Boutin Jones INC., Attorneys at Law

Menu Toggle

Email Disclaimer

You understand that no attorney-client relationship will exist unless we agree to represent you.

You are urged not to send us any information contained in an email or any attachment that you believe is confidential and not public until such time as we have indicated to you that we are able to review that information.

By clicking “agree,” you agree that submitting unsolicited email information to us does not constitute a request for legal advice and that you are not forming an attorney-client relationship with us by submitting that information.

You recognize that our review of your information, even if it is confidential and even if it is transmitted in a good faith effort to retain us, does not preclude us from representing another client adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you.

People

Donna L. Courville
I really enjoy being active in my community and at places like my church. I have a son with autism and I’m always looking for ways to enjoy life through his eyes. I actively look for things we can do together that we have in common and can build on which usually involves food, airplanes and planning our next trip on Southwest Airlines.

Donna L. Courville

Counsel

Practices

  • Estate Planning; Probate; and Trust Administration
  • Tax

Education

  • Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1994
  • Texas Tech University, B.B.A., Accounting, 1988

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Texas
  • Certified Public Accountant (Texas)
  • Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law
    by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Delivering for Clients

“I help people with estate planning and transitioning their assets to families or charities. I help them in both the planning stage and when someone passes away. I’ve done estate planning for an estate of over $80 million. While my typical workload includes estates ranging from $1 million to $10 million, having handled very large estates gives me an advantage with managing estates of all sizes.”

Experience

Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration

Guided and provided counsel to an individual trustee in a trust administration that required the care and placement of over 20 horses and the sale of a family ranch homestead and farmland to create 6 endowments with 4 local charitable organizations.

Created a variety of donor-advised fund agreements for clients who have a passion for giving in collaboration with community foundations and/or other charitable organizations to assist the clients in creating a legacy gifts. Formed and terminated charitable remainder trusts, and advised clients in designing endowed and restricted gifts and establishing scholarships as part of the estate planning.

In less than three years from decedent’s death, probated estate in excess of $80 million, prepared federal estate tax return and Texas inheritance tax return, negotiated and settled audit with Internal Revenue Service and distributed and closed estate on behalf of Executor.

Drafted, negotiated and obtained court approval of a family settlement agreement involving an estate exceeding $4 million, including multiple tax planning trusts some of which were modified and involved ownership of more than 60 individual rental properties, commercial properties and ranches.

Represented conservator (and later executor) on behalf of the conservatee (decedent) in preserving remainder of estate for the conservatee’s long term care after the conservatee was defrauded of $650,000 in a pay telephone lease scam. Assisted in litigation pursuing lawsuit against salesmen.

Represented family business owners in succession planning for next generation of owners. Worked closely with family’s consultants and other professional advisors as part of a team to meet the clients’ needs and clarify family expectations.

Business Succession Planning

Represented family-owned grocery business in conversion from a corporation to a limited partnership for franchise tax benefits. Worked closely with national accounting firm as part of the family’s team of advisors to complete the conversion.

Detailed Practice Description

Donna Courville specializes in estate planning for individuals who want to transfer their wealth to their families, transition family businesses or leave charitable legacies. She focuses on tax planning to minimize estate, gift and income taxes and planning for blended families. Donna has extensive expertise in post-death trust and estate administration, preparation of federal estate tax and gift tax returns and representation of fiduciaries and beneficiaries in connection with probate litigation. In addition, she assists clients in audit controversies with the Internal Revenue Service regarding federal estate tax returns.

Donna was previously a Senior Attorney at McDonough Holland & Allen PC. Prior to moving to Sacramento, Donna was a partner with McCleskey, Harriger, Brazill & Graf L.L.P., in Lubbock, Texas. Donna is also currently an adjunct professor for Texas Tech University School of Law teaching guardianship law and previously teaching marital property and estate administration courses.

One of the most rewarding parts of the work I do is helping people give a portion of their estate to charity. It also engages the next generation in thinking of others. I almost always mention charitable giving when I meet with a client. It’s not just for the ‘Bill Gates’ of the world.

Presentations

2018

  • Probate Academy for Judges, Texas Association of Counties, Speaker

2017

  • Sacramento County Bar Association Tax Symposium, Speaker

2015

  • Probate Academy for Judges, Texas Association of Counties, Speaker

2013

  • Dispute Resolution Center, Guardianship Symposium, Moderator and Speaker

2000—Present

  • Texas Tech University School of Law, Marital Property, Guardianships and Estates courses, Adjunct Professor

2006—2008

  • Texas Association of Counties, Judicial Education Sessions, Speaker

2007

  • State Bar of Texas, Advanced Guardianship Seminar, Speaker


Honors

  • Northern California Super Lawyer, 2018 – 2019
  • Bridge Builder Award, Sacramento Region Community Foundation, 2013-2018
  • Sacramento Business Journal Best of the Bar, 2016, 2018
  • Sacramento Magazine Top Lawyer, 2016 – 2019
  • Recipient, Don Poole Award, Sacramento Region Community Foundation, 2015. Awarded for significant contributions to philanthropy in the region, the award was created to honor the advisor who embodies commitment to charitable causes, devotion to educating clients about charitable giving, and mentoring fellow advisors to support clients’ philanthropy.


Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Member, Pride Industries Development & Donor Services Advisory Board
  • Member, Sacramento Estate Planning Council
  • Past Chair, Sacramento County Bar Association, Probate and Estate Planning Section
  • Member, State Bar of California, Trusts and Estates Section
  • Member, State Bar of Texas, Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Former Board Member, Texas Tech University School of Law Foundation
  • Former Board Member and Treasurer, Lubbock Area Community Foundation
  • Former Member, State Bar of Texas , Advertising Review Committee
  • Former Member and Treasurer, Lubbock County Bar Association
  • Former Member and President, South Plains Trust & Estate Council


Community

  • Chair, Sacramento Region Community Foundation Board and Member
  • Advisory Board Member, Pride Industries Foundation
  • Secretary and Member, Board of Trustees, Meristem
  • Steering Committee and Member, Philanthropic Advisors’ Forum of Greater Sacramento