Thomas J. Houser
Tom is a senior shareholder of the Davis Brown Law Firm. He is also the chair of the Estate Planning Department. Tom's areas of practice include estate planning, business and succession planning and estate administration and trust estates.
Tom's practice concentrates on crafting comprehensive estate plans
that accomplish a client's personal objectives in a tax efficient
manner. He offers advice on methods for distributing wealth to the next
generation, transfer techniques for the family business, tools that
leverage the transfer tax system, coordinating beneficiary designations
with the estate plan, and distributions from qualified plans and IRAs.
He also advises on asset protection matters, pre-marital planning and
handles complex estate and trust administration.
- Advisor to more than 100 physicians, 60 business owners, and 50
executives of Fortune 500 companies on their personal estate plans,
succession plans and asset protection concerns.
- Advised on wealth transfer techniques including family limited
partnerships and Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) for patriarch
of closely held business valued at more than $60 million.
- Routinely advises mature clients on revocable trust agreements as a
probate avoidance technique, federal estate and state inheritance tax
minimization and Title XIX qualification issues.
- Counsels parents of minor children regarding guardianships,
testamentary trusts, special needs trusts, irrevocable life insurance
trusts, advanced directives and beneficiary designations.
Business and Succession Planning:
- Advised on the transfer of several family enterprises including
an excavation business, a residential appraisal business, a commercial
- Counseled dozens of farmers on the transfer of their farming
operations, including transfers to children active in the business while
providing for children not involved in the business.
- Reviews, advises and drafts buy/sell agreements, non-compete
agreements, covenants not to solicit and non-piracy covenants.
- Drafted non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements for senior executives of a large retirement home operation.
- Counsels business owners on general business issues including
formation, termination, acquisitions, routine asset purchases and sale
- Successfully removed an individual trustee from office and forced reimbursement of mismanaged assets.
- Enjoined the sale of a closely held business and gained the
appointment of a receiver in a state court action to judicially dissolve
a limited liability company.
- Second chair on federal district court commercial litigation case
involving a failed construction and demolition recycling system.
- Prosecuted and defended several will contest, will construction and contested probate and trust administration actions.