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J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 1978

B.A., cum laude, The Ohio State University, 1974




John Brentin is a partner in the corporate practice group and leads the wealth preservation section of Porter Hedges. His practice focuses on trusts, probate and estate planning. John has over 30 years of experience assisting business owners, professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, executives, retirees and families with multigenerational wealth transfers, asset preservation, estate and tax planning, probate and trust administration, family business succession, charitable trusts and gift taxation.

He is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. John has been selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers in Estate Planning/Trusts since 2005 and The Best Lawyers in America for Trusts and Estates since 2012.

Every planning engagement is unique and John offers his clients, both individuals and their families, a wide variety of services related to estate planning, asset protection, probate and trust administration as well as business planning services, all tailored to the client's goals and objectives. His experience includes a full range of planning and estate administration matters, from basic wills and trust agreements to complex business structuring, the accumulation, management and transfer of family wealth and minimization of taxes.

Representative Experience

Our clients are a diverse group who face a variety of legal planning issues. Each situation requires a plan tailored to the needs, goals, and objectives of the client. Below is a sample of client matters and situations we handle:

  • The successful business founder who wants to pass on his closely held company to his two children who are both strong-willed and seldom agree on anything. The business has been in the family for 75 years, represents a significant part of his estate and could well draw a large estate tax at death.
  • The high net worth couple who are not U.S. citizens and are living and working here as permanent residents. They have significant holdings in different states and outside the U.S.
  • The physician who wants to protect his estate from potential lawsuits by using established asset protection planning techniques while achieving significant estate tax savings.
  • The blended family couple with children from each other's prior marriages and new children born of the current marriage who want to make sure the surviving spouse is well provided for—but at second death the wealth ends up from whence it came.
  • The successful manufacturing company executive and his spouse who want to pass on to their two daughters, their values of philanthropy by setting up a family charitable foundation which the children will eventually manage and which will be the primary recipient of their wealth at death.
  • The parents of a minor child with special needs who want to select guardians and establish trusts for the benefit of the child whose disability will likely last a lifetime.
  • The company executive who has recently transferred to Texas and whose outdated planning does not account for the community property system in this state.
  • A shareholder agreement for owners of a successful business who are concerned about ongoing management of the company and the transition of ownership at each death or if a partner wants to leave the business.
  • The closely held business owner concerned about taxes and whose outdated planning has not kept pace with the growth of her successful business.
  • An elderly couple, one in the beginning stages of Alzheimers disease, who are concerned about their ability to manage their affairs and who have no close family to provide for their care and the management of their estate.
  • The family or individual who needs to review and update all estate planning documents to ensure everything is kept current and valid.

Professional / Civic Affiliations

  • Martindale Hubbell AV Rated Attorney
  • State Bar of Texas, Member of sections on real estate, probate and trust law, tax law and business law
  • Houston Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Houston Estate & Financial Forum, Member
  • Texas Academy of Probate and Trust Lawyers, Member
  • Houston Business and Estate Planning Council, Member
  • College of the State Bar of Texas, former Board Member
  • The Rotary Club of Houston, Member
  • The Boy Scouts of America Troop 55, Assistant Scoutmaster