Blog Archives

Chris Albright

Christine L. Albright concentrates on counseling high-net-worth individuals and family groups in all facets of sophisticated wealth and estate planning and protection, estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxation, income taxation of estates and trusts, and succession planning for closely held and family businesses. She also represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries of trusts and estates regarding all aspects of trust and estate administration, the review and preparation of estate and generation-skipping transfer tax returns, the analysis of fiduciary income tax matters, and trust construction and reformation suits and other contested trust and estate matters. She represents parties in seeking private letter rulings and in handling tax audits for federal estate, gift, generation-skipping transfer and fiduciary income tax matters.

Ms. Albright’s practice in the wealth and estate planning includes matters such as:

  • structuring and implementing lifetime and testamentary transfers of wealth
  • structuring and managing closely held or family-owned business entities, including partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations
  • tax planning for gifts, sales and initial public offerings of businesses in connection with transferring wealth, and planning for succession of closely held and family-owned businesses
  • structuring and implementing gifts to charitable trusts, private foundations and other charitable entities, and establishing, administering and managing charitable trusts and foundations
  • preparing and implementing prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • preparing and analyzing wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advance directives for healthcare and property, buy-sell and other shareholder agreements, and other ancillary estate planning documents

Ms. Albright is past chair of the American Bar Association’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, a former American College of Trust and Estate Counsel regent and past chair of the Trust Law Committee of The Chicago Bar Association. She has also assisted the American Bar Association in filing several amicus curiae briefs with federal circuit courts regarding federal tax cases in which the courts ruled in favor of the positions taken by the ABA.

Ms. Albright frequently speaks on wealth and estate planning and trust and estate administration issues for various professional groups, such as bar associations, ALI-CLE, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning. For a number of years she was an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law, teaching a course on the income taxation of trusts and estates in the Graduate Tax Program.

Holland & Knight LLP:

Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,200 lawyers and other professionals in 27 offices throughout the world. Our lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law. Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with access to attorneys throughout the firm, regardless of location. more >>

David P. Hassler

Mr. Hassler, practices in the ScottHulse Estate Planning, Probate & Asset Protection practice group. He advises high and mid-net worth individuals and families in estate planning, transfer taxation, asset protection and closely held and family business matters, including charitable, deferred and leveraged giving.

Recognized as one of the leading attorneys in his field, David has been a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) since 1998. He has also been named as one of the Best Lawyers in America since 2003 and a Texas Monthly Magazine Texas Super Lawyer – since 2004. He is Board Certified in Estate Planning & Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specializaion.

David assists high-net-worth individuals with the creation of complex multi-generational wealth transfer estate and wealth preservation plans that implement multiple techniques available to estate planning practitioners. David helps these clients to develop comprehensive, custom plans that go beyond the basic exemption equivalent (or credit shelter) or bypass trust and marital deduction trust planning that is the foundation for any estate plan. These plans also include, when appropriate, full utilization of an individual’s exemptions from the generation-skipping transfer tax with a view towards creating true “dynasty trusts” that extend for multiple generations, if not into perpetuity.

Probate and estate and trust administration are other significant aspects of David’s practice. He advises individual and corporate fiduciaries regarding administration and taxation issues affecting trusts, estates and family owned businesses.

As part of the probate process, David prepares United States Estate Tax Returns (Forms 706) and advises accountants for his clients regarding such returns. David has handled the IRS audit or examination of several Forms 706 over his career, working in opposition to IRS regional Estate Tax Attorneys to resolve valuation and other complex issues raised by IRS upon examination of Forms 706. He has prepared Form 706-NA and Form 706-QDT for the estates of non US citizens, non US resident decedents with substantial assets in the US, and has obtained both partial interim and final IRS Transfer Certificates for purposes of freeing assets of such clients from the IRS estate tax lien.

David is a member of Taxation, Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law, and Corporation, Banking and Business Law Sections of the State Bar of Texas, and served as a member of the Council of the Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section from 2007-2011. As a member of the Council, he has participated in the process of preparing the Section’s legislative package of probate, trust and tax laws for consideration by the Texas legislature. REPTL is the largest section within the State Bar with more than 8,800 members.

