Brian Thomas has dedicated his career to representing individuals in litigated probate, guardianship and fiduciary cases. Since most people only experience probate, estate or guardianship matters only once or twice in their lives, Brian knows the stakes for his clients are always at their highest. He uses his experience, confidence and determination to hold dishonest people accountable when they try to cheat others. With his ability to articulate their argument and take their burdens on himself, Brian fights for his clients to help them get the result they deserve.

Legal theories can be complicated and confusing so Brian humanizes them into ready-to-agree arguments, while being honest with his clients when emotions and frustration cloud their judgment and perspective. Using reason, honor and integrity, he defends estate plans against unmeritorious challenges and attacks unlawfully-created estate plans so that the wishes or care of loved ones, whether departed or incapacitated, are honored with dignity and respect.

J. Brian Thomas

EDUCATION

  • B.B.A., Baylor University
  • J.D., Baylor Law School

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Successfully defended an elderly client against allegations of his incapacity and the imposition of an unwanted and unnecessary guardianship of his person and estate
  • Successfully defended a decedent’s Last Will and Testament against multiple allegations of lacking capacity and the exertion of undue influence
  • Obtained favorable mediation results in a contested guardianship, resulting in the termination of exploitation of an elderly Ward’s finances and the Ward’s placement in a facility conducive to her health and welfare
  • Removed an executor from her position upon demonstrating that the fiduciary mismanaged the assets of the estate and withheld information from the estate’s beneficiaries
  • Routinely obtains temporary injunctions and temporary guardianships to halt rogue agents from abusing their powers of attorney
  • Represents guardians, executors, and administrators in all phases of guardianship and estate administration
  • Routinely serves as attorney ad litem and guardian ad litem in guardianship cases
  • Routinely serves as temporary guardian in contested guardianship cases and as temporary administrator and administrator in decedents’ estates
  • Routinely resolves cases favorably for his clients at mediation

BUSINESS LEADERSHIP

  • Named Rising Star by Texas Super Lawyers,  a Thompson Reuters service (2014-2019)
  • Selected Rising Stars Top 100 Up & Coming Attorneys in Texas, a Thompson Reuters service (2018)

Community and Bar Association Involvement

  • Texas Bar Association
  • Member, College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Dallas Bar Association

Public Speaking & Publications

  • The Probate Process from Start to Finish for Paralegals, National Business Institute, Houston, Texas, 2008, Dallas, Texas, 2016, 2018
    • “Ethical Perils in the Probate Process”
    • “The Rights of the Surviving Spouse”
    • “Probate Litigation”
  • Find it Free and Fast on the Net: Strategies for Legal Research on the Web, National Business Institute, Dallas, Texas, 2008, 2011, 2012
    • “How to Search Like a Pro”
    • “Finding Free Legal Research Sites and Free Caselaw”
  • Estate Administration Procedures: Why Each Step is Important, National Business Institute, Dallas, Texas, April, 2009
    • “Ethical Challenges in Estate Administration”
    • “Common Issues to be Prepared for in Litigation and Probate”
  • Estate, Financial and Healthcare Planning for Elder Clients, National Business Institute, Dallas, Texas, July, 2010
    • “Tips and Traps When Consulting with the Elder Client”
    • “Understanding Post Mortem Options”
    • “Understanding Long-Term Care Options”
  • Administering Small Estates: Time-Saving Tips, National Business Institute, National Teleconference, 2011, 2012
  • The Art of Trust Administration, National Business Institute, National Teleconference, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Trusts 101, National Business Institute, Arlington, Texas, January 2012
    • “Ethical Considerations”
    • “Estate Planning for the Disabled”
  • Trust Administration: Challenges and Best Practices, Strafford Publishing, National Teleconference, February, 2012
  • Trust Administration: Practical Considerations in Trustee Liability, Tolleson Wealth Management, Dallas, Texas, March, 2012
  • Will Contests, Estate Planning Council of North Texas, Plano, Texas, March 2012
  • Closing the Estate and Handling Distributions, National Business Institute, National Teleconference, May, 2012
  • Remedies for Attorney in Fact Misconduct, TexasBarCLE, Webcast, July, 2012; Collin County Bar Association, October, 2012
  • Resolving Legal and Financial Issues in Elder Care, National Business Institute, Dallas, Texas, August, 2012
    • “How to Protect an Elderly Client’s Assets”
    • “Insurance to Fund All or Part of Long-Term Care Costs”
  • Estate Administration: Opening and Closing the Estate and Resolving Related Issues; Strafford Publishing, National Webinar, August, 2012
  • Trust Litigation: Navigating Defenses of Fiduciaries and Claims of Beneficiaries and Third Parties: Trust Contests, Construction Issues and Fiduciary Duties; Strafford Publishing, National Webinar, October, 2012
  • Handling Final Beneficiary Distributions, National Business Institute, National Teleconference, March, 2013
  • Winning the Battle and the War: A Remedies Centered Approach to Litigation Involving Durable Powers of Attorney; Estate Planning Council of North Texas, Dallas, Texas, Co-Presenter, May, 2013
  • Powers of Attorney & Fiduciary Duties; Wealth Management & Trust: Texas Graduate Trust School, Dallas, Texas, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • A Creditors’ Perspective on Administration of Estates; Presented to the Dallas City Attorneys’ Office, Dallas, Texas, July 2013
  • Trust Administration for Paralegals, Institute for Paralegal Education, National Telewebinar, October, 2014
  • Trust and Estate Accounting for Paralegals, Institute for Paralegal Education, National Webcast, March, 2015
  • Estate Planning 101, Texas State Teachers Association, Annual State House of Delegates / Convention, April, 2015
  • Paralegals Essential Guide to Wills and Trusts, Institute for Paralegal Education, National Telewebinar, November, 2015
  • The Shortest Route to Victory: Summary Judgment Practice in Probate and Trust Litigation, TexasBarCLE, Advanced Estate Planning and Probate, San Antonio, Texas, June, 2016
  • The Probate Process from Start to Finish, National Business Institute, Dallas, Texas, May, 2017
    • “Uncovering the Laws of Intestacy and How They May Apply”
    • “Litigating the Case in Probate Court”
    • “Putting the Case to Rest: Closing the Estate”
  • Litigation Involving Powers of Attorney and Bank Accounts, TexasBarCLE, Advanced Estate Planning and Probate, Houston, June, 2017; Denton County Bar Association Probate / Guardianship Litigation Seminar – Scheduled, December, 2018
  • Choosing Your Own “Adventure” and Navigating Self-Dealing Transactions Under the New Power of Attorney Rules, Houston Estate Planning and Business Council, February, 2018; Tarrant County Probate Bar Association – May, 2018
  • What to Know About our Probate and Planning Files: Preparing to Defend the Estate Plan, TexasBarCLE, Estate Planning and Probate Drafting, Dallas, October, 2018; North Texas Probate Bench-Bar, March, 2019