Dallas, Texas (December 2018)
When my brothers and I started our case, we were obviously confused and upset by the circumstances of our father’s death and the state in which he left his affairs. Sarah Toraason stepped in with encouragement, a positive attitude, and excellent legal advice throughout the ordeal. She was always available to answer our questions and suggest the next steps to take. We always knew what paperwork was needed and everything was always filed on time. Ultimately, she did help us get the case settled as we’d hoped. We would hire her again in a heart beat.
Portland, Oregon (December 2016)
We want to express our gratitude for your firm’s dogged efforts and dedication to our probate case. This long, arduous, upsetting and disruptive ordeal could only have been endured with the skilled work of our team Mark Caldwell, Sarah Toraason, Murray Camp and Lisa Hagar by our sides. They have been more than generous and supportive with their time and advice. Each one of them endured the expressions of our anxiety and concern and then calmed our fears along the way with their expertise.
These individuals are some of the hardest working and most sincere people we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They did a tremendous job and they cried alongside us as we got our successful verdict. We will surely consider them our friends for the rest of our lives.
We are so grateful for the outcome and can now have a sense of closure that they have delivered into our hands. We really can’t thank all the partners and your entire staff enough for taking on our horrific family problem and transform it into what is now inner peace over our father’s death.
You have our deepest respect and admiration.
Dallas, Texas (June 2015)
How can one best describe Attorney Brian Thomas, Burdette & Rice? This man knows probate law and he certainly proved that with us because he won my lawsuit for me. I became aware of Brian Thomas’ expert probate knowledge right away. Prior to speaking with Attorney Thomas, I had spoken with another probate attorney that felt I did not have a chance due to a statute of limitations. My wife would not allow us to give up, so she discovered Attorney Thomas on the internet. When we met with him, he immediately advised us that there was not a statute of limitations issue prevailing in my case. Brian kept us informed on every aspect of this lawsuit and was extremely patient and kind regarding my feelings on having to file this lawsuit against my brother. I actually never felt a need to phone Brian to inquire about a status of this lawsuit since he always kept me up-to-date and informed. I trusted his knowledge and felt comfortable just allowing him to do his magic. Nicole, Brian’s Assistant, is additionally wonderful to work with. She was always there to assist. By the time I got to Brian, I literally felt beaten down. I did not realize it at the time but my brother, Executor, had determined on his own volition that I was undeserving of the inheritance left to me by my Dad and chose to steal it. Until I retained Brian, I was kept in the dark about the estate and the disbursement of funds. I was continually mailing certified letters to both my brother and the Estate Attorney with no response. The adversity placed on me by my brother and the Estate Attorney was not imagined. They tried it on Brian Thomas but the outcome was not pretty for them. Brian fought for me. I wanted justice and I wanted a court of law to inform my brother that what he did was wrong. That happened for me plus I did get that stolen inheritance owed to me, thanks to Brian Thomas. Brian, you can always depend on me for a telephonic referral should someone be “on the fence” as to whether to retain you or not. You were the absolute best. I felt the Lord led us to you. God Bless You.
Naples, Florida (July 2019)
I hired Ellen Bennett to help me with some necessary changes to a trust document. Unfortunately, however, one of the trust beneficiaries wanted to quibble and nit-pick about the terminology and about specific words in our petition to the court to make the changes.
Ellen was extremely patient and diplomatic in dealing with the beneficiary and his attorney and she eventually convinced them of the proper legal language for the petition, while at the same time managing to keep me in a fairly calm and peaceful state.
Also, both she and Sherry Stewart were very efficient and responsive in keeping me informed about developments and in completing the task with a positive conclusion.
I would without hesitation recommend Ellen to others who are in need of any assistance with trust matters.
Dallas, Texas (September 2015)
I waited for almost four years after my mother’s death for a brother to perform his responsibilities as executor, so that my elderly father had the resources needed to live with dignity, quality, and comfort. I could see that the odds were increasing that Dad would expire before any progress whatsoever occurred. A prestigious law firm in my locale recommended Burdette & Rice, PLLC, with offices back home in North Texas, convenient to my father’s residence. I discussed my situation with J. Ellen Bennett, attorney, within only a few days of my initial contact with the firm, provided the retainer, and the hard and painful work commenced to have the irresponsible and uncaring brother disqualified and replaced by my other brother.
The process took much longer than it should have, due to the resistance exerted by the executor and his legal representation. This was my legal action, mine alone, and yet the opposing side decided to muddy the waters and prolong the inevitable, including causing my kind, weary, 83-year-old father (as well as the court stenographer) to weep in his deposition due to the hateful accusations and treatment of the opposing lawyer. Throughout twenty-one months of what I will remember as hell on earth, Ms. Bennett and the staff at Burdette & Rice, PLLC, supported my cause and my spirits. I watched as other lawyers involved in the case bullied and manipulated their clients. Ms. Bennett was consistently professional, supportive, skilled, and on task. I recommend without hesitation J. Ellen Bennett specifically and the firm of Burdette & Rice, PLLC, to anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves in a similar situation, where improper actions and/or non-action committed by an executor can only be addressed by taking swift and unwavering legal action.
I cannot say enough good things about the way that Ellen Bennett handled my case for a guardianship over my mother. My brother and I went through several attorneys who were unable to help us because they did not know what we could do for our schizophrenic mother. It was heartbreaking for my brother and I to watch our mother waste her assets and endanger herself and others. At one point my mother told me she wanted to kill herself because she could not deal with “the voices” anymore. When I initially contacted Ellen, she immediately put me at ease by saying she had some ideas on how to approach getting a guardianship. Ellen worked diligently and efficiently to facilitate the paperwork necessary for us. She was patient when I worried and had questions. She always communicated well with me and responded to my email. The fees charged were very fair and I always got a detailed invoice. I would not hesitate to recommend Ellen to others who are in need of a guardianship or estate administration. Respectfully, Julia E.
4851 LBJ Freeway Suite 601 | Dallas, TX 75244 | T: 972-395-5600 | F: 972-833-2240