills get paid in a timely fashion.
  • Statutes of Limitations Must be Respected: If you have a medical malpractice suit, time is of the essence. They also require a lot of time and effort. The earlier you hire someone to help, the better for your case.
  • Insurance Companies will Seek their Own Interests First: Like most businesses, insurance companies want to make a profit. The more they pay out, the less they make. You need someone on your side to level the playing field.
  • Help with Medical Experts: Some firms have medical personnel on staff that can act as a buffer with your medical team. Others can point you in the right direction for finding the best medical help that can also testify on your behalf if your case goes to court.
  • Support Staff: A personal injury firm will have support staff to ensure all aspects of your case are clearly laid out. Besides recreating the accident, they can gather additional information to make sure you get the best possible settlement or verdict.

Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Bossier City

Get the best representation now before you talk to your insurance carrier. Call David L. White to learn how he and his team can help you get the compensation and medical help you deserve. The seasoned professionals at our law firm are here to provide you with the support you are looking for.

Contact your Bossier City, Louisiana personal injury attorney today to get the help you need now. Call us at 318-747-7023.

How to Choose the Right Law Firm in Bossier City, Louisiana

Finding the right attorney to assist you with your legal needs should not be left to chance. In fact, the best time to find a lawyer is before you need one. No one wants to be left scrambling for help in the middle of a crisis. Being prepared can help you avoid having the ‘wrong’ type of firm represent you. For example, if you are facing criminal charges and possible jail time, you don’t want to be stuck with an attorney proficient in real estate law!

Experience is paramount to your case when the stakes are high. Whether you need representation for criminal charges, help with drawing a will, or getting the child visitation rights you deserve, David L. White has the knowledge and experience you seek. He understands the Louisiana judicial system and fights hard for those he serves. He is compassionate and understanding while making sure your legal needs are met.

Tips for Finding (and Hiring) the Best Law Firm for You

Avoid getting caught in a bind. Research lawyers now and save yourself headache and stress with these tips:

  • Interview Candidates: Discuss your needs with the attorney. Ask different questions about their experience, success track record, any special certificates or skills, and how billing works. Don’t be afraid to ask for client references. Remember this is about how the two of you interact. Is this someone you can be comfortable working with? Are your calls returned on time?
  • Pay Attention to the Help: Not only will you be working with one lawyer, but you will also be in contact with other staff members. Are they pleasant? Do they seem concerned about listening to your needs?
  • Check Out their Standing: In order to practice law in Louisana, a firm and its lawyers must be approved by the Louisiana Bar Association. You can go to the website of Louisiana’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel and make sure they are in good standing. You can also check out their reputation by looking at their Martindale-Hubble rating.
  • Remember: Size Does Not Matter: If you think a large law firm means a better one, think again. Larger firms require many more cases to keep the lights on, and often you can get left behind in the shuffle of case batching. Experience is gained in the courtroom and across the negotiating table, not in the number of paralegals they can afford.
  • Ask if they Partner Up: Sometimes, even the best professionals need help. Ask if your prospective firm engages with other lawyers to strengthen a client’s legal team. It may help to have the perspective of a specialist for your case.

Talk with an Experienced Law Firm in Bossier City, Louisiana

Find the best representation now before you need it later. Talk with David L. White to learn how he and his team can help you. The seasoned professionals at our practice are happy to work with you and provide the representation and support you are looking for.

Contact your Bossier City, Louisiana law firm today to start building your legal team now. Call us today at 318-747-7023.

When to Consider Modifying Your Child Support Order—Guidance from Your Divorce Lawyer in Shreveport, Louisiana

When a couple separates or divorces, decisions about how the children should be taken care of and by whom need to be answered. For example, they must determine visitation and financial support. Louisiana’s courts will review agreements that have been premade, but ultimately, they will consider what is in the best interest of the child. This includes any child support arrangements. The goal is to make sure the kids’ needs are met. The court expects the non-custodial parent to regularly make their support payment in order for the custodial parent to care for their minor children. However, like everything else in life, circumstances change, and often without much notice. Being prepared with information is the best way to handle a challenging situation.

