View Recent Blog Posts in Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts and Successions

  • By: Carey Messina Under Louisiana law, one can provide specific directions or the designation of a specific person to control the internment of that person's remains. The directions must be in the form of a notarial testament or a written and notarized declaration. In the absence of specific directions, the law creates a priority of persons to make... Continue Reading...
  • By: Carey Messina When we meet with clients concerning their estate planning, we want to focus on assets such as IRA's, life insurance policies, annuities, 401k accounts, and 403b accounts. We normally refer to these accounts as "non-probate assets". Non-probate assets normally pass at death by way of a written beneficiary form. These forms are usually provided by... Continue Reading...
  • By: Carey Messina Tragedies generally get people thinking about their preparedness or the lack thereof. This recent pandemic is a perfect case in point. Yes, Congress is sending cash payments to individuals, but many are concerned about their current personal needs from a planning standpoint. Do you have a general durable power of attorney or a healthcare power... Continue Reading...
  • By: Sonny Chastain On June 21, 2018, the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the right of publicity and right of privacy in connection with Barry Seal ("Seal") and the movie titled "American Made". In 2014, Universal City Studios, LLC ("Universal") entered an agreement to purchase the life story of Barry Seal from his surviving spouse and... Continue Reading...
  • By: Carey Messina and Kevin Curry Do you want to find out more information about the organization asking you for money? The Internal Revenue Service has launched a new tool on IRS.gov that gives fast and easy access to information about exempt organizations. The new tool is called the Tax Exempt Organization Search ("TEOS"). You can now find the following information... Continue Reading...
  • By: Carey Messina and Kevin Curry On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "TCJA"). The TCJA enacts a number of important tax changes, including some significant changes to the federal gift tax and the federal estate tax that take effect in 2018. Specifically, the TCJA doubles the amount of the "applicable exclusion amount" for... Continue Reading...
  • By: Steven Boutwell Overview On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law H.R.1, also known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "TCJA"). The TCJA makes the most significant and sweeping changes to the federal taxation of business and individuals in more than a generation. Due to the unusual speed with which the TCJA went through... Continue Reading...
  • By: Kevin Curry On August 2, 2016, the Treasury Department issued new proposed tax regulations that would substantially eliminate many of the valuation discounts used for transfer tax purposes by family-owned businesses. The regulations disregard restrictions on the redemption and liquidation of a family-owned business for valuation purposes. In effect, this would mean that the value of an... Continue Reading...
  • By: Steven Boutwell The recent downturn in energy prices has given consumers a welcomed break at the gasoline pump. The people producing the energy, however, from landowners, to oil companies, to oil field service providers, have felt the full negative effects of the steep price decline. Those producers are seeing price pressure at every turn, reducing their net... Continue Reading...
  • By: Kevin Curry On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed into law the "Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015" (the Act). The Act was primarily designed as a temporary extension of the Highway Trust Fund and related issues. However, the Act also includes a number of important tax provisions, some of which are... Continue Reading...