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Laurel Stephenson

Laurel Stephenson

Partner

Laurel Stephenson is a founding partner of Davis Stephenson, PLLC. She specializes in estate planning for high net worth individuals and multi‐generational families. She works with her clients to develop estate plans tailored to preserve, protect, and transfer the wealth they spent their lives accumulating in a manner designed to fulfill their unique objectives. As a result, Laurel has experience in counseling clients with regard to transfer tax and charitable planning, preparing complex estate planning documents, negotiating and drafting marital property agreements, representing clients subject to gift and estate tax audits by the Internal Revenue Service, coordinating estate administrations, and providing technical assistance with regard to fiduciary litigation matters.

Prior to starting Davis Stephenson, Laurel practiced ten years at a boutique estate planning law firm in Dallas. However, she began her career in private practice with a large Dallas law firm after starting her legal career as an attorney in the Estate and Gift Tax Division of the Internal Revenue Service.

Education & Accreditation

  • The University of Texas School of Law (1994), J.D., with Honors
  • Texas A & M University (1990),
 B.S. in Economics, summa cum laude
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law, 
Texas Board of Legal Specialization (2003-present)

Honors & Awards

  • “Texas Super Lawyer,” as compiled by Thompson Reuters, Inc. and published in Texas Monthly Magazine (2012-present)
  • Selected by her peers as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas  in the area of Trusts & Estates in D Magazine (2016-present)

Professional Memberships & Designations

  • State Bar of Texas Tax Section, Member
    • Co-Chair of Estate and Gift Tax Committee
  • State Bar of Texas Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section, Member
    • REPTL Reporter, Estate and Gift Taxation Editor
  • Dallas Bar Association, Member
    • Probate, Trusts and Estates Section, Member
    • Tax Section, Member
  • Dallas Estate Planning Council, Member
    • Board of Governors Member (2015-2017)
    • Community Outreach Initiative, Co-Chair
  • Estate Planning Council of North Texas, Member
  • Communities Foundation of Texas Advisory Council, Member
  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation
    • Estate and Gift Taxes Committee
    • Fiduciary Income Tax Committee
  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Section
    • Estate and Gift Tax Committee
    • Non‐Tax Estate Planning Considerations Group

Publications & Speeches

  • “Revving up your Revocable Trust,” State Bar of Texas 41st Annual Advanced Estate Planning & Probate Course, Houston, Texas, June 7, 2017
  • “Recent Developments in Estate and Gift Tax for the Tax Practitioner,” co-presenter, Dallas Bar Association Tax Section, February 6, 2017
  • Co-Course Director, State Bar of Texas, Tax Section, Tax Law in a Day, Dallas, Texas, February 3, 2017
  • Testimony before US Department of Treasury and IRS regarding Proposed 2704 Regulations, on behalf of the State Bar of Texas, Tax Section, December 1, 2016
  • Various Comments to US Department of Treasury and IRS regarding Proposed regulations, on behalf of the State Bar of Texas, Tax Section, June 2016 through August 2017
  • “Estate and Gift Tax Updates,” State Bar of Texas, Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section Reporter, Volume 55, Number 1 – present
  • “Preserving the Family Vacation Home – and Family Harmony,” Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, Volume 40, Number 12, December 2015
  • “Drafting CLTs – What You Can and Can’t Do,” State Bar of Texas 26th Annual Estate Planning & Probate Drafting Course, Houston, Texas, October 8, 2015
  • “Skipping Your Way Through GST Tax Returns,” authored paper presented at the Dallas Society of CPAs Convergence 2015, Dallas, Texas, May 8, 2015

Community Service & Personal Interests

  • Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Cooking With Loving Hands Volunteer
  • Enjoys attending Aggie football and baseball games, running, and designing jewelry