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Don D. Ford III - Houston, TX

700 Louisiana Street48th Floor Houston, TX 77002

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Updated: 04/12/2024

Houston Estate, Trust, and Guardianship Litigation Lawyer

Overview

In 2010, Mr. Ford achieved the highest distinction available to an attorney practicing in the area of estate planning and probate in Texas. He has become Board-Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, which is a recognition bestowed on very few attorneys who have demonstrated special competence in this area of law and who have received recommendations from fellow attorneys and judges with whom they have worked...

In 2010, Mr. Ford achieved the highest distinction available to an attorney practicing in the area of estate planning and probate in Texas. He has become Board-Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, which is a recognition bestowed on very few attorneys who have demonstrated special competence in this area of law and who have received recommendations from fellow attorneys and judges with whom they have worked.

In 2009, Mr. Ford completed the required course-work to become certified to serve as a mediator. In pursuit of this distinction, Mr. Ford attended the world-renowned Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California. He attended this intensive course with the goal of being able to conduct mediations in probate and guardianship cases, as few mediators in Texas specialize in these areas.

In 2006, Mr. Ford was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas to serve on the Guardianship Certification Board, which is a 15-member board that creates policy and oversees the regulation of private professional guardians in the State of Texas. At the inaugural meeting of the GCB, Mr. Ford was elected as the Chair of the Rules Committee, where he has served with distinction since that time.

Mr. Ford's recent distinctions are reflective of a dedication to the areas of estate planning, probate, and guardianship that began early in his education. In law school, Mr. Ford was fortunate to be able to concentrate his education in estate planning and business planning, unlike a major in undergraduate school. His concentration in estate planning and business planning involved a curriculum designed around an in-depth study of those areas.

Additionally, he was able to regularly work one-on-one with professors in those fields so that before he even graduated from law school he had experience in tax planning and will drafting.

Mr. Ford graduated from Baylor University with degrees in Accounting and Law. He has also completed several post-graduate courses at Baylor in pursuit of a Masters in Taxation.

Following law school, he began his career as a tax attorney for a large international accounting and consulting firm, where he assisted clients primarily in the areas of estate and gift tax and personal income tax.

The combination of his tax-related degrees and his experience working as a tax attorney have given Mr. Ford a strong background in the areas of estate planning and probate, and he has focused his attention and expertise in these areas ever since.

Mr. Ford devotes his knowledge and experience to maintaining the reputation of Ford+Bergner as a leading estate planning and probate firm in Texas.

About Don D. Ford III

Practice Areas

  • Estate, Trust, and Guardianship Litigation
  • Estate Planning
  • Uncontested Probate and Guardianship

Litigation

  • 70%

Current Employment Position(s)

  • Managing Partner

Languages

  • English

Qualifications

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 1997

Specialties and Certifications

  • Judicial Branch Certification Commission, Rules Task Force, 2013
  • Estate Planning and Probate, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 2010
  • Certified Mediator, Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law. Mediation Certification Program, 2009
  • Guardianship Certification Board, Appointed by Chief Justice of Texas Supreme Court, Board Member, 2006
  • Ad Litem, Probate Court in Texas

Other Affiliations

  • Judicial Branch Certification Commission, 2014 - Present (Commissioner)
  • Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section, Member, 1999 - Present
  • Guardianship Certification Board, 2006 - 2014 (Vice Chairman)
  • The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 1999 - 2010 (Editorial Board Member)
  • Houston Lawyer Referral Service, 1999 - 2011 (Board Member and Chair)
  • Texas Guardianship Association, Member
  • Oddities and Challenges in Texas Probate, Faculty and Planning Committee
  • Houston Attorneys in Tax and Probate, Member
  • Disability and Elder Law Attorneys' Association, Member
  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section
  • Houston Bar Association (Member)
  • Houston Bar Association, Law Practice Management Section
  • Houston Young Lawyers' Association (Member)
  • State Bar of Texas (Member)
  • Crystal Shores East Homeowners' Association (Member, Board of Directors)
  • The Joshua Foundation (Board Member)
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Dallas Bar Association, Probate Section

