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Lawyers

 

  • Laura A. Cavaretta
    Laura A.
    Cavaretta
  • Les Katona, Jr.
    Les
    Katona Jr.
  • William E. Leighner
    William E.
    Leighner
  • Erin R. McNeice
    Erin R.
    McNiece
  • Adriaan Jansse, M.D., J.D.
    Adriaan
    Jansse
  • Gabrielle O'Connor
    Gabrielle
    O'Connor

William E. Leighner

Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

leighnerw@ckl-lawyers.com

Name

Mr. Leighner practiced law in the Virginia/Washington D.C. area for several years before he relocated to San Antonio in 2000. He assists clients in preparing everything from basic wills and powers of attorney to highly complex trusts and wills, focusing on minimization of estate taxes and providing detailed estate management and protection. His practice is focused exclusively on probate, trusts and estate planning issues, and includes complex litigation involving trusts, guardianships and probate estates.

Estate planning is typically performed on a flat fee basis, where the fee is set and agreed upon from the outset once the client's needs are clearly established and understood. This type of arrangement frees clients from the financial concerns associated with hourly fees and enables Mr. Leighner to work with his clients to the extent necessary to establish a full, complete and mutual understanding of his or her estate plan.

As one of a limited number of Board Certified Estate Planning and Probate Law attorneys in San Antonio experienced in litigation, a significant portion of Mr. Leighner's practice involves defending Executors, Trustees, or representing heirs or beneficiaries in litigation involving a decedent's estate under a Will or a Trust.  In San Antonio/Bexar County, these types of cases are heard before one of the two Statutory Probate Courts, specifically created by the Texas Legislature to hear such matters.

Since most Board Certified Estate Planning and Probate Law attorneys do not participate in litigation, they often require the assistance of a litigation attorney to handle contested matters in a Trust or Estate. Often the litigation attorney's experience is primarily before the District Courts rather than the Probate Courts, and his or her knowledge of probate law may be limited. This requires the participation, and expense of both the probate lawyer and the litigation lawyer to handle the case properly. Generally, clients are reluctant to hire two lawyers rather thant one.

Mr. Leighner is married and has children. Laura, his wife of over 27 years, is a retired Lt. Colonel from the United States Air Force.

Practice Areas: Estate Planning; Probate Law; Federal Estate and Gift Taxation; Trust and Estate Litigation involving fiduciaries (such as Trustees, Guardians and Executors) and representing heirs or beneficiaries in enforcing their inheritence rights.

Licensed in Texas, Maryland, Nebraska, Washington, D.C., and Virginia;

Super Lawyers - Rising Star, 2006-2008; San Antonio Best Lawyers (S.A. Scene Magazine) 2008- 2012.

EDUCATION


1989 B.S., Accounting & Finance, Wright State University, Dayton Ohio
1992 M.B.A., Business Administration, Boston University, London, England
1996 J.D., Creighton University School of Law, Omaha, Nebraska

COURTS OF PRACTICE


  • All Texas Courts
  • United States Tax Court
  • Veteran's Appeals
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

PRACTICE AREAS


  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Law
  • Federal Estate and Gift Taxation
  • Trust and Estate Litigation involving fiduciaries (such as Trustees, Guardians and Executors)
  • Representing heirs or beneficiaries in enforcing their inheritence rights

HONORS AND AWARDS


  • Super Lawyers-Rising Star 2006-2008
  • San Antonio Best Lawyers Scene in SA Magazine 2008-2012

MEMBERSHIPS AND ORGANIZATIONS


  • Texas Bar Association
  • San Antonio Bar Association
  • San Antonio Area Estate Planners Council
  • University of Texas Health Science Center Planned Advisory Council
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Maryland Bar Association
  • Nebraska Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association and Washington, D.C. Bar Association