If it is difficult to pay your obligation or you feel the non-custodial parent should pay more, it may be time for a modification of the child support order. A trusted divorce lawyer in Shreveport can help make those adjustments. David L. White knows that emotions can run high even if a couple has been divorced for a while. He is compassionate and understanding while making sure your legal needs are met.

Reasons to Modify a Child Support Order

The court will not allow you to make adjustments in the amount paid because of a whim. There needs to be a significant change in circumstances. This is extremely important to remember. With that thought in mind, here are a few reasons a modification may be justified:

  • Decrease in Income: If the payer loses his or her employment and has to take another job that pays a lot less, then the court may allow an adjustment.
  • Increase in Income: Not every pay raise is the same. If the non-custodial parent receives a small raise, the court may not see the need to raise the support obligation. However, if they take a big promotion with a significant pay raise, then the court could rule to increase the obligation.
  • Exceptional Circumstances: Not everything can be planned for. Sometimes life-changing events, whether permanent or temporary, can be a reason for modification. These can be serious health conditions, accidents, disability, bankruptcy, or incarceration.

If you are not confident that you have an acceptable reason for modifying the current support obligation, consult a lawyer. If you are now making much less money than before, avoid getting into legal trouble by failing to pay or making only partial payments, even if your ex agrees. Until the court approves the change, you are still responsible for the full amount.

Consult with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Shreveport, Louisiana

Modifications are possible, especially with the help of trusted and experienced legal counsel. Consult with David L. White to get the modifications you need to make sure your child is adequately taken care of. The seasoned professionals at our law practice are happy to work with you and will provide you with the representation and help you are looking for.

Contact your divorce attorney in Shreveport, Louisiana today to ensure your best interests and those of your children are secure. Call us today at 318-747-7023.

When Should I Retain an Attorney? Advice from a Trusted Bossier City Law Firm

You have probably heard the phrase “you will be hearing from my attorney!” in movies. Have you ever wondered how so many people could afford to keep a lawyer at their beck and call? It may be because they have paid a retainer fee. Sometimes it makes sense to have an ace in your back pocket.

Having an attorney on retainer is not just meant for the rich and famous. Whenever you prepay for legal services, you have engaged the lawyer on a retainer. Businesses can benefit from having trusted legal counsel available to help them with different matters of the law. David L. White has the extensive experience to assist business clients with day-to-day legal queries and corporate litigation.

Benefits of Retaining a Bossier City Law Firm

When you are in business, your goal is to serve your customers and clients with your products and services. There are times when things may not go as planned and you need to enlist legal services. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and keeping an attorney on retainer can help prevent potential problems down the road. Consider these benefits to determine if it makes good business sense for you.

  • Definition of Retainer vs. Pre-Paid: When you place a retainer fee in escrow with a lawyer, you are putting a deposit down for future legal services. As your legal fees add up, this money is used to pay the attorney. Pre-paid legal fees are a slight variation in which you have access to a pool of lawyers for specific tasks but not necessarily handle more significant or complex legal issues.
  • Pay for Peace of Mind: It is easier to prevent trouble before it begins. For example, if you are sued for discrimination, you are stuck with a reactive, defensive position instead of a proactive, offensive position. When you want to make changes to your employee handbook, having a lawyer review the changes beforehand could save you from a discrimination suit later.
  • They Know Your Business: When something pops up unexpectedly, your lawyer already knows your business and can jump in quickly to help.
  • Access to Other Experts: As you build a relationship with the firm, they may notice you could benefit from the expertise of specialized technical knowledge, like tax issues. They have access to resources that can help you run a tight ship more efficiently.
  • You Have a Legal Budget: Knowing fixed costs can help ease the burden of bookkeeping. When you pay a monthly retainer fee, you know what to expect to pay. There are no hidden surprises for routine work.

Work with a Trusted Bossier City, Louisiana, Law Firm

Working with a trusted attorney is just one step towards staying successful in business. Contact David L. White to discuss your company and its legal needs. His experience in corporate law is just what you need when buying or selling a business, issues with breach of contract, and even debt collection. The seasoned professionals at our law practice will provide you with the representation you deserve.

Contact our team today so we can make a plan to safeguard your best interests. Call your Bossier City, Louisiana law firm today at 318-747-7023.

