Boutin Jones INC., Attorneys at Law

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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 ice cream, airplanes and planning our next trip on Southwest Airlines.

Donna L. Courville



  • Estate Planning; Probate; and Trust Administration
  • Tax


  • 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 practice almost exclusively in the areas of estate planning and trust administration. I enjoy assisting clients in creating plans to benefit their loved ones while helping them to invest in charitable causes that mean a lot to them. It is an honor to work with multiple generations in our clients’ families and provide consistency, confidence and continuity for their legacies through excellent estate and tax planning services.”


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.



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


  • Sacramento County Bar Association Tax Symposium, Speaker


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


  • Dispute Resolution Center, Guardianship Symposium, Moderator and Speaker


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


  • Texas Association of Counties, Judicial Education Sessions, Speaker


  • State Bar of Texas, Advanced Guardianship Seminar, Speaker


  • Sacramento Magazine Top Lawyer, 2016 – 2021
  • Northern California Super Lawyer, 2018 – 2020
  • Sacramento Business Journal Best of the Bar, 2016, 2018-2019
  • Bridge Builder Award, Sacramento Region Community Foundation, 2013-2018
  • 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

  • Steering Committee and Member, Philanthropic Advisors Forum of Greater Sacramento
  • Member, Sacramento Estate Planning Council
  • Former Chair and Member, 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 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


  • Meristem, Secretary and Board Member
  • Michael Ziegler PRIDE Industries Foundation, Board Member
  • Sacramento Region Community Foundation, Former Board Chair and Member
  • Texas Tech University School of Law Foundation, Former Board Member
  • The Community Foundation of West Texas, Former President-Elect, Treasurer and Board Member