The State Bar of Texas (SBT) has called on David to speak and chair various advanced courses for estate planning and probate practitioners and serve on course planning committees. He has served on the speaking faculties of the SBT’s Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Course and the Estate Planning and Probate Advanced Drafting Course. He served as Course Director for the SBT’s 2002 Estate Planning and Probate Advanced Drafting Course.

David is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Membership in ACTEC is by invitation and is only extended to lawyers who have made significant contributions to the Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law field through teaching, lecturing, and writing. ACTEC is considered the preeminent organization of estate planning lawyers.

David has the highest Martindale-Hubbell peer rating of AV Preeminent. An AV Preeminent peer rating reflects an attorney who has reached the heights of professional excellence. He or she has usually practiced law for many years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.

Locally, David served as the Course Director for the annual University of Texas at El Paso Estate Planning Conference for Women from 1991 to 2016. In this capacity, he recruited speakers from among El Paso’s estate planning professional groups, including attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, trust officers, and insurance practitioners, and designed a five-week course with a special emphasis on the needs of women and their families.

David has been active in a number of civic and charitable organizations in the El Paso community. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra Association Foundation. He is a past President of the Board of Directors of the El Paso Division of the American Heart Association, and a former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Texas State Affiliate of the American Heart Association. David is a past participant in Leadership El Paso, and has served on the boards of directors of El Paso Young Life, the Yucca Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Texas Tech University Alumni Association, the Texas Tech Law School Alumni Association, the Texas Tech Foundation, Inc. in Lubbock, Texas, the Providence Memorial Hospital Foundation, and the Coronado High School Band Booster Association. He has also taught Engineering Law courses at the University of Texas at El Paso.

David is an active member of Coronado Baptist Church. He and his wife Rosane, a retired educator, have three children: Jeffrey, Bryan, and Katie, and nine grandchildren. more >>

Richard Hughes

Richard is a graduate of Indiana University where he majored in education, biology and chemistry, and the University Of Denver College Of Law. He and his staff have hosted thousands of seminars, workshops and panel discussions on a variety of estate planning topics, including probate avoidance, tax savings, powers of attorney, living wills, HIPAA, disability issues, asset-protection strategies, Medicaid law and trust planning.

Richard is a member of the Elder Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Rocky Mountain Estate Planning Council, the Colorado Estate Planning Education Council and WealthCounsel. He is a former director of the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys and Liberty Savings Bank, FSB, and was honored in 2010 as a top wealth manager by DenverBiz.

A prolific writer, Richard has authored numerous titles, including The Colorado Guide to the Living Trust, The Colorado Guide to Medicaid, The Colorado Guide to Probate, The Colorado Guide to Hospice Care, The Colorado Guide to VA Aid and Attendance, Colorado Life Care Planning and The How-to-Settle-My-Trust Manual. He also co-authored the 2009 Colorado-specific edition of Gabriel Heiser’s consumer-friendly Medicaid planning book entitled How to Protect Your Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs.

Whether conducting a seminar or confidential client meeting, Richard translates difficult legal strategies into plain English and zeros in on real-life issues that concern most every American family – regardless of means.

Richard is proud of his peer-rated Martindale Hubbell “AV Preeminent” rating* (the very highest possible rating for both skills and ethics), his loyal staff of 17 professionals, his beautiful daughters – Hallie and Lauren – and the privilege of having helped over 80,000 families plan for their loved ones’ inheritances since 1974.

The Hughes Law Firm, P.C:

The Hughes Law Firm has been helping Colorado families plan for the future for more than 40 years. While we have pretty much seen it all when it comes to estate planning, probate and estate settlement, we know that every one of our clients is unique. We think we are, too. Here’s why:

