Christine Butts is a 1993 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin where she obtained her BBA in International Business. In 1996, she graduated from the University of Houston Law School. Christine is Board Certified in Probate and Estate Planning by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. As a law student, Christine was publishing editor of the Houston Journal of International Law.
Christine limits her practice of law to the following areas: probate, estate planning, guardianship, business entities, and charitable organizations. Christine served Harris County as Judge of Probate Court 4 from 2011 to 2018 and, now back in practice, remains dedicated to the mission of serving families in times of crisis when that crisis involves the loss or incapacity of a loved one.
Though she no longer serves as a probate judge for Harris County, she serves as the president of the National College of Probate Judges. Christine is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Houston. Christine and her husband, Donald Butts, have four children, live in Spring, and attend Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Church.
From Christine’s interview for the Masters of Estates & Probate series on ReelLawyers.com.
Honors and Awards
- Elected Judge, Harris County Probate Court 4 (2011 through 2018)
- Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (2003)
- Immediate Past President of the National College of Probate Judges, Williamsburg, Virginia
- AV Rated 5.0 Preeminent Martindale Hubble
- Texas Rising Star (2008, 2009, 2010) as published by Texas Monthly Magazine, Super Lawyer Edition
- Houston’s Top Lawyers for the People (2007, 2008, 2009) as published by H Texas Magazine
- Houston’s Top Lawyers (2007, 2008, 2009) as published by H Texas Magazine
- 4 1/2 Star Rating and Endorsement from the Houston Chronicle
- Endorsement from the Houston Chronicle (2014)
- 2013 Houston Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Questionnaire Results
- 2015 Houston Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Questionnaire Results
- 2017 Houston Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Qualification Poll
Presentations and Published Works
- Course Director for Advanced Guardianship and Elder Law Course; September 2-3, 2020.
- Mental Health Chapter of the Guardianship Manual for the State Bar of Texas
- “Customizing 1301 Trusts—The Next Big Thing” Presented to the State Bar of Texas 20th Annual Guardianship Law and Elder Law Course, April 5th, 2019, Houston, Texas.
- “The Kids are Alright—Navigating Between the Hard-Knock Life and Easy Street When Passing Assets to Children” Presented at the Summer Conference of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, June 23, 2018, Chicago, Illinois.
- “Probate Matters: A View from Both Sides of the Bench.” Presented at the State Bar of Texas Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Course, June 14, 2018, Dallas, Texas.
- “Tips from Judges to Elder and Guardianship Attorneys Errors Seen in the Courtroom and Beyond” Presented at the State Bar of Texas 19th Annual Guardianship Law and Elder Law Course, April 13, 2018, Dallas, Texas.
- “When a Declaratory is Judgment Proper?” Presented at the State Bar of Texas 12th Annual Fiduciary Litigation Course, November 30, 2017, San Antonio, Texas.
- “Drafting Common and Uncommon Pleadings” Presented at the State Bar of Texas 28th Annual Estate Planning and Probate Drafting Course, October 26 & 27, 2017, Houston, Texas.
- “The Runaway ad Litem” Presented at the State Bar of Texas Advanced Guardianship and Elder Law Course, April 7, 2017, Houston, Texas.
- “Attorney and Appointee Fees” Presented to Houston Bar Association’s 2012 Wills and Probate Institute, February 17, 2012
- “Representing Clients Facing Mental Health Commitment” Presented to the Disability and Elder Law Attorney’s Association, October 18, 2012
- “Beneficiary Designations: Has Your World Changed in the Past Five Years?” Presented by the 24th Annual Wills and Probate Institute, South Texas College of Law, September 24-25, 2009
- “Using Revocable Trusts as Estate Planning Tools,” Sponsored by Lorman Education Services, December 2, 2008
- “Use of Living Trusts and Powers of Attorney as Estate Planning Tools,” On file with Riddle, Butts & Akiens, LLP
- “Intestacy and Closing the Estate,” Sponsored by National Business Institute, July 17, 2008
- Frequent guest on the Christian Home Show on KHCB (http://www.khcb.org/)
- “Tax Exempt Organizations in Texas,” Sponsored by Lorman Education Services, February 13, 2007
- “The Future of Family Limited Partnerships in Estate Planning,” Presented to the American Women’s Society of CPA’s, February 4, 2006
- “Choosing a Business Entity in Texas with an Eye Toward Succession Planning” Presented to the Attorneys in Tax and Probate, May 4, 2004
- “Choice of Business Entity in Texas” Houston Business and Tax Law Journal, Volume 4, 2004
- “Choice of Business Entity in Texas,” Presented at the 2003 Accounting Expo Sponsored by the TSCPA Foundation, April 22, 2003
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