Trusts and Estates/Estate Planning

Estate planning and trust and estate administration are personal and sensitive areas requiring commitment, discretion and a keen understanding of the law.

The firm’s trusts and estates practice is an integral parts of our tax practice.  Attorneys in our trusts and estates group are experienced in developing estate plans designed to meet the client's personal, financial and tax goals, and in advising clients in all facets of trust and estate administration.

Our work includes planning for estate tax, gift tax and matters related to charitable organizations. We work closely with our clients on matters involving estate and gift planning, transfers of personal wealth during life and at death, furnishing legal advice about managing personal wealth and reducing income taxes and advising fiduciaries or beneficiaries in connection with trusts or estate administrations. We have developed estate planning techniques to transfer wealth of an older generation to a younger generation. This includes innovative succession planning techniques for the family owned business. A segment of this practice includes representing clients in estate and gift tax, trusts and estate litigation.

Areas of counsel include:

  • Administration of estates   
  • Will drafting and execution
  • Trust drafting and administration   
  • Tax planning relating to estates and trusts     
  • Will probate and contests
  • Powers of attorney, including health care directives
  • Guardianships and conservatorships
  • Establishing gifting programs, including gifts to minors
  • Insurance planning, including irrevocable life insurance trusts
  • Estate tax planning
  • Planning for retirement benefits
  • Income taxation of trusts and estates
  • Business succession planning
  • Planning regarding formation of family limited partnerships and limited liability companies    
  • Charitable gift planning, including charitable trusts and private foundations

Attorneys in the trust and estates practice work closely with the trust departments of many banks, trust companies and other financial institutions across the Gulf Coast. These relationships enable us to better meet the clients' needs when a bank or other financial institution is chosen to serve as trustee, guardian or personal representative.