  • We offer free, no-obligation seminars on a year-round basis in many locations around the state. Find out when we will be in your area, and register today.
  • Where most law firms divide their resources among divorces, bankruptcies, criminal cases, DUIs, corporate law and car wreck lawsuits ― dabbling in wills and trusts only occasionally ― we focus our entire efforts on only two areas of law: estate planning and estate settlements.
  • We constantly teach estate planning through our free public seminarsoffered 6 to 10 times each month in Denver and up and down the Front Range. To date, we have taught over 180,000 Coloradans the “basics,” arming them with intelligent questions to ask as they shop us or others.
  • We have an unrivaled 240 years of combined estate planning and estate settlement experience among our staff of 18 – many who have been with us for 25 to 35 years! There is no substitute for experience, and no greater joy than dedicated colleagues!
  • We have an unmatched array of eight offices: five in metro Denver, one in Colorado Springs, one in Broomfield and one in Ft. Collins. No other firm can boast of this level of client convenience. None.
  • We have a staff nurse/geriatric care consultant to help our elderly clients and their younger family members navigate through the treacherous waters of aging. The need for elder law help is growing. We’re prepared, and unlike many part-time planning firms, have been prepared for years.
  • We have stellar ratings from among the most reputable rating services on the planet. In fact, several of our attorneys are AV Preeminent peer review rated through Martindale-Hubbell* ― the highest rating possible. We encourage you to review our ratings on either Martindale-Hubble or AVVO, another attorney rating website. more >>

Kirsten L. Ambach

Kirsten L. Ambach is a shareholder in Karr Tuttle Campbell’s Tax, Trusts & Estates Department and focuses her practice in the areas of estate planning, business succession, and trust and estate administration. Ms. Ambach counsels clients on all facets of a sophisticated estate plan, including tax strategies, complex trusts, asset protection, intrafamily gifts and other wealth transfers, and vacation property preservation. She advises owners of closely-held businesses on formation, transfer, and succession plans. Ms. Ambach guides individual and professional fiduciaries through the estate and trust administration process.

Ms. Ambach received her law degree from the University of Washington School of Law, where she graduated with Highest Honors. She is active in the Washington State and King County Bar Associations. Ms. Ambach is currently serving on the editorial board of the Washington State Bar Association’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Section newsletter and was elected to be a member of the Estate Planning Counsel of Seattle. She was named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers from 2008-2012, and a “Super Lawyer” in 2015 and 2016. She was designated a “Five Star Wealth Manager” in 2012 and 2013, a “Five Star Financial Service Professional” in 2016, and a “Five Star Investment Professional” in 2017 by Seattle Magazine. Ms. Ambach received dual B.A.s from the University of Washington and an M.A. from Columbia University.

The Estate & Trust Law Practice:

As family relationships and generational wealth become increasingly more complicated to manage, Karr Tuttle Campbell’s Trusts and Estates Department is here to help guide our clients by applying personalized strategies to each unique situation. We strive to provide our clients with the highest quality of estate planning and administration services on a cost-effective basis.

We counsel our clients on every aspect of estate planning, from preparing essential estate planning documents, such as wills, revocable living trusts, and powers of attorney, to developing and implementing advanced estate planning and wealth transfer plans, which may include qualified residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, life insurance trusts, private foundations or charitable trusts, and family holding companies. We also advise and assist fiduciaries in administering probate estates and trusts, including gift and estate tax matters with the Internal Revenue Service. And, although no one’s first choice is litigation, when a trust or estate dispute does arise, we vigorously advocate for our clients.

Many of our clients are families that have been with us for decades, even through multiple generations. We consider it our honor and privilege to work with these families—large and small, new and old—of the Pacific Northwest. Throughout the years we have earned their trust, and we hope to earn yours too.

Karr Tuttle Campbell:

For over a century, Karr Tuttle Campbell has helped clients to successfully navigate the legal landscape. Our firm has represented business organizations and financial institutions of all sizes, foreign companies, major U.S. corporations, emerging businesses, government entities as well as individuals. As a full-service law firm, we tackle a wide variety of complex and detailed cases with diligence. We are best known for our work in a few general practice areas: business and finance, securities, bankruptcy, nearly all areas of litigation, estate planning, and labor and employment relations.

