Trust and Estate Counsel

Bryan Howard


Bryan Howard is a co-founding member of Howard Mobley Hayes & Gontarek, PLLC. He assists high net-worth families with wealth transfer planning, tax reduction planning, charitable giving and asset protection planning. He also advises the owners of closely-held businesses with respect to tax and business succession issues and represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries with regard to trust and estate administration and litigation issues.

Bryan is certified as an Estate Planning Specialist in Tennessee, has been certified as an Estate Planning Law Specialist by the Estate Law Specialist Board, Inc., and is an Accredited Estate Planner.  Bryan is listed in the Best Lawyers in America (2001-2020 editions) in the Tax, Trusts and Estates, and Litigation – Trust and Estates categories including having been recognized in all three categories as the Lawyer of the Year in Nashville, has been listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers, and has been selected as one of the top 100 U.S. Lawyers by Worth Magazine.  Bryan has the AV rating (highest available) for ethical standards and legal ability from Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review ratings system.

Bryan frequently lectures and writes on estate planning and taxation topics. He publishes the Tennessee Estate Planning Law blog.  Recent articles include:  “Non-Reciprocal Spousal Trusts” presented to the American Institute on Federal Taxation in 2013, “If You Don’t Like This Trust, Why Not Decant to a Better One?” presented to the Louisville Estate Planning Council in 2013, “Trust Me-Your Irrevocable Trust Can Be Modified Without Going to Court” co-presented with Christy Reid to ACTEC in 2012; and “Fixing Broken Trusts: The Uniform Trust Code and Other Tools” published in the Journal of Taxation of Investmentsin 2008.

Practice Areas

  • Estate planning

  • Tax law

  • Estate and trust litigation

  • Business succession planning

  • Charitable planning

  • Estate administration

Professional Activities

  • Fellow and Tennessee State Chair, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

  • Numerous legislative activities, including, principal draftsman of the Tennessee Community Property Trust Act of 2010 and the Tennessee Investment Services Trust Act of 2007, Member of Committee which drafted Tennessee Uniform Trust Code (2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013), Member of Tennessee Bar Association’s Probate Study Committee, which reviews and recommends legislation involving trusts and estates in Tennessee, and member of the Tennessee Banker’s Association Trust Committee on Legislation which reviews and recommends legislation regarding trusts in Tennessee.

  • Former Chairman (1994 & 2006), Estate Planning Committee, Nashville Bar Association

  • Former Chairman (2004), Tax Committee, Nashville Bar Association


  • B.S., Business Administration, University of California at Berkeley, 1979

  • J.D., Vanderbilt University, 1983

  • L.L.M., Taxation, University of Florida, 1984