Experienced advisers provide counsel to Louisiana individuals and families
With attorneys who are certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization in estate planning and tax law, Stockwell, Sievert, Viccellio, Clements & Shaddock, L.L.P. offers high-level counsel to clients seeking to preserve their assets and distribute them efficiently. From our office in Lake Charles, we handle matters relating to personal and business interests and maintain close working relationships with the trust departments of all Southwest Louisiana banks.
Established firm offers comprehensive guidance on the creation and revision of wills
Creating an enforceable will is the cornerstone of prudent estate planning. We work closely with individuals and families on:
- Understanding the legal requirements — Referred to as a “notarial testament” under Louisiana law, a will must conform to strict standards, including signatures on each page, attestation of two witnesses and notarization that is formalized with specific language. Failure to comply with these rules could mean that your property will devolve according to your wishes, but based on the state’s intestacy rules.
- Drafting the document — By consulting with a qualified attorney, you can count on completing the will-drafting process with a document that accurately reflects your goals and minimizes the potential for confusion or conflict after you are gone. In addition to ensuring your will distributes your property according to your wishes and works in conjunction with other estate planning instruments, we can help you leave clear instructions regarding guardianship of your minor children.
- Making suitable revisions — As your life changes, your estate planning goals will likely change as well. Neglecting to update wills, trusts and advance directives could create a problem if something unexpected occurs. Whether you’ve gotten married or divorced, had children, experienced a change in financial assets or just adjusted your priorities, we’ll review your current choices and make any necessary revisions.
In every facet of your estate planning process, our firm is committed to identifying solutions that are tailored to your unique situation and needs.
Insightful attorneys establish trusts to meet specific needs
After evaluating your objectives, we assess whether a trust could serve your interests effectively. These legal instruments can meet all types of particular needs whether you are looking to transfer ownership of a business, direct that funds be used for a specific purpose or save your intended beneficiaries from having to go through a lengthy probate process. If you believe this is a proper solution, we’ll further explain the differences between revocable and irrevocable trusts along with the mechanics of how these instruments are created and administered.
Thorough lawyers prepare living wills and other advance medical directives
Advance directives help people control their medical decisions in the event they are unable to express their wishes due to illness or injury. Our firm drafts durable power of attorney documents where you can name a trusted person to serve as your agent in treatment matters should you become incapacitated. We can also help set up a living will that states what type of extraordinary measures you want, and don’t want, to prolong your life.
Knowledgeable attorneys deliver clear advice on estate tax issues
Louisiana no longer has an estate or inheritance tax, but if the value of your estate approaches the federal threshold ($11.4 million per individual in 2019), we can outline strategies that might relieve the burden on your descendants. For those who are concerned about limiting income taxes during their lifetime, our experienced attorneys establish trusts and other methods of minimizing liability. We also assist with business succession and gift tax issues when individuals wish to pass on some of what they’ve accumulated throughout their lives.
Contact an insightful Louisiana estate planning attorney for an appointment
Stockwell, Sievert, Viccellio, Clements & Shaddock, L.L.P. provides knowledgeable counsel to Louisiana clients on a full range of estate planning matters. Please call 337-436-9491 or contact us online to arrange a meeting at our Lake Charles office.
Susan Gay Viccellio
H. Aubrey White, III
Dallas K. Kingham
Stephen D. Polito
Derek G. Hoffman