Karr Tuttle Campbell, one of the oldest law firms in the Pacific Northwest, takes great pride in the services we provide to our community. Our hallmarks include quality, integrity, value, and an unfailing commitment to our clients. We strive to have a close professional relationship with our clients while providing legal services and representation of the highest quality. The breadth of our practice draws from our diverse and distinguished attorneys, who are recognized each year by their peers for their excellence and dedication to the practice of law. Their combined experience coupled with their individual professional accomplishments make for a very formidable team. more >>

John T. Midgett

John T. Midgett is a Shareholder in the Law Firm of Midgett Preti Olansen. His practice is concentrated in the related areas of estate planning, administration and taxation, estate and trust litigation, and family business planning.

Mr. Midgett is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he attained a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Distinction. He is a graduate of the T. C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond, where he was a member of the Law Review.

Mr. Midgett is a dynamic speaker on topics relating to estate planning, taxation, probate, elder law, and family businesses. He has written and lectured to attorneys, accountants, and trust officers in the related areas of estate planning, taxation and administration for the continuing education required in the various professions.

In addition to his practice and speaking schedule, Mr. Midgett is actively involved in the Hampton Roads Estate Planning Council and the Duke University Estate Planning Council, and served as Chair of the Trusts & Estates Section of the Virginia State Bar in 2008-2009. He is currently Chair of the Virginia Bar Association Wills, Trusts & Estates Section and serves on its Legislative Committee. Mr. Midgett is also on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. He is a Past President of the Hampton Roads Gift Planning Council, the Hampton Roads Estate Planning Council, the Tidewater Chapter of the International Association of Financial Planners (now known as the Financial Planning Association) and the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Society of FSM™ Financial Service Professionals.

In May, 2006 he was elected by the Board of Directors of the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils as an Accredited Estate Planner®. Mr. Midgett has been rated as “AV” in the areas of estate planning and administration, the highest designation available to attorneys in the Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory. He has been named to Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite, is a “Super Lawyer” and has been included in the 2006-2018 editions of The Best Lawyers in America®, where he is designated as “Lawyer of the Year”® Litigation-Trusts and Estates-Norfolk, Va. in 2013, 2015 and 2017. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Planning Counsel.

The Estate & Trust Law Practice:

Each of the attorneys at Midgett Preti Olansen is experienced in the administration of probate estates, revocable and irrevocable trusts and taxable estates. For many individuals, acting as a fiduciary, whether it be as an Executor under a Will or a Trustee of a Trust, is an unfamiliar situation. Because of our experience in these matters, executors and administrators seek our counsel to assist them with the process of qualifying as the personal representative for an estate, determining which assets come under their control, obtaining the proper value of those assets, filing inventories and accountings with the Commissioner of Accounts, preparing individual and fiduciary income tax returns, preparing gift and estate tax returns and making timely distributions under the estate (whether by will or by statute). There are myriad issues which tend to arise during the estate and trust administration process, including spousal claims, assets passing outside the will or trust to family members, sale of real estate, reinvestment of assets and related tax matters, advancements to be charged against a beneficiary, and so on.

The popularity of revocable “living” trusts has affected the number of estates administered under the probate system in Virginia, but it also means that these trusts must be administered (albeit privately). Many decedents who established living trusts did not fully fund them (in other words, re-title assets into the name of their trust), requiring those assets to be administered through the very probate system they sought to avoid. Until the assets are passed through probate and legally transferred to the trust, the intended wishes of the decedent cannot be carried out, and the beneficiaries of the trust cannot receive their inheritance.

Given the number and significance of issues which can (and do) arise in the administration of an estate or trust, no matter how small or large, experienced counsel is advisable for all fiduciaries. Our commitment is to provide timely and accurate guidance to our executor, administrator, trustee and conservator clients so that they may meet the various fiduciary obligations to the beneficiaries of the estate or trust which they administer.

Midgett Preti Olansen:

The roots of Midgett Preti Olansen begin with founding of The Trust & Estates Law Firm in 1999 by John Midgett as a solo, boutique estate planning firm specializing in planning for the protection and efficient transfer of family wealth from one generation to another. Building on his commitment to excellence, the firm has been able to carefully grow to include eight exceptional attorneys who not only carry on Mr. Midgett’s original vision of providing preeminent family wealth transfer planning, but are able to offer a more robust, diverse set of legal services to its clients.