What to Do If Your Child Gets Arrested

– Tips from a Trusted Shreveport Criminal Defense Attorney

Parenting is not for the faint of heart. There are so many joys, like when your precious infant learns to crawl or calls out to you for the first time. Next thing you know, they are running around the house with a towel for a cape pretending to be a superhero saving the day. With each stage of growing up, your child becomes more and more independent. Some kids always play it safe. Others take risks from the first time they learned to walk.

No parent wants to receive the dreaded call that their son or daughter was arrested. If you do pick up the phone and there is a police officer on the other line, do you know what your next steps should be? How can you prepare your child in case they are in the wrong place at the wrong time? You need the assistance of an experienced Shreveport criminal defense attorney like David L. White who understands the fear a parent and their children can go through. He will fight for your child’s rights.

How to Prepare in the Event Your Child is Arrested

We all believe our child would never get in trouble with the law. However, as teenagers exert their independence, anything can happen to lead them to being questioned by police or even arrested. Here is how you and your teen can prepare in case this happens:

  1. Remain calm: If you receive the call from the police station, try to stay calm. Get as many details as possible and avoid jumping to conclusions. Head to the station as soon as you possibly can.
  2. Remember the police are neither for nor against you: The law enforcement officer’s job is to respond to complaints and enforce the law. While they do try to arrest those who have committed a crime, sometimes it does not work that way.
  3. Show respect and cooperation: Teach your son or daughter to be respectful, polite, and courteous. If the officer asks for their name, identification, address, or phone number of their parents, they should provide it.
  4. You can ask for an attorney: Your child does have rights. Anything and everything your son or daughter says can be used against them. Understand that an officer may act as they know more than they do. Your teen should ask to speak to a lawyer before talking to the police.
  5. Hire an attorney: Now is not the time to put all those court-based TV shows to use. Avoid acting like your child’s attorney; you could make matters much worse. Instead, ask for referrals from friends and family and find an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you and your family through this frightening period.

Hire a Savvy Shreveport Criminal Defense Attorney

Teach your child how to handle an event with the police before they need it. If something does happen and you receive that dreaded call, reach out to David L. White. He has the experience and knowledge to fight for your son or daughter’s rights. Get the peace of mind to know you have someone on your side.

Contact your attorney in Shreveport to find out more about criminal defense in Louisiana. Call us today at 318-747-7023.

Heading for a Split? Choices to Make Now for Your Kids: Tips from Your Divorce Lawyer in Bossier City

From the moment you and your spouse contemplate divorce, you both have the power to make the emotionally difficult parting a more positive one. There are too many decisions to be made to split assets and precious possessions. Who will get the house? Who will get the cars? How you will divide time looking after the children? Each one is a deep and valid question that deserves serious thought. While you may think your journey as a couple is over, in actuality, it is just morphing into another stage of shared decision-making.

Use this time to attend to the details that make the next few days, months, and years a little smoother. A trusted divorce lawyer in Bossier City can help with the following steps in this new phase of life. David L. White knows this process is emotionally challenging and is ready to guide you through the proceedings with compassion.

4 Suggestions to Make Your Divorce Easier on the Kids

Working together with your soon-to-be ex-spouse is challenging. It is easy to let disagreements and personal grievances come in the way. Consider these suggestions to make this difficult transition easier:

  • Your kids come first: You will spend the next several years talking with your ex about visitation rights, their extracurricular activities, and weekend responsibilities regarding the children. Make it less volatile and more peaceful by keeping the little ones at the center of your plans. You are entering a new dance, so make it a waltz instead of a mosh pit!
  • Money should not define everything: Material objects have their value but that pales before the value you place on good relationships. Try to go beyond the little things. It is tough for the kids if you are bickering over money and possessions. Work together to make sure they don’t feel secondary to the division of assets.
  • Co-parenting takes mutual work: Your kids did not want you to part ways; you and your spouse did. They need their parents to keep working together for their sake. Work with your ex to ensure that you show a united front. If you need to vent about a slight from your former spouse, avoid doing it in front of the kids.
  • Attitude is everything: Going through this process is not easy on anyone. The emotions and frustrations that creep up will come between you two for a while. Make a concerted effort not to use your kids as a sounding board for all your anger. Get a support network that does not include your children.

