Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett helps clients develop estate plans that preserve their hard-earned assets, minimizing the tax burden for them and their heirs. Our trusts, estates and taxation attorneys provide guidance on estate planning, wealth preservation and tax reduction strategies through the use of wills drafted with marital and credit shelter trusts. Our goal is to help clients take full advantage of the available exemptions from federal estate tax and to defer the payment of estate taxes that may become due. We use all available estate and gift planning techniques available to reduce taxes and ensure the transfer of the client's assets to the desired person at the desired time, including:
- Family Limited Partnerships
- Life Insurance Trusts
- Personal Residence Trusts
- Generation Skipping Trusts
- Charitable Trusts
- Qualified Domestic Trusts
- Living Trusts
We understand that the goals of a well-developed estate plan include considerations other than the reduction of taxes. Our estate planning lawyers help clients develop long-range plans for special needs children, prepare for long-term disability, and plan the transfer of a family business through ESOPs, buy/sell agreements and a variety of deferred compensation arrangements. In addition, we integrate IRAs and qualified plans such as 401(k) plans into a comprehensive estate plan, represent non-profit organizations in making applications to the IRS for recognition of nonpayment status, and guide 401(k) plans in applying to the IRS for termination.
We also handle contested probate, trust and other tax matters, drawing on Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett's full litigation capabilities. For example, we have represented:
- The trustee of a trust in challenging the validity of the will which created the trust
- The heirs of a succession against claims for reimbursement by a dissatisfied surviving spouse
- The heir of a succession in prosecuting a claim for return of succession assets upon the termination of a usufruct
- A spouse in a contested partition of community property upon divorce
- Clients before the appellate division of the IRS
- Corporate clients in franchise tax and severance tax disputes with the Louisiana Department of Revenue
Probating wills is an important part of our trusts and estate practice, along with the preparation of federal estate and gift tax returns and Louisiana inheritance tax returns. We also help numerous non-Louisiana clients with ancillary probate proceedings in Louisiana.
We provide estate, trust and tax representation to businesses and organizations too. Our lawyers advise on matters of closely held corporations, choice of organizations, executive compensation and many other areas involving corporate, partnership or alternative organization forms. We help organizational clients secure private letter rulings from the IRS, advise them on the tax consequences of a proposed corporate transaction, and offer guidance in the areas of local tax and severance tax. Our attorneys also handle a full array of tax disputes for businesses and nonprofit organizations.