Areas of Practice

Posted on: December 28, 2016

Wills, trusts, probate, and nonprofit organizations comprise Ellen Dorn’s primary areas of practice.



Ellen works with a wide variety of nonprofit associations, including charitable organizations, membership clubs, trade associations, social welfare organizations, and nonprofit cemeteries.  For new organizations, Ellen offers decades of experience to establish the organization, secure all applicable tax exemptions, and implement sound practices to enable the organization to thrive.  For existing organizations, she offers expertise in all areas of nonprofit compliance, including tax and corporate regulations, charitable registration and solicitation, and lobbying and campaign participation. She can provide board and staff training on key issues related to corporate governance.


Planned giving includes several popular methods for high wealth individuals to make charitable gifts in a taxwise manner that benefits both charity and donor alike.  Ellen can represent either the charity or the donor in structuring charitable remainder trusts, gift annuities, charitable lead trusts, gifts of a remainder interest in a home, and other specialized charitable gifts.  She can serve as a technical resource for a charity’s development office or alternately include these complex gifts as part of a donor’s estate plan.


Having a will is the best way to reduce the expense and trouble that your survivors may confront at your passing. Ellen works in a collaborative manner to make sure that every estate plan accomplishes her client’s desires in a taxwise manner, as simply as possible.  For every estate plan, she prepares powers of attorney and a living will that express the client’s desires and fundamental values.  She has a particular expertise with Living Wills.  In 2010, at the request of the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas, she chaired a committee that drafted a model Catholic Directive to Physicians and a Catholic Medical Power of Attorney, which integrate Catholic teachings and Texas law.


As the past president of a Texas trust company, Ellen fully understands the complexities of probate and trust administration.  If you are responsible for managing the affairs of a loved one who has passed, she will guide you through the options that are available and help you select the most cost effective procedure. She guides her clients through all of the detailed aspects of estate and trust administration, including the management and/or disposal of assets, tax planning, and beneficiary distributions.





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