Work with a Trusted Divorce Lawyer in Bossier City, Louisiana

Working through legal proceedings effectively and positively is achievable when you and your spouse choose to work together. Talk to David L. White so you can get past the emotionally exhausting part and on to a fair settlement. The seasoned professionals at our law practice will provide you with the representation you need.

Contact your divorce attorney in Bossier City, Louisiana today to ensure your best interests and those of your children are taken care of. Call us today at 318-747-7023.

Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes with Estate Planning

– Guidance from Your Experienced Attorney in Shreveport

We may do everything humanly possible to live as long as possible, but the truth is, death comes to each of us, and sometimes, when we least expect it. Being proactive can potentially prolong your lifespan. Eating right and exercising regularly ensures good health, but you never know what the next day brings. What if the inevitable occurs without warning? Have you done enough to take care of your family when you pass? Have you prepared your estate to suit legal requirements and distribute your legacy according to your wishes?

Louisiana has a unique set of laws. Writing out your last wishes on a paper serviette does not necessarily mean the court has to accept them. When it comes to navigating the law, you need the assistance of an experienced attorney like David L. White who understands the system and can give you proper legal advice to protect your assets and family after death.

Thinking about Estate Planning? Do it the Right Way

Take care of your family’s future as you do their present. Plan correctly and know that your wishes will be respected and your family taken care of. Stay away from these common mistakes:

  1. Not having a valid will when you die. After your passing, the courts intervene to know how you would like your assets and property distributed to your loved ones. If you pass without establishing clear instructions, or intestate, the Louisiana court system steps in and makes decisions on your behalf. In essence, all control is handed to the state.
  2. Not updating your will regularly. Nothing stays the same. Evolving events in your life requires you to revisit your instructions from time to time and keep your will up-to-date.
  3. Not planning for long-term care needs. Not only should you prepare for distribution of possessions after death, but you also need to lay the groundwork for unplanned long-term care. You are already doing everything you can to live a long, fruitful life. What happens if your health takes an unexpected turn? Will your retirement and assets be protected?
  4. No plans if you are incapacitated. When we think of old age, we often imagine retiring near a tropical golf course. Sometimes the best-laid plans go sour, like an unexpected stroke. If you become incapacitated and are unable to manage your affairs, it pays to have a trusted professional do the needful for you. Failing to plan for incapacitation allows the judge to choose the decision-makers on your behalf.
  5. Not preparing a letter of instruction. After you pass, your family and executor need to know where all the necessary information is located. A letter of instruction can ease the transition. It should include the following:
    • Location of the original will
    • Preparations for your burial or cremation
    • Credentials for all your digital and financial assets (savings, checking, etc.)
    • Location of any property, life insurance policies and creditor information
    • List of names and contact information of your lawyer, financial planner, insurance agent, and other vital professionals

Plan Your Family’s Future with a Dedicated Shreveport Attorney

When you get the right advice and guidance from David L. White, you gain peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be honored. He has years of experience creating wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents. You can discuss your asset distribution with him and know your loved ones will get their fair share of inheritance.

Contact your attorney in Shreveport to find out more about estate planning in Louisiana. Call us today at 318-747-7023.

How to Survive a Motorcycle Crash: Suggestions from Your Bossier City Lawyer

One of the joys for motorcycle enthusiasts is cruising through gentle curves and twists of the open road. With carefree fun comes the immense responsibility to remain safe. Bikers know that going for a ride has its dangers. If you enjoy heading out on your cruiser, there are ways to increase your safety and limit the scope of accidental injuries.

The obvious first steps are to wear the appropriate safety gear, such as an approved helmet, boots, and leather gear. In addition to these, you can increase your chances of surviving severe injury with a few additional measures. If you do face an unfortunate accident, you will need the services of a personal injury lawyer in Bossier City like David L. White to ensure you get the care and compensation you deserve.

Tips for Surviving a Motorcycle Crash

No matter how much time you have spent on your bike, safety should always be paramount. Keep these strategies in mind.

