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Susan Shields practices in the areas of tax and family wealth focusing on wealth transfer tax planning for high net worth families and individuals, business planning for closely held family businesses, estate and trust administration, business entity formation, and the formation and administration of tax-exempt organizations. She has also previously served as the leader of the firm’s Tax and Family Wealth Group.

Susan is a frequent speaker on a variety of estate planning, probate and nonprofit topics at professional and continuing legal education seminars and has served as an adjunct professor of law in estate planning at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Her writing credits include “Oklahoma’s New Family Wealth Preservation Trust Act,” published on October 2, 2004, by the Oklahoma Bar Journal and “What Do You Need To Know About Oklahoma’s New Education Lottery?” published on January 15, 2005, by the Oklahoma Bar Journal. She also served as editor and coordinator of the “OBA/CLE 2001 Form Book” and the “OBA/CLE 2005 Form Book” published by the Oklahoma Bar Association.

In addition to being an elected fellow of the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Susan’s achievements have also earned her inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (business organizations; closely held companies and family businesses law; non-profit and charities law; tax law; tax litigation and controversy; trust and estates; trust and estate litigation) and Oklahoma Super Lawyers, where she has been named to its exclusive “Top 25 Women Lawyers” and “Top 50 Oklahoma Lawyers” lists. She was selected by Best Lawyers as the “Oklahoma City Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Lawyer of the Year” in 2015 and “Oklahoma City Trusts and Estates Litigation Lawyer of the Year” for 2016, honors only given to a single lawyer in each legal specialty in each community.

Active in the legal community, Susan previously served as vice president of the Oklahoma Bar Association and also served a three-year term as a member of the OBA’s Board of Governors. In 2014, she completed an eight-year term on the Oklahoma Bar Foundation’s Board of Trustees, which included a one-year term as its president in 2013. She has also taught estate planning and wealth transfer tax as an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma College of law.

 
 

Representative Experience

  • All forms of wealth transfer tax planning and estate planning, including revocable trusts, wills, life insurance planning, dynasty trusts, GRATs, QPRTs, CRTs and IDGTs
  • Business succession planning
  • Asset protection planning, including family wealth preservation trusts
  • Marital planning
  • Family limited partnerships and family limited liability companies
  • Tax-exempt organizations formation and ongoing advice on governance and transactions
  • Will contest litigation and trust
  • Probate and other postmortem planning
  • Preparation and advice concerning estate and gift tax returns
 

Honors and Awards

  • Elected Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (business organizations; closely held companies and family business law; non-profit and charities law; tax law, tax litigation and controversy; trusts and estates; trust and estate litigation)
  • Named “Oklahoma City Closely Held Companies and Family Business Lawyer of the Year” in 2015 and “Oklahoma City Trusts and Estates Litigation Lawyer of the Year” in 2016 by The Best Lawyers in America
  • Listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers
  • Named to Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Top 25 Women Lawyers”
  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubble Peer Review Ratings
  • Named by The Journal Record as a “Fifty Making a Difference” honoree and three-time finalist for “Woman of the Year” honors (2005, 2010 and 2015)
  • Honored with the Oklahoma Bar Association’s OBA President’s Award (2014)
  • Honored with the Oklahoma Bar Foundation’s Roger Scott Memorial Award (2014)
  • Honored with the Oklahoma Bar Foundation’s President’s Award (2008, 2012)
  • Honored with The Journal Record’s Leadership in Law Award, recognizing legal professionals for their professional and civic contributions to the state (2011)
  • Honored with the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Mona Slayer Lambird Spotlight Award (2011)
  • Honored with the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Earl Sneed Award (2005)
  • Honored with Legal Aid of Western Oklahoma’s Outstanding Pro Bono Lawyer Award (1993)

 
Professional Organizations and Memberships

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (Fellow)
  • Oklahoma County Bar Association (Board of Directors, 2014-2016)
  • Oklahoma Bar Association (Vice President, 2014; Board of Governors, 2010-2012; Former Chair, Estate Planning, Probate and Trust; Former Member, Legal Ethics Committee)
  • Oklahoma Bar Foundation (Fellow; Board of Trustees, 2007 -2015; President, 2013)
  • Oklahoma City Estate Planning Council
  • State Bar of California
  • American Bar Foundation (Fellow)
  • University of Oklahoma College of Law (Adjunct Professor)

  
Civic Involvement and Leadership

  • Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (Planned Giving Council)
  • Central Oklahoma Stanford Alumni Club (President)
  • Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (Former Member, Board of Directors)
  • SpiritBank (Former Member, Board of Directors)
  • Leadership Oklahoma (Class XVII)
  • Oklahoma Cleats for Kids (Board of Directors)

 

Articles

Your OBF is Hard at Work

Oklahoma Bar Journal | Vol. 84, No. 23 - September 14, 2013

Counting on you

Oklahoma Bar Journal, Vol. 83, No. 33 | December 8, 2012

Practical advice for planned giving to nonprofit organizations

Oklahoma Bar Journal - Volume 83, No.14 | May 19, 2012

Cy Pres? S'il vous plait!

Oklahoma Bar Journal Vol. 83 - No. 11 | April 4, 2012

2010 year-end estate planning opportunity

McAfee & Taft Tax Bulletin | December 23, 2010

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