Within our primary practice groups, clients will find a multitude of sub-specialty practice areas, including, basic and advanced estate planning, asset protection planning, will contests, trustee risk mitigation, estate and gift tax planning, guardianship and conservatorship, special needs trusts, closely held business law, small business planning, business succession planning, audit resolution, tax collection and tax preparation. The attorneys of the firm have over one hundred years of combined experience in these complex practice areas. more >>

Ronald D. Aucutt

Ronald D. Aucutt is a partner in the Tysons Corner, Virginia office of McGuireWoods LLP and is co-chair of the firm’s Private Wealth Services Group. Ron concentrates on planning and controversy matters involving the estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes, the income taxation of trusts and estates, and the rules regarding tax-exempt organizations and charitable contributions. He has extensive experience in assisting clients with the transfer of wealth from one generation to another, particularly including the orderly and tax-efficient succession of family-owned businesses. He also advises lawyers and other professionals on tax planning and controversy issues across the entire spectrum of estate planning and charitable giving, including the complex rules governing generation-skipping transfers under chapter 13 and the special valuation rules under chapter 14 of the Internal Revenue Code. He is experienced in resolving tax issues through rulings in the Internal Revenue Service’s National Office and in administrative appeals throughout the country. He has contributed to the formation of tax policy through legislation since 1976, as well as in Treasury regulations, has served as an expert witness in estate and gift tax matters, and served on the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council from January 2015 to November 2016, including two years as chair of its “OPR Subgroup” (working with the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility).

Ron was recognized as one of Washington’s 31 “Best Lawyers” in the December 2011 issue of Washingtonian and as one of the top 30 “Stars of the Bar” in the December 2009 issue of Washingtonian; he holds Chambers USA’s “Band 1” ranking for Wealth Management; and he was elected to the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils Estate Planning Hall of Fame and given the designation of Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner in 2009. He was awarded the 1995-1996 Estate Planner of the Year Award by the Washington, D.C. Estate Planning Council. His biography appears in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, and Who’s Who in the World. He is also listed in the Best Lawyers in America.

Ron is a Fellow and former President (2003-04) of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), an academician of The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law and former member of its Council (2000-04), a former Vice Chair (Committee Operations) of the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation (1998-2000), a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and the American Bar Foundation, and a member of the Christian Legal Society. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the University of Miami Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning and Tax Management’s Advisory Board on Estates, Gifts, and Trusts. Ron received a B.A. degree in 1967 and a J.D. degree in 1975, both from the University of Minnesota. He has been a lecturer in law at the University of Virginia School of Law. He has lectured on estate planning subjects at over 100 tax institutes and conferences nationwide and is the author of more than 150 published articles on estate planning and other tax subjects. He is co-author of Structuring Estate Freezes, published by Warren, Gorham & Lamont and supplemented twice a year.

Ron was in the Navy from 1970 to 1973. He served in Vietnam and achieved the rank of lieutenant.

The Estate & Trust Law Practice:

McGuireWoods lawyers serve individual clients who seek to transfer assets efficiently to their chosen beneficiaries. As a part of our private client and estate planning services, we help clients consider the impact of federal income, estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes on the transmission of wealth. We develop and implement strategies that can achieve tax savings by establishing trusts for the benefit of family members. Our lawyers also advise individuals and families about the many forms of charitable giving that may be used to reduce taxes.

Our lawyers assist our business clients in transferring ownership and control of their businesses efficiently, using restrictive shareholder and partnership agreements, reorganizations of corporations, and operating agreements of limited liability companies (LLCs), among other strategies.

Additionally, we help clients provide for the special needs of family members, protect the family assets, and assure professional management of these assets. We also provide guidance on premarital and marital dissolution planning.

In the area of estate and trust administration, we advise executors and trustees, guiding them in all aspects of their fiduciary responsibilities. We regularly counsel clients on related income taxation, as well as gift and estate taxation. With respect to wills and trusts, we represent clients in matters pertaining to their interpretation, litigation and resolution. Furthermore, we rigorously defend valuation and tax audits of estates by the Internal Revenue Service.

