Trusts & Estates

Planning the accumulation, management and transfer of wealth in the most tax-efficient manner involves development and implementation of strategies across a broad spectrum. Gray Reed attorneys provide a full range of estate planning and probate services as well as fiduciary litigation. We draft wills, trusts and restructure family businesses for management continuity and tax savings in future generations, as well as help individual and corporate executors and trustees administer decedents' estates and trusts efficiently and cost-effectively.

We have extensive experience in the design and implementation of complex estate and business plans for our individual and corporate clients. An effective estate plan must consider the various types of lifetime and testamentary family asset transfers that are designed to shield a family's wealth from taxation, while also accomplishing certain non-tax family objectives. As trusted counselors, the firm's attorneys help their clients and families to benefit from available estate planning techniques and to preserve family wealth for the future. 

Planning for the business owner includes analysis of business succession issues, estate tax minimization strategies, liquidity analysis, equality of treatment among heirs and consideration of income needs of a surviving spouse.

The firm's estate planning experience includes the preparation of wills and trusts, family partnerships, limited liability companies, grantor retained interest trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, sales to intentionally defective trusts, charitable trusts, life insurance trusts, prenuptial agreements, disclaimers, qualified terminable interest trusts, qualified domestic trusts, offshore trusts, private annuities and other planning devices.

Understanding and appreciating the complex business interests and financial arrangements of the client, as well as important intrafamily relationships, are key elements in creating an effective estate plan. Sensitivity, a bond between client and attorney, and sophisticated expertise are as important today as they were to previous generations of counselors.

When an estate is fought over, our fiduciary litigation attorneys help trustees, executors and beneficiaries resolve a broad range of estate and trust disputes, many of which involve complex and sophisticated legal, tax and litigation issues.

In addition, estate planning today requires comprehensive knowledge of other areas of the law, particularly when working with family offices. Our estate planners work synergistically with the firm's other attorneys in such areas as family law, business law, taxation and real estate. 

Depth of Experience Within Our Trusts & Estates Practice

  • Four attorneys are Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
  • One trust and estates partner was recognized in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide in 2017 and 2018. 
  • Three attorneys are listed as a 2019 Best Lawyer in America (a Woodward/White company) in the field of trusts and estates law, one attorney is also listed in the field of trusts and estates litigation.
  • Four attorneys were named 2018 Super Lawyers by Texas Super Lawyers Magazine (a Thomson Reuters company) in the field of trusts and estates. 
  • Our trusts and estates practice was recognized in the U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers' 2019 "Best Law Firms" ranking.

Why Estate Planning Clients Feel at Home at Gray Reed

Whether planning for large or small estates, each is unique and important to the firm. Our estate planning attorneys take a custom approach to analyzing the nature of a client's assets to formulate a personalized estate plan for a client's family and business circumstances. Estate planning clients and their families are guided through the estate planning process with careful consideration of the impact of estate, gift and generation skipping taxes on the financial security of surviving family members.

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