Home » Attorneys » Haws, Catherine Bright

Catherine has practiced law in the areas of estate planning and probate since 2002 and is board certified in estate planning and probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Every client has unique goals or circumstances that may suggest one particular structure, strategy or provision be utilized rather than another. Catherine brings her considerable planning experience and her understanding of the vital importance of planning to every client representation, whether preparing an estate plan, a business succession plan, asset protection strategy or handling an estate administration.

Her estate planning practice includes preparation of wills, powers of attorney, revocable trusts (also known as “living trusts”), irrevocable trusts (with income taxable to the grantor, the beneficiary, or the trust), family partnerships, LLCs and corporations, private foundations and other charitable giving structures. She also assists clients with planning for tax-efficient lifetime transfers of wealth, including annual exclusion gifts and gifts of greater value, payment of medical and tuition expenses, 529 plans, GRATs, SLATs, QPRTs, split-interest charitable trusts (CRTs and CLTs) and installment sales to grantor trusts. Catherine helps clients modify both revocable and irrevocable trusts and terminate trusts that are no longer necessary. She also enjoys working with clients to develop viable business succession plans to facilitate the continuation of a family business enterprise for generations to come. She does so with a sensitivity to family dynamics, tax implications, manageability of the plan (i.e., “hassle-factors”) and cost-effectiveness.

Her experience in probate and post-mortem planning includes assisting clients with navigation of the probate and estate administration process from start to finish (e.g., obtaining letters testamentary or letters of administration, determining heirs, addressing creditor issues, homestead issues and family allowance, making community property and separate property determinations, implementing distribution of estate assets outright or in trust and retitling assets as needed, and preparation or review of federal estate and generation-skipping transfer tax returns). She also has experience with post-mortem family disputes and has supported trial counsel in probate litigation.

Education

Southern Methodist University School of Law
J.D., 2001

University of Texas at Austin
B.A., 1997

Court Admissions

Texas, 2001

Honors and Awards

Recognized as a Rising Star in Estate Planning and Probate as published in Texas Monthly magazine, 2008.

Associations/Affiliations

Member, Dallas Bar Association; Probate, Trusts and Estates Section

Member, State Bar of Texas

Member, Dallas Estate Planning Council

Member, Attorneys Serving the Community

Former Member, Collin County Advisory Committee of Health Services North Texas

Former Co-Chair, Dallas Bar Association Home Project Committee

Speeches/Publications

Presenter, Using Disclaimers to Accomplish Clients’ Planning Goals After Texas Disclaimer Law Changed on September 15, 2015, Collin County Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Section.

Author, Identifying and Solving Common Estate Planning Issues, Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, 2015.

Guest Speaker, Estate Planning on “Law for the People”, Local Dallas Radio Station.

Guest Speaker, Retirement Boot Camp.