  • Avoiding a Collision
    • Cars have blind spots, and many drivers just do not pay close enough attention. Make sure you avoid the spot where you cannot be seen.
    • Always be on the lookout for road hazards like oil spills, dead animals, and loose gravel.
    • Before entering a turn, apply the brakes gently to slow down. To keep your balance, accelerate or coast through the rest of the corner.
    • While driving, ride with your tires in line with the outer tire of the car ahead of you. If they need to swerve to miss debris, you stand a better chance of avoiding it, too.
  • Surviving a Crash While it is Happening
    • If you find yourself in the position where an accident is inevitable, slow your speed and lay the bike down. This helps you to be as far away from any moving projectiles as possible, especially when you are trying to avoid oncoming traffic.
    • Release your grip on your bike or push it away from you.
    • Avoid stiffening your limbs before impact. Instead, take a lesson from Hollywood stuntmen who learn to relax during stunts to minimize the possibility of broken bones.
    • Once you have come to a stop on the ground or road, try to stay immobile until help arrives. This will help you avoid worsening your injuries.

Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Bossier City, Louisiana

If you have survived a motorcycle accident, you are very lucky. However, don’t rest easy just yet because there are some important steps to take. In the days following the incident, the medical bills can quickly add up. Additionally, you may be out of work for an extended period of time. When you work with David L. White, you can rest assured that a seasoned professional is on your side while you heal. The team at our law practice will provide you with the counsel and representation you need.

Contact your lawyer in Bossier City, Louisiana today to ensure you and your family can recover from an accident with the right support and compensation. Call us today at 318-747-7023.

Understanding Estate Planning Basics in Louisiana

– Guidance from Your Probate Lawyer in Bossier City

Planning the equitable distribution of your legacy for your loved ones is the responsible thing to do in your lifetime. No one wants the courts to decide who gets your goods and chattels when you pass. All states have various laws on the books dictating how your estate can be settled. Some of the strictest probate laws in the country belong to the Bayou state.

As you determine how you would like your benefaction settled, it is vital that you consider how Louisiana’s laws will affect your heirs. An established probate lawyer in Bossier City can help you navigate the complex requirements of Louisiana’s legal system.

Expert Advice on Estate Planning Basics in Louisiana

Louisiana uses the term “succession” instead of “probate.” Either term means the process of settling a decedent’s estate by looking at assets, property, taxes, and any claims or liens. Avoid leaving your heirs’ future to a third-party. Here are some essentials to help you understand how succession works.

  • Dying without a Will (Intestate)

    When a person dies without a will, the courts decide who will inherit the deceased’s possessions. What they will look at is whether the assets were held in community or separately and the types of relationships the survivors have with the deceased.

    Separate assets include any property owned prior to a marriage, inherited, or given to a spouse. If you die without a will, your spouse will not inherit any separate assets from you. Instead, they will go to your children or other blood relatives.

    Community property is that which is acquired during marriage or given to a couple at their wedding. When an individual dies, the spouse maintains his or her half of the inheritance, and any children would get the deceased’s half.

  • Dying with a Will (Testate)

    Having a will gives you much more control over your wishes when you pass. For instance, if you want to leave your assets to your second husband because you have not spoken to the daughter from your first marriage in 15 years, you can specify that.

    There are a couple of caveats to remember. If there are any forced heirs, they take precedence. A ‘forced heir’ is your child who is under the age of 24 or is permanently disabled no matter their age.

  • Assets Not Included in Succession

    Not every possession is part of your succession plan in Louisiana. The following items are not included:

    • Bank accounts set up as “payable on death”
    • Property held in living trusts
    • IRA or 401(k) funds
    • Proceeds from life insurance
    • Property held in joint tenancy
    • Property with beneficiary designations

Work with an Experienced Probate Lawyer in Bossier City, Louisiana

Leaving the world without clearly establishing your wishes can leave your family in a bind. When you work with David L. White, you can secure the future of your loved ones. The seasoned professionals at our law practice will provide you with the counsel and representation you need.

Contact your attorney in Bossier City, Louisiana today to ensure your wishes are honored after death and your heirs receive their inheritance the way you intended it. Call us today at 318-747-7023.