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Probate, Trusts & Estates Section

The 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.

Probate Practice Manual:

The 2017 Edition of the Probate, Trusts & Estates Section's Dallas County Probate Practice Manual is now available for purchase.  New forms in the 2017 Probate Manual include:

  • Application for Court Order in accordance with Chapter 153 (Bank Balances)
  • Order in accordance with Chapter 153
  • New language for describing family history in heirships and small estate affidavits
  • Order Setting Fees for Attorney Ad Litem (because Attorney's Fees are now listed in a separate Order)
  • Updated Attorney's Fee and Supporting Fee Affidavits
  • Certificate of Section 362.005(F) Notice on Final Accounts
  • Order Approving Legal Fees and Expenses in Accounts (because Attorney's Fees are now listed in a separate Order)
  • Personal Bond for Collin County Guardianships of the Person Only
  • New Statutory Durable Power of Attorney (effective September 1, 2017)
  • New Medical Power of Attorney (effective January 1, 2018)

Members and Non-Members have the option to purchase a digital copy or CD on the site.  A portion of the net proceeds from the sale of the Manual is donated to the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program.  

To purchase a 2017 Manual, click here

Meeting Schedule:

This Section meets at NOON at the Belo Mansion on the 4th Tuesday of every month. No meetings are scheduled in June, July, August, or December.  Missed one of our programs? Find it here:

The program schedule for our 2017-2018 section meetings is as follows:

Section Meeting Dates Speaker & Topic

September 26, 2017

Lori J. Campbell, Bank of America, N.A.
Donald L. Totusek, Francis & Totusek, LLP, with
Lora G. Davis, Davis Stephenson, PLLC, Moderator
The New Texas Durable Power of Attorney Act
MCLE - 1.00

October 24, 2017

 Craig Hopper, Hopper Mikeska, PLLC
 Legislative Update
 MCLE - 1.00

November 28, 2017

 Scott D. Weber, Calloway, Norris, Burdette, Weber & Baxter-Thompson PLLC &  James "Jim" J. Hartnett, Jr., The Hartnett Law Firm
 Contesting the Plan/Planning the Contest: Discovery in Probate Litigation
 MCLE - 1.00; Ethics .25

January 23, 2018

 Roland Love, North American Title Company
 Real Estate: What Probate & Estate Planning Lawyers Need to Know
 MCLE - 1.00

February 27, 2018

Shelly West, Law Offices of Shelly B. West & Diana S. Friedman, Goranson Bain PLLC
Marital Property Agreements
MCLE - 1.00; Ethics .25

March 27, 2018

 Nicole Pierce "Nikki" Wolff, Wolff Law, PLLC
MCLE - 1.00

April 24, 2018

 Professor Gerry W. Beyer, Preston E. Smith Regents Professor of Law,            Texas Tech University School of Law
Case Law Update
MCLE - 1.00

May 22, 2018

 Professor Stanley M. Johanson, James Elkins Centennial Chair in Law,      University of Texas Law School
Estate and Gift Tax Update
MCLE - 1.00


Section Support of the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program


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 DVAP 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 DVAP 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!


Discount for Section Members - Trust & Estates Magazine

DBA Probate Section members are eligible to receive a discount of over 60% off a 1-year subscription to Trusts & Estates Magazine's published price of $428. The rate will be $159. The 1-year subscription includes 12 monthly issues; two annual supplements of Tax Year in Review and Charitable Giving, access to all the Trusts & Estates website premium content, Estate Planner weekly e-newsletters, as well as up-to-the-minute news and information, plus daily updates on estate planning. To find out more, click here.


Section Officers

Michael Duran, Chair
The Duran Firm, PLLC
9400 North Central Expwy, Suite 1308
Dallas, TX 75231

Jeff Wolff, Vice Chair
Wolff Law, PLLC
2929 Carlisle Street, Ste. 360
Dallas, TX 75204

Shannon G. Guthrie, Secretary/Treasurer
Stephens-Guthrie, PLLC
8330 Meadow Road, Ste. 216
Dallas, TX 75231

R. Kevin Spencer, Program Chair
Spencher & Johnson, PLLC
500 N. Akard Street, Ste. 2150
Dallas, TX 75201

Lora G. Davis, Immediate Past Chair
Davis Stephenson, PLLC
100 Crescent Court, Suite 440

Dallas, TX 75201

Shonn Brown, DBA Board Advisor
Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst
2100 Ross Avenue, Ste. 2700
Dallas, TX 75201


Resource Links

Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Texas

Texas Bar CLE

Professor Beyer Texas Estates Code with 2015 Revisions


Section Membership


If you are interested in becoming a member of the Probate, Trusts & Estates Section, please click here to join online or send a letter of request and the $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 DBA membership department.

Section Admin-Mass E-mail/Roster

Section Admin-Webpage

For questions regarding Section email/roster/webpage, email Jessica Smith or call 214-220-7477.  


Section Downloads


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