Trust, Probate, and Estate Planning

Trust, Probate, and Estate Planning

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Porter Hedges helps business owners and partners, entrepreneurs, executives, professionals, and their families prepare for retirement and a host of other scenarios requiring careful planning for wealth preservation, business succession, and tax minimization. We respect the unique concerns and wishes of each client, ensuring that they are met within the context of the legal requirements for executors, trustees, guardians, heirs, and beneficiaries.

Our attorneys are adept and highly experienced at handling even the most complex trust and estate planning needs, providing the full range of services related to estate and business planning, wealth protection, and trust administration. We customize wills, trust agreements, and business entity structures to maximize asset protection, minimize taxes, and provide confidence that our clients’ wishes will be carried out. Our attorneys carefully prepare every type of estate or trust documentation related to wills, charitable and family trusts, family partnership structures, marital property agreements, and business succession agreements.

Because high net worth individuals and business owners/executives often have complex circumstances related to their retirement or their death. Our attorneys are highly experienced at:

  • Protecting estates using various asset protection techniques to achieve estate tax savings
  • Providing for family members with special needs
  • Establishing the division of assets among children and spouses in blended families
  • Drafting shareholder agreements for business owners who are concerned about ongoing company management and transition of ownership if one of the partners dies or chooses to leave the business
  • Obtaining estate tax valuation discounts on complex financial assets
  • Planning for incapacity or other special health situations
  • Managing the financial affairs of individuals and couples with no close family who are no longer able to effectively do so themselves

Tax Management

Effective tax management is essential to successful estate planning. We work skillfully with clients to handle:

  • Federal estate and gift tax filings
  • Federal generation-skipping transfer taxes
  • Estate tax examinations before the Internal Revenue Service
  • Disputes before the IRS Appellate Division and U.S. Tax Court

Dispute Resolution

Disputes regarding wills and estates are common, and Porter Hedges attorneys know how to get them resolved quickly and efficiently, with as little family, business, and financial disruption as possible. We often handle disputes involving the following such issues as:

  • Inheritance rights
  • Will and trust construction
  • Community and separate property
  • Creditors' claims
  • Tax liabilities
  • Fiduciary responsibilities of executors and trustees
  • Disputes before probate courts



2014"Looking at Trust Structures in a Post-ATRA Environment,” Inside the Minds: Estate Planning Client Strategies, 2014 Thomson Reuters/Aspatore
08/01/13Business Litigation Alert: "Avoiding Estate Litigation: Preparation and Planning Can Prevent a Legal Mess"
8/6/2004Vehicle Used to Transfer Wealth Still Running After IRS Loses Case



10/24/13“Decanting with No Sour Grapes,” Texas Bar Estate Planning & Probate Drafting Course
03/08/12"Estate Planning Essentials: What You Need to Know About Planning Your Estate," presented to Northwestern Mutual, Houston, Texas
01/26/12"Probate and Non-Probate Charitable Gifts: The ABCs of Charitable Gifts at Death," Planned Giving Council of Houston, Monthly Program Meeting
10/21/11"Drafting Grantor Trusts and the Documents that Go With Them," State Bar of Texas, 22nd Annual Estate Planning and Probate Drafting Course
05/24/11"Procedures for Trust Administration for Non-Corporate Fiduciaries," Houston Bar Association: Probate, Trust and Estates Section Meeting
10/28/10"Procedures for Trust Administration for Non-Corporate Fiduciaries," State Bar of Texas, 21st Annual Estate Planning and Probate Course 2010
06/10/10"Estate Planning Essentials: What You Need to Know About Planning Your Estate" Rice University Office of Gift Planning
05/07/09"Planning for Charitable Gifts of Non-Cash Assets," Estate Planning Update Seminar, Midland College and the Midland Memorial Hospital Foundation, Midland, Texas
06/25/08"Private Foundations," Tax-Exempt Organizations in Texas, Lorman Education Seminar, Speaker and Panelist