Estate Litigation

This area includes probate matters such as will contests, will construction, and removal of an administrator.

Trust Litigation

Matters including trust contests, trust terminations, breaches of fiduciary duty, and removals of trustees


A branch of estate litigation, this area focuses on inheritances when no will is found and includes common-law spouse determinations


Occurs when a minor or adult is incapacitated and needs the probate court to appoint someone to assist in handling their affairs.

Will Hartnett, Partner at The Hartnett Law Firm

Will F. Hartnett


Board certified in estate planning and probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

James Hartnett Jr. Partner at The Hartnett Law Firm

James J. Hartnett, Jr.


Twice selected by Texas Lawyer’s as Texas’s “Go-To” attorney for trust and Estate matters.

Jay Hartnett, a Partner at The Hartnett Law Firm

Jay Hartnett


Jay served as Chairman of the Probate Trusts and Estates Section of the Dallas Bar Association.

Fred Hartnett Jr. a Partner at The Hartnett Law Firm

Fred Hartnett


Fred has been with the firm since 1994 and has given back to the Probate community serving as chairman of the Probate section and as a DVAP mentor.

Melinda Hartnett, a Partner at The Hartnett Law Firm

Melinda Hartnett


Melinda is licensed in both New York and Texas and handles many of the firm’s guardianship cases.

Tanner Hartnett, associate at the Hartnett Law Firm

Tanner Hartnett


A Thomson Reuters 2023 rising star. Tanner focuses much of her work on guardianships and administrations.

Patrick Crim, Associate at Hartnett Law Firm

Patrick Crim


Patrick is a graduate of Baylor University and assists with general probate litigation work.

Michael Hartnett, associate with Hartnett Law Firm

Michael Hartnett


The most recent addition to the firm. Michael assists with general probate litigation work.

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A Top Rated Dallas Law Firm

Our firm ranks among the top tier in Texas receiving an “AV” rating in the Martindale-Hubble Law Directory, the highest given by the organization. The Firm is also listed under its Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Individually, some lawyers in our firm have been recognized among the state’s best attorneys. For example, Jim Jr., and Will have both been recognized by Thomson Reuters as Super Lawyers from 2003-2017, Jim Jr., was also recognized by Texas Lawyer as 2013’s Go-To Lawyer in Trust and Estate Law, and Tanner Hartnett & Jay Hartnett was named as Rising Stars by Thomson Reuters in 2019 & 2004 respectively.

News and Events

Get the latest information related to law and justice, company news and more.

writing a will

What If I Die Without a Will in Texas?

Whether it’s because they think it’s unnecessary or is afraid of facing death and the unknown, many people never sign a will. This can create a myriad of problems, expense, and hoops for a family to jump through, but your estate can still be administered without a will.  When you die with a will the […]

Jim Hartnett, Jr. is recognized as “2020 Best Lawyer” by D Magazine

In May, D Magazine published its annual list of Best Lawyers, and Jim was named to that list. Jim is consistently recognized as one of the top lawyers in trust and estate litigation in Dallas.

Tanner Hartnett named 2020 Rising Star in Estate & Trust Litigation by Thomson Reuters

Tanner was again named a Rising Star by Thomson Reuters in their annual publication of top lawyers under 40.

Tanner Hartnett named 2019 Rising Star in Estate & Trust Litigation by Thomson Reuters

In 2019, Thomson Reuters recognized the top lawyers under 40 as rising stars. Tanner was one of those attorneys recognized specifically for trust & estate litigation.