LEGAL CORNER: Why does my fiance want a pre-nup?

VIDEO: LEGAL CORNER - Why does my fiance want a pre-nup?

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QUESTION: I started a small sole proprietorship type business a few years ago as a part-time hobby. With the refineries bringing in so many people to Lake Charles my business has increased very quickly. Is it possible to switch my sole proprietorship to an LLC to protect my personal assets while keeping my tax structure as it currently is?

ANSWER: Certainly. The LLC is structured to protect individuals and their personal assets from any liability of the company. This is available to anyone considering beginning a business as well. A limited liability company, commonly called an "LLC," is a business structure that combines the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. Converting a sole proprietorship or a partnership to an LLC is an easy way for sole proprietors and partners to protect their personal assets without changing the way their business income is taxed.

Some states provide a simple form for converting a partnership to an LLC (often called a "certificate of conversion"). Sole proprietors and partners in states that don't provide a conversion form must file regular articles of organization to create an LLC. In some states, before a partnership can officially convert to an LLC, it must publish a notice in a local newspaper that the partnership is being terminated. And in all states, you'll have to transfer all identification numbers, licenses, and permits to the name of your new LLC, including: (a) your federal employer identification number(b). Your state employer identification number (c)your sales tax permit (d) your business license (or tax registration), and (d) any professional licenses or permits. (LA R.S.12:1301 et seq)

QUESTION: My mother is elderly and requires full time care so we placed her in a nursing home so she would receive the medical attention she needs. My mother is not one to complain, but she has repeatedly told me about some issues arising over and over. I have spoken with a nurse and even the head nurse of the facility with nothing happening to rectify the situation. I do not want to file a complaint with the Department of Health and Hospitals, is there anyone available before I would have to take that step?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, this is a common complaint. The person you are seeking is the ombudsman. The Long-Term Care Ombudsmen investigate and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities. These facilities include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and personal care homes that serve individuals who are elderly or disabled. Ombudsmen also assist consumers and potential consumers with the process of choosing a facility. The contact information is provided in our answer on the website. Also, the Law Center does have a special Elder Care program to assist with the legal needs of the elder.

Louisiana State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Office of the Governor Office of Elderly Affairs P.O. Box 61 Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0061

Phone: (225) 342-7100 Toll Free: (866) 632-0922 Email: StateOmbudsman@goea.la.gov

LA R.S. 40§2010.3. Ombudsman; functions and responsibilities A. The ombudsman shall have the following functions and responsibilities: (1) To visit facilities on a regular basis in order to become acquainted with residents, residents' families, facility administration and facility personnel; to promote community involvement with residents of facilities; to serve as a liaison between residents, residents' families, facility personnel and facility administration (2) To encourage residents in self-advocacy when problems are expressed and to make recommendations to the facility administration for the appropriate resolution of the problem. (3) To promote the development of citizen organizations to participate in the ombudsman program. (4) To make referrals and recommendations to the Louisiana Department of Health and the Department of Children and Family Services, where such referral is appropriate. (5) To provide for the training of the ombudsman, including volunteers and other representatives of the ombudsman, in: (a) Federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and policies with respect to long term care facilities in state. (b) Investigative techniques (c) Such other matters as the office deems appropriate. (6) To provide reports to the oversight subcommittee of the joint committee on health and welfare as the subcommittee may require.

QUESTION: I am engaged to be married, or I was, and then my fiancé out of nowhere asked me to sign a pre-nuptial agreement. Neither of us is rich, in fact, our kids are grown and I do not really know his children very well. Do you know any reasons why he would want this pre-nup?

ANSWER: The most commonly known use of a Pre-nuptial agreement is to protect personal assets. However, they are also designed to protect the other from something or keep certain things from happening. Some of the reasons could be to pass separate property to children from prior marriages or protect from debts either of you may have prior to the marriage. Once married, spouses domiciled in this state may change to the legal regime of community property by agreement at any time without court approval. So even though pre-nups have a bad reputation, sometimes creating one could be in your best interest.

LA C. C. Art. 2329. Exclusion or modification of matrimonial regime.Spouses may enter into a matrimonial agreement before or during marriage as to all matters that are not prohibited by public policy. Spouses may enter into a matrimonial agreement that modifies or terminates a matrimonial regime during marriage only upon joint petition and a finding by the court that this serves their best interests and that they understand the governing principles and rules. They may, however, subject themselves to the legal regime by a matrimonial agreement at any time without court approval. During the first year after moving into and acquiring a domicile in this state, spouses may enter into a matrimonial agreement without court approval.The reasons for this could be …..Pass separate property to children from prior marriages A marrying couple with children from prior marriages may use a prenup to spell out what will happen to their property when they die, so that they can pass on separate property to their children and still provide for each other, if necessary. Clarify financial rights. Couples with or without children, wealthy or not, may simply want to clarify their financial rights and responsibilities during marriage. Avoid arguments in case of divorce. Or they may want to avoid potential arguments if they ever divorce, by specifying in advance how their property will be divided, and whether or not either spouse will receive alimony. (A few states won't allow a spouse to give up the right to alimony, however, and, in most others, a waiver of alimony will be scrutinized heavily and won't be enforced if the spouse who is giving up alimony didn't have a lawyer.) Get protection from debts. Prenups can also be used to protect spouses from each other's debts, and they may address a multitude of other issues as well.

Disclaimer: The information furnished in this answer is general and may not apply to some situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely to their detriment on these answers. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and the viewers of KPLC-TV.

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