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Probate, Trusts & Estates Section

Concentrates activities in three areas: 1) providing continuing legal education for members; 2) promoting good working relationships among the probate bar and three Dallas County statutory probate courts; and 3) serving the needs of the public in the area of wills, guardianships, probate matters, and probate court dispute resolution on a pro bono basis.


New 2013 Probate Practice Manual:

The Section has prepared an updated Probate Practice Manual to include the new Estates Code.  The manual is available as a digital download ($75.00), on CD ($85.00), and in hard copy ($105.00).  Prices are slightly higher for non-section members.  However, free manuals are available to any attorney who agrees to accept a Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP) case.  The Section donates $25 from each manual to DVAP. Click on the following link to order your new manual today:!online-store/chnc/!online-store/chnc

Meeting Schedule:

This Section meets at noon on the 4th Tuesday of every month. No meeting is scheduled in December.

The program schedule for our 2014-2015 section meetings is a follows:





September 23, 2014

12:00 Noon- Belo

David M. Pyke

The Paperless Office is a Reality

(Ethics Credit:  .5 hour)


October 28, 2014

12:00 Noon- Belo

The Honorable Brenda Hull Thompson, Gregory W. Sampson, Michael B. Cohen, and Sara Rotenberry

Representation of Potentially Incapacitated Clients: The Lawyer’s Role and Ethical Duties

(Ethics Credit: 0.25)


November 25, 2014

12:00 Noon- Belo

Howard L. Gilberg

Environmental Liabilities in the Context of Estate Planning and Administration

(Ethics Credit: 0.25 hour)


January 27, 2015

12:00 Noon- Belo

Duncan E. Osborne

Ethical Issues in Asset Protection Planning

(Ethics Credit: 1 hour)


February 24, 2015

12:00 Noon- Belo

Chris Klemme and David Reber

Drafting Issues that Come Back to Haunt


March 24, 2015

12:00 Noon- Belo

Neighboring County Judges (TBD)

Judicial Panel - Neighboring Counties


April 28, 2015

12:00 Noon- Belo

Prof. Gerry Beyer

Case Law Update


May 26, 2015

12:00 Noon- Belo

Prof. Stanley Johanson

Tax Law Update

Section News:


DBA Members receive 28% off the regular $275 rate for an annual subscription to Trusts & Estates Magazine. Subscribe for just $199 by using this link Subscription includes hard copies of the monthly periodical, two annual supplements of the Texas Year in Review and Charitable Giving , a yearly Wealth Management Resource Guide, at least three e-newsletters, unlimited access to the website’s premium content, Wealth Watch (posted bimonthly) and Technology Review (posted monthly). To find out more, click here.


Please see the Probate Section downloads for two new items from the Probate Courts. The first contains new fees and copy procedures. The second contains information concerning required changes to muniment of title pleadings.



The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP) is requesting DBA Probate, Trust & Estate Section members to volunteer to conduct intake interviews once a month at a Wills Intake Clinic site operated by DVAP and the Dallas Area Agency on Aging. Clinics are usually scheduled the second Wednesday of the month (10 a.m. to 12 noon.). Other Wills Intake Clinics with other groups and organizations are also scheduled throughout the year.***By emailing Jigna Vyas Gosal at with your Name, Address, and Telephone Number, you will be notified by DVAP each time a Wills Intake Clinic is scheduled. Please note that we handle only intake applications at the Wills Intake Clinics; we do not draft the Wills. Your commitment of 1-2 hours sharing your skills and expertise in probate law, or serving as an intake clinic lawyer in general will be greatly appreciated and remembered. Please sign up to help!


The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP) is requesting experienced mentors in Probate, Trusts, & Estate Planning matters to participate in the staffing of probate cases. Every other Monday afternoon usually at around 1:30 p.m., DVAP reviews several probate cases for referral to and placement with a pro bono lawyer. Probate Mentors will hear only probate law cases during the staffing, and may be asked to read a Will or other relevant documents. You will be contacted regarding a date based on the information you provide. ***Please email Miriam Caporal at with your Name, Telephone Number, and available Mondays (no holidays) by indicating the Month and Day. Your commitment of 1-2 hours sharing your expertise in probate law will be greatly appreciated and remembered. Please sign up to help!

