John Brentin leads the firm’s Trusts, Probate, and Estate Planning section, focusing his practice on trusts, probate and estate planning. He has more than 30 years’ 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. John is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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, trust agreements, and estate plan updates to complex business structuring and the accumulation, management, and transfer of family wealth and minimization of taxes.

Honors & Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates Law

Texas Super Lawyers, Trusts and Estates Law

  • Board Certified - Estate Planning
  • Best Lawyers in America



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

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




John’s representations have included the following:

  • A 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.
  • A 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.
  • A physician who wants to protect his estate from potential lawsuits by using established asset protection planning techniques while achieving significant estate tax savings.
  • A 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.
  • A 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.
  • A company executive who has recently transferred to Texas and whose outdated planning does not account for the community property system in this state.
  • Owners of a successful business who needed a shareholder agreement because they were concerned about ongoing management of the company and the transition of ownership at the death of either, or if a partner wanted to leave the business.
  • The owner of a closely held business 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 Alzheimer's 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.



State Bar of Texas, Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law, Tax Law and Business Law Sections

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