Christopher D. Jones is a Member of Sprouse Shrader Smith PLLC whose practice is split between wealth planning and transactional business matters, with an emphasis on trusts & estates, tax issues, and commercial real estate. A substantial portion of his practice is spent creating estate plans for clients. This includes the preparation of wills, trusts, powers of attorneys, and complex estate planning tools such as charitable trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts (SLATs), grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), intentionally defective grantor trusts; (IDGITs), irrevocable family trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs), and family limited partnerships (FLPs). Additionally, Chris assists clients in estate administrations including probating wills, post-death trust administrations, heirship determinations, and the preparation and filing of estate tax returns.
Chris represents numerous business owners in planning and creating new business entities. He handles all types of corporate transactions, including purchase agreements, buy/sell agreements, mergers, and conversions. Chris has also represented dozens of non-profit corporations in the formation and applications for 501(c)(3) status.
Commercial real estate often overlaps the wealth planning and business issues faced by many clients. In representing developers, business clients, and wealthy individuals, Chris regularly advises clients regarding real estate ownership structures, commercial leases, 1031 exchanges, and other various real estate issues.
Chris and his wife are Amarillo natives, who enjoy spending time with their son, Wit, going to OSU football games and traveling.
Chris is also President of a local 1031 exchange company: Lonestar 1031.
Certifications / Specializations
- “Terminating Trusts: Ten Common Issues,” UTCLE, The 24th Annual Estate Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law Conference (August 2022).
- “Fixing Real Estate Headaches: Deeds, Trusts, and Title Issues,” TexasBarCLE, 46th Annual Estate Planning & Probate Course (June 2022); UTCLE, 22nd Annual Estate Planning Guardianship and Elder Law Conference (July 2020).
- “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do – Ethical Duties and Practical Tips When Firing Clients or Changing Firms,” TexasBarCLE, 32nd Annual Estate Planning & Probate Drafting Course (October 2021).
- “Planning for and Litigating a Business Divorce,” TexasBarCLE, 45th Annual Advanced Estate Planning & Probate Course (June 2021).
- “Settlement Agreements – Difficult Issues in Trusts & Estates,” TexasBarCLE, 31st Annual Estate Planning and Probate Drafting Course (October 2020).
- “Trustee, Personal Representative, and Guardianship Resignation: How to Jump Ship,” TexasBarCLE, 44th Annual Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Course (June 2020); UTCLE, 21st Annual Estate Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law Conference (August 2019).
- “Funding Trusts,” TexasBarCLE, Intermediate Estate Planning & Probate Course (June 2020); TexasBarCLE, Handling Your First (or Next) Trust Course (February 2019).
- “Mind Your Business: Confidential Information and Related Parties,” TexasBarCLE, Intermediate Estate Planning & Probate Course (June 2019).
- “DSUE Uncertainty: Drafting to Avoid Conflict and Refine Rights, Remedies, and Obligations,” TexasBarCLE, 28th Annual Estate Planning & Probate Drafting Course (October 2017).
- “Series LLCs: A business structure that provides new options to real estate investors and commercial clients,” Texas Realtor Magazine (April 2017)
- Texas State Courts, 2011
- Southern Methodist University, J.D., 2011
- Oklahoma State University, B.S. in Accounting, 2008
Professional Memberships and Associations
- State Bar of Texas
- Amarillo Young Lawyer’s Association
- Amarillo Bar Association
- Amarillo Area Estate Planning Counsel
- Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Texas
- Texas Bar College
- Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Leadership Program, Class 2018-2019
- Board Member, Amarillo Hockey Association (2021-Present
- Board Member, Teddy Bear Cares (2016-Present)
- Board Member, Amarillo Area Estate Planning Counsel (2016-Present)
- Maverick Boys & Girls Club of Amarillo, Board Member (2017-2018)
- Committee Member, Family Care Foundation (2011-Present)
- iLead AISD (2015)
- Leadership Amarillo, Class of (2014-2015)