Section Officers:

Name: Dani D. Smith
Officer Position: Chair
Firm: Law Office of Dani Smith
Firm Address: 12221 Merit Drive, Suite 825
Firm City, State, Zip: Dallas, TX 75251
Business Phone: 469-375-4537

Name: Jack Wilburn
Officer Position: Vice Chair
Firm: David Jackson Wilburn II
Firm Address: 2340 E. Trinity Mills Road, Ste. 300
Firm City, State, Zip: Carrollton, TX 75006
Business Phone: 972-478-4375

Name: Scott D. Weber
Officer Position: Secretary/Treasurer
Firm: Calloway, Norris, Burdette & Weber, PLLC
Firm Address: 3811 Turtle Creek Blvd., Ste. 400
Firm City, State, Zip: Dallas, TX 75219
Business Phone: 214-521-1520

Name: Lora G. Davis
Officer Position: Program Chair
Firm: The Blum Firm
Firm Address: 300 Crescent Court, Suite 1350
Firm City, State, Zip: Dallas, TX 75201
Business Phone: 214-751-2130

Name: Larry A. Flournoy, Jr.
Officer Position: Immediate Past Chair
Firm: Jordan, Houser & Flournoy, LLP
Firm Address: 10000 N. Central Expressway, Suite 800
Firm City, State, Zip: Dallas, TX 75231
Business Phone: 214-369-0361

Name: Rob Crain

Officer Position: DBA Board Advisor
Firm: Crain Lewis, LLP
Firm Address: 3400 Carlisle, Ste. 300
Firm City, State, Zip: Dallas, TX 75204
Business Phone: 214-522-6066

Resource Links



Section Membership


If you are interested in becoming a member of the Probate, Trusts & Estates Section, please send a letter of request and a $25.00 membership fee to:
2101 Ross Ave
Dallas TX, 75201
Please note that you must be a member of the Dallas Bar Association to join a section. If you have any questions regarding sections membership, please contact the membership department at the Dallas Bar.


Section Admin-Mass E-mail/Roster

Section Admin-Webpage (coming soon)


Section Downloads:

