Hayes &


Trust And Estate Counsel

Let Us Introduce Ourselves

Howard Mobley Hayes & Gontarek, PLLC is a law firm located in Nashville, Tennessee that specializes in estate planning, trust and estate administration and related litigation.

Our attorneys have extensive experience providing a wide range of estate planning and trust and probate administration services, including comprehensive, tax-sensitive estate planning; business succession planning; family business formation and operational planning; charitable planning; asset protection and wealth preservation; and litigation involving trusts and estates.

Howard Mobley Hayes & Gontarek, PLLC provides the expertise of a large firm, while providing the outstanding service and responsiveness to client needs that can only be found in a small firm setting. For a detailed discussion of the firm’s areas of expertise, please click on the Practice Areas page of this website.

Our attorneys are at the forefront of advanced estate planning strategies and issues, legal scholarship in Tennessee concerning wills and estates, and are actively involved in drafting Tennessee legislation involving trusts and estates. Our attorneys are listed in the Best Lawyers of America and other national lists of top estate planning attorneys, are Certified Estate Planning Specialists in Tennessee, are fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), have advanced degrees in Taxation Law, and have attained the highest possible rating of “AV” from Martindale Hubbell, the national directory of attorneys, indicating preeminent legal ability and the highest level of professional ethics.

Our attorneys have a client-centered approach toward estate planning that focuses on accomplishing our clients’ goals and objectives.  The photographs scattered throughout our website are depictions of our attorneys’ extended families.  Our firm prides itself on making your family feel like they are a part of our extended family and providing the highest quality legal services while making you comfortable with the entire estate planning process.  We offer direct access to experienced and highly knowledgeable attorneys, relaxed billing practices, a dedicated and personable staff, and a convenient location and parking.

We welcome your inquiry and invite you to contact us for further information regarding our services. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, please contact us by e-mail, or call us at (615) 627-4444.



From Our Blog

Decanting to Increase Income Tax Basis

I am currently working with an elderly client named John who is the beneficiary of a $6 million trust established by his father.  Upon his death, half of the trust will be distributed to his daughter; the other half will be distributed in equal shares to the children of his deceased son.  The trust owns a lot of stocks that were transferred to the trust upon his father’s death in 1989.  These stocks have a very low basis in comparison to the current fair market value of the stocks.  The trust is exempt from GST taxes and will not be subject to estate tax or GST tax upon his death.  Because the trust will not be subject to estate or GST tax, there will not be any change in the basis in the stocks of the trust upon his death. Therefore, when the daughter and grandchildren eventually sell the stocks, they will incur substantial capital gains taxes.  John would like for his daughter and grandchildren to receive a higher basis in the stocks, if that is possible. 

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