Q: If I share my information with you, will it be kept private?
A: Absolutely. I, as a lawyer, am under a legal obligation to keep your information confidential. In fact, I am required to keep confidential that you have even consulted me. In other words, I am not allowed to tell third parties that you are even my client or that you have talked to me, whether or not you pay me a fee.
This is something called the attorney-client privilege, and it is sacrosanct. In other words, lawyers are under a legal obligation to refrain from disclosing your communications with the lawyer even if those communications are requested by a governmental authority or court of law, and irrespective of whether the lawyer was paid. In contrast, other professionals such as CPAs and financial advisors, are often under nothing more than an ethical obligation to their licensing authority, and your communications to them can potentially be disclosed in a court of law.
In short, by law I can only give your information out to third parties unless authorized by you.
Q: Will I feel comfortable working with Ted Vicknair?
A: In my initial meeting with you, which is free up to one hour, I go to great lengths to make sure that you understand all options open to you. You will not experience sales tactics or pressure to make a decision one way or another. Neither will you be judged or condemned. We all have embarrassments and things we would prefer to keep private. You deserve to know that your most important advisor is in your court, no matter what your situation.
Q: Will you listen to my problem to try to find a solution?
A: No matter the size of your problem, you deserve the attention that your problem or issue demands. No matter the size of the client or the problem, whether big or small, you need to have someone that cares about you and is in your court.
Q: What if my problem is something that you have never handled before?
A: In the realm of taxation, estate planning and asset protection it is doubtful that you are in a situation that I have never encountered. However, should your problem be one that I have never encountered before, I will tell you straight away, without any poppycock, that such is the case. I will never promise a result that I don’t think that can be handled and which I have not handled before.
Q: Is Ted Vicknair going to work on my case, or is someone else in a back room that I have never met before going to handle it?
A: Many estate planning and tax law firms hire a staff of associate attorneys to handle your case after you have paid a fee and met with the senior attorney or partner. You can rest assured that as a sole practitioner, I, Ted Vicknair, will be intimately involved in your case.
In the event of the death or incapacity of Ted Vicknair, he has arranged with a good friend of his, a highly respected estate planning and tax attorney, to take over all aspects of your case.
Q: How do I get in touch with you?
A: The 1-800 number listed on this site transfers directly to Ted Vicknair’s cell phone. Although I discourage communications during nights and weekends, I can be available to discuss your case and keep you posted on all developments even during odd hours, if necessary.
Q: You have offices in Alexandria and Mandeville? But I live in another city. Can you still help me?
A: I am licensed to practice law anywhere in the State of Louisiana. So whether you live in Shreveport or Buras, Monroe or Lake Charles, I can help you. In fact, due to geographical limitations, I often help clients who live out-of-state with whom I have never met face-to-face.
With modern communication methods, your case can be handled discretely, and often more efficiently, than if we were to meet in person. Skype is a great substitute for a face-to-face meeting. (Note: I would not suggest Skype if you have a tax problem or issue. A face-to-face meeting or a phone call will be necessary).
Nevertheless, there are many clients who prefer to meet in person before hiring an attorney. This is understandable and natural. For such clients, I would ask that you meet me at my offices, or if I am driving through your neck of the woods, I can meet you at your home or office while passing through.
Q: I am hesitant to come into an attorney’s office. Can I just call you about my problem?
A: Yes. As long as your problem touches on estate planning, taxation, asset protection, trusts, avoiding nursing home poverty, probate, business law, business contracts, or any area in connection with these, you can call me anytime. You may have to leave a message, and I may have to calendar a time to call you back. But an in-office meeting is not always necessary.
Q: Will I know how you intend to solve my problem, or I have to hire you to find out?
A: At our initial meeting, and before I receive a fee or retainer from you, I will give you a roadmap on how we intend to solve your problem or issue, so that you have a good indication of whether progress is being made. At all stages of my representation of you, you will be reminded of what can be expected as a next step.
Q: Are you going to give me an indication of how much your representation is going to cost me?
A: After I evaluate what I think needs to be done to achieve your goals and/or solve your particular problem, I will give you an estimate of the overall cost. Most non-litigation cases can be done with a flat fee. You will not have to be concerned about billable hours being logged.
Other cases, including litigation cases, dictate an hourly fee due to the nature of litigation and the fact that I may not have control over what an opposing party will do. I will give you a range of what the total fees are likely to be, plus an evaluation of your chances of success.
Q: Why do you practice as an estate planning and tax lawyer, Ted Vicknair?
A: I grew up in a blue collar family, and I am first generation college educated. I attended public schools most of my life. My father was a bricklayer by trade, and my mother a homemaker. I never dreamed of becoming a lawyer until I became a CPA in the early 1990s.
I became a CPA to help people minimize their tax burden. After a few years of practicing as a CPA, I believed that to be the best tax professional I could be, I had to go to law school and obtain a Master Degree of Laws in Taxation (an LL.M.), a graduate degree for lawyers.
As a young lawyer out of law school, my practice was almost exclusively concentrated in taxation. As I grew professionally, many of the tax issues that crossed my desk also touched upon estate planning, business planning and asset protection issues, since many wealthy clients have all these issues to contend with. My practice eventually morphed into a practice that concentrates on both estate planning as well as taxation, and all of the other areas that touch on them, including asset protection, trusts, probate, and Medicaid planning.
In short, I practice law to help people minimize their taxes, protect their assets, and achieve peace of mind with respect to their finances.
Q: What kind of hobbies do you have, Ted Vicknair?
A: When not working, I enjoy being involved in in life of my son (Little Teddy) who was born in 2002. Little Teddy’s sports include soccer and football. He and I both enjoy hobby farming, and we have a very small herd of commercial Jersey/Holstein cattle, consisting of 3 cows used for 4-H purposes. In addition, we have a garden, and we also have a fruit tree orchard in the making. Little Teddy and I enjoy fishing when we can find the time.