Attachment Size
Bylaws as of May, 25 2014 4.18 MB
Proposed Local Rules for Dallas Probate Courts. November 24, 2014 7.2 MB
Evidentiary Issues in Probate. by Judge Thompson and Mark Caldwell November 4, 2014 - DVAP Seminar 2.72 MB
Representing Clients Who May Be Incapacitated - The Lawyer's Role and Ethical Duties. October 28, 2014 179.05 KB
Representing Clients Who May Be Incapacitated - Checklist Know the Ten Signs 184.9 KB
Representing Clients Who May Be Incapacitated - Elder Financial Safety Center 157.88 KB
Representing Clients Who May Be Incapacitated - Diminished Capacity Assessment Handbook for Lawyers 168.17 KB
The Paperless Office Slide Presentation. By David Pyke September 23, 2014 12.79 MB
The Paperless Office Is A Reality. By David Pyke September 23, 2014 201.07 KB
Recent Developments in Estate Planning. By Stanley Johanson May 27, 2014 286.19 KB
Morals from the Courthouse: A Study of Recent Cases Impacting the Wills, Probate, and Trust Practice. By Gerry Beyer April 22, 2014. 165.51 KB
Choosing a Business Entity in Today's Business World. By David Dunning March 25, 2014 96.53 KB
Updated Texfile FAQs as of February 28, 2014 241.71 KB
Asset Protection Planning-Getting Ready for Marriage in Texas. By Professor Thomas Featherston February 25, 2014 163.12 KB
To Apply for Guardianship or Not: Where is the Edge? By Lisa Jamieson January 28, 2014 157.89 KB
Selected Issues Involving Art and Collectibles. By Norm Lofgren, et al November 26, 2013 3.01 MB
E-Filing FAQs. November 12, 2013 43.04 KB
Arbitration in the Trust and Estates Practice. By Bill Whitehill and Keith Novick October 22, 2013 15.81 MB
2013 Texas Estate and Trust Legislative Update. By William Pargaman September 24, 2013 1.46 MB
eFile Case Initiation Cheat Guide-Fees as of September 1, 2013 223.8 KB
2013 Texas Case Law Update. By Gerry Beyer May 20, 2013 84.3 KB
Uncontested Trust Modifications: Tips and Techniques. By Tony Eisenberg April 23, 2013 295.87 KB
Where Do We Go From Here? Tax Law Update. By Phil Lindquist March 26, 2013 405.12 KB
Guidelines for Court Approval of Attorney Fee Petitions as of March 22, 2013 430.37 KB
Dallas County Real Estate Record Access. February 26, 2013 152.23 KB
Creditor's Issues-Insolvency and the Estate. By Nathan Griffin February 26, 2013 1.19 MB
Intergenerational Conflicts of Interest. By Edward V Smith III January 22, 2013 4.03 MB
Creating, Attacking, and Defending Pre-Marital and Post-Marital Agreements. By Norman Lofgren and William Reppeto November 27, 2012 397.85 KB
Requests of Attorneys for Paper on Demand. October 23, 2012 25.5 KB
Probate Court Paper On Demand Memo. County Clerk, John Warren October 19, 2012 186.1 KB
Dallas County Probate Records. Dallas Bar Association November 25, 2012 2.18 MB
2012 Texas Case Law Update. By Gerry Beyer May 22, 2012 84.72 KB
Guidelings for Court Approval of Attorney Fee Petitions. September 25, 2012. 477.7 KB
Recent Developments in Estate Planning. By Professor Stanley Johanson April 24, 2012 251.5 KB
Transfer Planning in 2012 and Beyond. By Steve Akers February 28, 2012 565.21 KB
Dealing With The Client/Proposed Client Who Is (Or Isn't) Competent. By Erwin Davenport January 24, 2012 907.3 KB
Estate and Income Tax Planning With Mineral Interests. By Dustin Willey and Michael Bourland November 22, 2011 272 KB
Mineral Interests in Estate Planning and Probate. By Caroline Akers Peterson November 11, 2011 1.64 MB
Top Ten Mistakes of Estate Planners in Potential Will/Trust Contest Scenarios. By Jim Hartnett Jr, Jay David Hartnett, Fred Hartnett, and Melinda J Hartnett October 25, 2011 70 KB
Recent Developments Affecting Estate Planning. By Stanley Johanson May 24, 2011 176.85 KB
Who Are Your People: Descent and Distribution. By Anne Ashby March 22, 2011 246.87 KB
The Down and Dirty of Guardianships. By Judge Nikki DeShazo and Donna Yarborough February 22, 2011 808.08 KB
Administrative Order - Appointing John B Peyton as Associate Judge and Master. January 25, 2011 1.24 MB
Proposed New Texas Disciplinary Rules: Review for Real Estate and Probate Attorneys. By James Wallenstein November 23, 2010 281.16 KB
What It Means to be a Fiduciary. By Debbie Cox October 26, 2010 173.87 KB
Important Evidence in Will Contests. By P. Keith Staubus September 28, 2010 3.09 MB
Inherited Rights of Children Conceived After the Death of a Parent. By Lawrence Wolfish March 22, 2010 39.01 KB
Dallas County Probate Courts Fees and Copy Procedures effective May 4, 2009 205.45 KB
Dallas County Probate Courts Muniment of Title Provisions effective April 6, 2009 96.07 KB
2014 Lifetime Achievement Award Nomination Form 12.37 KB
Affidavit as to Legal Services and Fees 7.3 KB
Affidavit of Attorney 10.82 KB
Civil Case Information Sheet 98.69 KB
Doctor/Physician's Certificate of Medical Examination 250.64 KB
Probate Bonding Companies 29.54 KB
Sample Order to Pay Attorney Ad Litem From Registry of the Court 30.5 KB


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