McGuireWoods LLP:

McGuireWoods is a strong, well-respected and expanding firm with a legacy reaching back more than 180 years. This legacy is a testament to our lawyers’ experience across business and industry, as well as our consistent ability to deliver an excellent legal product — efficiently and at a fair price. Some of our clients have been with us for nearly 50 years, which speaks to the level of service we provide and the mutual loyalty we engender.

McGuireWoods has more than 1,000 lawyers in 23 offices, and our lawyers speak more than 35 languages. We cross borders, practices and industries in the U.S., UK, Belgium and around the world, collaborating with colleagues and managing resources in 128 countries. We have unique cooperative arrangements in China with law firm FuJae Partners, in France with KGA, in Israel with Shenhav Konforti Rotem & Co. (SKR), and in Saudi Arabia with Badr Alarishi. Our international presence is further enhanced by participation in the global legal networks Lex Mundi and LNI. more >>

Michael K. Garrett

Michael Garrett advises clients on estate planning, probate, trust administration, charitable organizations and planned giving, individual and entity taxation, transactional work, and general business and corporate law matters.

His estate planning practice focuses on assisting high net-worth individuals with all phases of estate planning including creating of complex trusts, gifting, charitable giving, probate and guardianship issues, trust administration and disputes. He has represented small, medium, and large estates. In addition to drafting estate planning documents, developing gifting and comprehensive wealth transfer plans, filing probate documents, and preparing gift and estate tax returns, he assists clients in resolving family disputes, probate and trust litigation, and estate and trust administration matters. Additionally, he assists many estate planning clients in all aspects of charitable giving, including forming public charities, private foundations, charitable trusts, and other charitable tools, and he has represented many of the largest non-profit organizations in the region.

He also assists his clients with numerous general business and corporate matters, including addressing general business issues, real estate matters, advising on state and federal tax issues and controversies, mergers and acquisitions, sales, leases, and comprehensive succession planning. He regularly advises startup companies in matters involving entity selection, organization, tax planning, general business matters, and succession planning. He is also a frequent speaker and author on these topics.

Associate, Bennett Tueller Johnson & Deere, P.C., Salt Lake City, Utah (2003-2006); law clerk, Bennett Tueller Johnson & Deere, P.C., Salt Lake City, Utah (2001-2003); law clerk, Ernst & Young LLP, Washington D.C. (2002).

The Estate & Trust Law Practice:

Estate planning is increasingly complicated as technology, family relationships and tax laws evolve. Assets are unique, families can be untraditional, and the strategies to transfer and protect wealth are as diverse as the lives and interests of our clients.

The estate planning process demands attention to detail and navigation of technical nuances in order to achieve family goals.

Stoel Rives LLP:

With more than 350 attorneys, Stoel Rives is a leader in corporate, energy, environmental, intellectual property, labor & employment, land use & construction, litigation, natural resources, real estate, renewable energy and technology law

We achieved 34 prestigious national tier rankings in the 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® ”Best Law Firms” survey. The 2016 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business® guide ranks 86 of our lawyers among the best in their region. Best Lawyers® lists 143 of our lawyers in 68 legal practice categories in its 2017 directory and selected 23 Stoel Rives lawyers as 2017 “Lawyers of the Year” in their markets and practice areas. more >>

Michael Stukenberg

Mike Stukenberg assists clients in preparing and developing their estate plans and structuring their family businesses. He also represents clients in income and estate tax audits and probate and trust matters. Mike’s clients include companies and individuals involved in ranching and farming, oil and gas exploration and development, banking, real estate, construction and retailing.


  • B.A., Princeton University, 1973
  • J.D., Vanderbilt University, 1976 – Executive Editor, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law
  • Board Certified, Tax Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, since 1983
  • Board Certified, Estate Planning and Probate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, since 1984


  • Admitted to practice in Texas and U.S. Tax Court
  • Former faculty member, Southwestern Legal Foundation Institute on Wills and Probate
  • Former faculty member, Tulane Tax Institute
  • Former faculty member, American Bar Association Tax Section Seminars
  • Former faculty member, State Bar of Texas Advanced Tax Planning Institute


  • AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®for Trusts and Estates
  • Thompson Reuters’ Texas Super Lawyers 2003-2004, 2006, 2009 – 2017
  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Fellow, Texas Academy of Probate and Trust Lawyers
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Former Director and President, Corpus Christi Estate Planning Council
  • Member, American Bar Association, Tax Section, Committee on Estate and Gift Taxes, Past Chair, Subcommittee on Family Limited Partnerships
  • Past Chair, State Bar of Texas, Advanced Drafting-Estate Planning and Probate Institute
  • Frequently speaks and contributes articles on federal income tax and estate planning topics


  • Past President and Director, Board of Directors, YMCA of the Coastal Bend
  • Past Trustee, Art Museum of South Texas
  • Past Member, Board of Governors, Art Museum of South Texas
  • Outstanding volunteer attorney, Rio Grande Legal Aid Volunteer Lawyers Project

The Estate & Trust Law Practice:

Estate planning usually begins with the preparation of a will, and sometimes a revocable living trust. The firm’s estate planning lawyers work with our clients to put together plans to:

  • Transfer property to loved ones
  • Put the right people in charge of carrying out the client’s wishes
  • Maximize the amount going to loved ones by reducing taxes.
Estate and Gift Taxes

Our estate tax planning attorneys have the background and experience to help you minimize the transfer tax cost of passing your wealth on to the next generation. We are familiar with the latest techniques and strategies to aid our clients in pursuing their estate planning goals without incurring unnecessary estate, gift and generation skipping taxes. We also assist our clients in IRS estate and gift tax audits.

Charitable Foundations and Charitable Remainder Trusts

Over the years, our estate planning attorneys have helped a number of clients in setting up charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts. They have also worked extensively with clients to establish and tax-qualify a number of charitable foundations, and to advise trustees on the legal and tax aspects of operating a private foundation.

Family Limited Partnerships

Our estate planning lawyers work with the firm’s corporate and securities attorneys to help our clients achieve:

  • Seamless transfers of management of family assets across generations, or in the event the client becomes incapacitated
  • Asset protection goals
  • Reductions in the estate tax applicable to the client’s assets
Lifetime Giving

Our estate planning lawyers advise clients on how to minimize estate and gift taxes by making gifts during one’s life. These gifts can be made outright or to a trust created to benefit the client’s descendants.

Probate, Trust & Estate Administration

Our estate planning attorneys and probate lawyers represent executors, beneficiaries and trustees in all phases of trust and estate administration, from the initial probate of a will through the final settlement of the estate, and in all matters relating to the administration of trusts.

Asset Protection

We advise our clients on the best ways to protect them from frivolous lawsuits and other threats to the results of a lifetime of work and saving.

Fiduciary Litigation

Our trial attorneys are experienced in prosecuting and defending lawsuits against trustees, executors, and beneficiaries, including will contests, suits alleging undue influence, and suits against executors and trustees regarding the performance of their duties.

Guardianship Proceedings

We have extensive experience in handling court-appointed guardianships, as well as the establishment of trusts for the benefit of minors and incapacitated persons.

Marital Property Agreements

Our estate planning lawyers can help clients prepare marital property agreements to accomplish their asset protection goals and document pre-nuptial arrangements.

Branscomb PC:

Branscomb PC’s lawyers strive to provide creative solutions for businesses, executives and families with tax, real estate, oil and gas, estate planning, probate, corporate, employment and litigation matters. We combine the attention and responsiveness that one would expect from a smaller law firm with the levels of expertise found at much larger firms.

We are committed to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in each matter we undertake. We communicate with our clients to ensure that they understand the scope of our services, how quickly they can expect us to complete those services, and how much those services will cost. We take pride in our work, and we are grateful for the relationships of trust and confidence that we have with our clients. more >>

Joseph B. Walker

Joe is an AV-Rated attorney in our Tax and Business Services Groups. With extensive background in estate and trust planning and tax, he was named (1 of 3 Tennessee Lawyers) in J.K. Lasser’s book, Estate Planning for Baby Boomers and Retirees.

