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Business Succession Planning, Estate Planning and Probate
Business Succession Planning, Estate Planning and Probate

Business Succession Planning, Estate Planning and Probate

Louisiana's estate law is complicated at best. Our estate planning practice never fails to make the best of it. Working closely with individuals and families, we provide advice and develop plans that focus on protecting wealth, minimizing tax liability and meeting clients' specific financial needs.

Estate Planning

We focus on structuring our client's estate plan to insure that the estate passes in the manner desired by the client, while providing adequate support for the surviving spouse, protecting the estate from dissipation by creditors, inexperienced heirs, and eliminating or minimizing federal estate taxes. In the course of practice, we regularly design and implement wills, powers of attorney, living trusts, testamentary trusts, family limited partnerships, family limited liability companies, shareholder agreements, buy-sell agreements, private foundations, intra-family installment sales, gifting programs, and the like. We also work extensively with matters involving life insurance, IRAs and qualified retirement plan benefits.

Estate Administration Arena

We provide the traditional range of estate administration services, including handling the probate of wills, appointment of estate legal representatives, management and administration of estate assets, sale and lease of estate assets, preparation of required death tax returns, preparation of accountings, and placing the heirs and legatees in possession of their inheritances. In addition to the foregoing, we have handled a large number of contested estates, both through negotiated settlements and in litigation, involving will interpretation issues, questions regarding the legal competency of, or undue influence upon, the will's maker, forced heirship claims, disinherison issues, trust administration and interpretation issues, usufructuary accounting issues, and estate income and expense accounting issues.

Federal Estate Tax Arena

We have extensive experience with regard to the valuation of hard-to-value assets such as: interests in family businesses and closely-held businesses, full and undivided ownership interests in real estate, producing and non-producing mineral interests, and timber interests. We have successfully defended a large number of federal estate tax valuation disputes with the IRS at both the audit and appeals levels, and have successfully litigated a number of such disputes in court against the federal government. The depth of our experience in litigating such disputes and in defending against the government's tactics in these proceedings gives us tremendous insight and perspective on how to best structure an estate plan, and on how to value assets for federal estate tax purposes, in order to eliminate or minimize our client's federal estate tax exposure.