Education

  • Baylor University School of Law, Waco, Texas, 1997
    J.D.
    Major: Areas of Concentration: Estate Planning & Probate; Business Planning
  • Pepperdine University, Malibu, California
  • Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA, 1994
    B.B.A.
    Major: Accounting

Pro Bono Activities

  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2011
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Member, Membership Nominating Committee, 2011
  • Houston Bar Foundation, Member, 2006

Classes and Seminars

  • Probate & Guardianship Presentations, National Business Institute, 2001 - Present
  • Trusts and Estates: Business or Calling?, North Texas Probate Bench Bar, 2020
  • Denton County Bench Bar, Denton County Probate Bar, 2017
  • Texas Center for the Judiciary: Civil Justice Conference, 2017
  • Institute for Paralegal Education, 2016
  • Denton County Probate Bar, 2016
  • The Probate Process from Start to Finish, 2016
  • Transitioning to the JBCC, Texas Bar Advanced Guardianship, 2014
  • South Texas College of Law Real Estate Law Conference, 2014
  • The Probate Process from Start to Finish for Paralegals, 2013
  • Estate Planning from A to Z, 2013
  • The Probate Process from Start to Finish, 2013
  • Fundamentals of Trust Administration, 2012
  • Hidalgo County Bar Association Guardianship Course, 2011
  • Top 10 Estate Planning Techniques, 2009
  • Probate: Beyond the Basics, 2008
  • The Probate Process from Start to Finish, 2007 and 2008
  • Probate Practice: The Essential Basics, 2006
  • Oddities and Challenges in Texas Probate Law, 2004
  • National Business Institute, Member, Faculty and Planning Committee, 2003
  • Alternatives to Guardianships, 2002

Achievements

Other Sources of Feedback About Don D. Ford III

Included on the 2024 Texas list


Past Lists

  • 2011 Texas Super Lawyers list

View the profile for Don D. Ford III on Super Lawyers

Honors

  • Super Lawyers, 2024
  • Fellow of the Houston Bar Foundation
  • Super Lawyers; Rising Stars, 2011

Photo

Office Information

Address

700 Louisiana Street48th Floor Houston, TX 77002

Fax

  • (713) 260-3903

Accepts Credit Cards

Yes

Publication

Articles

  • Estate Planning Makes Tax Sense, Turf Magazine, 2013
  • Guest Editor: Solo and Small Firms Issue; The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 2010
  • Fundamental Issues to Understand Before Accepting a Guardianship Litigation Engagement, The Advocate Litigation Magazine, State Bar of Texas Litigation Section, 2009
  • A Review of Law Firm Fees & Compensation: Value & Growth Dynamics, The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 2009
  • A Review of How to Build and Manage an Estates Practice, The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 2008
  • Your Complete Guide to Leaving an Inheritance for Your Children and Other, Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.. 2008
  • Muniment of Title: The Misunderstood Method of Probate, 2006
  • The Guardianship Certification Board: A Legislative Attempt to Protect The Elderly, The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 2006
  • When Jurisdiction and Venue Clash in Probate Court, The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 2005
  • A Spotlight on the HBA Elder Law Committee, The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 2005
  • Navigating Businesses through the Claims Procedure in Probate Court, Corporate Counsel Review, Journal Published by the South Texas College of Law, 2005
  • Miscellaneous Odd Issues in Probate, Oddities and Challenges in Texas Probate, 2004
  • Who's in Charge?, Oddities and Challenges in Texas Probate, 2004
  • Guest Editor, The Debate Over Judicial Selection, The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 2003
  • Who Can Change an Incompetent Person’s Domicile?, The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 2003
  • The Debate Over Judicial Selection, Guest Editor, The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 2003
  • The Continued Debate Over Family Limited Partnerships, The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 2002
  • Guest Editor, Professionalism, The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 2002
  • Professionalism, The Houston Lawyer Magazine, 2002
  • Estate Tax Repeal: Miracle of Myth?, The Houston Chronicle, 2001

Representative Cases

  • In Re: Peggy Fowler Redding
  • Guyton v. Monteau
  • Dennis Pharris Appeal

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Firm Address

Fax:
(713) 260-3903
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700 Louisiana Street48th Floor Houston, TX 77002

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