Wealth Transfer, Trust and Estate Planning Experience:
  • Representation of taxpayers of high net worth in consideration, creation and implementation of sophisticated Death
    Tax and Gift Tax saving mechanisms, including charitable planning.
  • Representation of individuals to address complicated family and personal matters, including special needs children, special beneficiary relationships, artificial reproduction babies and business exit planning.
  • Representation of individuals with unique assets as to valuations and transfer, from song writers and visual artists, to small business owners and owners of assets in foreign countries.
  • Representation of those in need of asset protection during life with special Tennessee Trusts.

The Estate & Trust Law Practice:

Our attorneys work closely with clients to understand the unique details of each individual’s situation and assist in accomplishing their planning goals and objectives including advising clients on strategies to help protect and preserve their family’s wealth.

Our attorneys also work with fiduciaries to guide them through the probate or administration process and routinely handle all aspects of trust administration. In addition to advising on the probate and administration process, our attorneys also have experience representing fiduciaries in litigated matters.

Butler Snow:

With over 300 attorneys in offices in Atlanta and Macon Georgia; Jackson, Gulfport and Oxford, Mississippi; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama; Bethlehem and Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Denver, Colorado; New York, New York; Singapore, Hong Kong, and London, England. Butler Snow is a team of talented legal professionals who share a commitment to serve clients – from Fortune 1000 firms to emerging-technology start-ups. Surveys by respected national consultants consistently rank Butler Snow among the best nationwide in client service – in anticipating needs, in a commitment to help, in providing value, in client satisfaction. With that standard to guide us, Butler Snow has grown from a regional firm to one with national scope.

Butler Snow’s practice areas include the full range of business law and litigation services. Our team approach means we call on resources from across the firm to match legal experience with your needs. As a result, clients benefit from our strategic counsel, efficient execution and innovative solutions to complex challenges.

Our attorneys come from diverse legal, business and governmental backgrounds, bringing real-world experience and practical knowledge to each client they represent. We have represented clients in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia, as well as internationally in more than 20 countries. more >>

A. Gabriel Bass

Gabe practices in the areas of business planning, real estate, oil & gas, and estates and trusts. Gabe is equally at ease in the boardroom and the courtroom. He has obtained Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating of AV® Preeminent™, an indication that his peers rank him at the highest levels of professional excellence. Additionally, he has been recognized by Oklahoma Super Lawyers® and is listed in Best Lawyers in America®.

Gabe was an active duty U.S. Marine prior to joining Bass Law and remains an active member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve with the current rank of major. He is also an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University School of Law.

The Estate & Trust Law Practice:

Bass Law attorneys assist clients to plan the transfer of their assets at death to their chosen beneficiaries. Our firm uses estate planning strategies designed to maximize the value of our clients’ estates by minimizing the impact of taxes and the cost of administering the estate. The comprehensive estate plan Bass Law designs for our clients also includes planning for how their affairs will be handled in the event they become incapacitated before their death. In addition, we record a client’s desires for end-of-life health care treatments in the proper legal form so that loved ones do not have to make these difficult decisions.

An estate plan developed by Bass Law Firm normally includes, at a minimum, the following:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Advanced Directive (also called a “Living Will”)

Bass Law Firm also utilizes a number of trust instruments to carry out our clients’ desires. Some commonly used types of trusts are the following:

  • A Trust (also called a “Marital Trust”)
  • B Trust (also called a “Bypass Trust” or “Credit Shelter Trust “ or “Equivalent Exemption Trust”)
  • QTIP Trust (Qualified Terminal Interest Property)
  • ILIT (Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust)
  • Spendthrift Trust
  • Domestic Asset Protection Trust
  • Charitable Remainder Trust

Bass Law Firm, P.C:

With a reputation for quality, expertise and results dating back to our founding in 1934, Bass Law is focused on serving the needs of business leaders and their families in the areas of litigation, business planning, estates & trusts, real estate and oil & gas. We work with clients who seek sophisticated solutions and a high level of attention to their individual needs.
We provide legal solutions to help good people solve problems and achieve goals in business and life.

We establish long-term relationships and deliver high-quality, results-oriented work efficiently and consistently by being committed, staying organized, practicing open and honest communication, being polite and professional, but firm, and pursuing enduring success. more >>