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Stone Pigman has an extensive probate, trusts and estates practice, which involves a full range of estate planning, representation of trust beneficiaries and fiduciaries as well as the establishment, qualification and representation of public and private charitable organizations. The Estate Planning Practice Group includes transaction planning for the transfer of assets at death, analysis of the tax impact of various alternatives and drafting the documents necessary to implement the transactions. This practice area also includes pre- and post- matrimonial agreements and property planning.

Our practice group counsels closely-held businesses, business owners and other high net worth individuals regarding asset protection, tax and business succession planning and philanthropic endeavors.  This practice encompasses advice on the structure and management of closely-held businesses, planning for tax-efficient transmission of businesses and wealth to future generations and planning for the incapacity or loss of key owners and managers of private businesses and family holdings.

Stone Pigman advises executors, trustees and other fiduciaries in the proper execution of their duties and also handles fiduciary litigation, including will contests, trust disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims and interdiction (guardianship) proceedings.

Lawyers in this practice group have been certified as an Estate Planning and Administration Specialist or Tax Specialist by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization and/or hold a Master of Laws in Taxation.

Some recent representative matters have included:

  • Advised real estate developers in restructuring development operations and property ownership into operating entities and holding companies to allow for the orderly transmission of value and managerial control and to protect assets.
  • Advised clients in the formation of grantor-retained annuity trusts, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts and charitable foundations.
  • Structured buy-sell agreements coordinated with trust-owned life insurance policies to ensure the transmission of a family business to family members or others actively involved in management and to provide cash legacies to others in tax efficient manner, minimizing income, gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
  • Advised numerous high net worth individuals on complex structures of leveraged gifts, sales to intentionally-defective grantor trusts and other transactions to benefit multiple generations.  Have successfully defended gift tax audits of the same.
  • Have pursued and defended will contests based upon lack of capacity and undue influence and forced heirship claims, and have defended trustees against breach of fiduciary duty claims.

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