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Susan B. Shields

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  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Honors & Involvement
Bio overview

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 and wealth transfer tax 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 (ACTEC) and serving as the Oklahoma state chair of ACTEC, Susan’s achievements have also earned her recognition as a top-ranked private wealth lawyer in Chambers HNW, the guide to the world’s leading high net worth advisers, where sources have described her as “a warm, caring person” who is “technically excellent” and “manages expectations well and makes document drafting consistent with the client’s goals.”

Susan has also been recognized 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 10 Lawyers,” “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” for 2015, “Oklahoma City Trusts and Estates Litigation Lawyer of the Year” for 2016, “Oklahoma City Business Organizations Lawyer of the Year” for 2017 and 2019, “Oklahoma City Tax Litigation and Controversy Lawyer of the Year” for 2018, and “Oklahoma City Nonprofit/Charities Lawyer of the Year” for 2020, honors only given to a single lawyer in each legal specialty in each market.

Active in the legal community, Susan is president-elect of the Oklahoma Bar Association in 2019, having previously served as vice president in 2014 and also serving a three-year term as a member of the OBA’s Board of Governors from 2010 – 2012. In 2015, 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.

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Experience, Honors, & Awards

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
  • Listed in Chambers HNW as a top-ranked high net worth adviser in the category of Private Wealth Law
  • 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 Businesses Lawyer of the Year” in 2015, “Oklahoma City Trusts and Estates Litigation Lawyer of the Year” for 2016, “Oklahoma City Business Organizations Lawyer of the Year” for 2017 and 2019, “Oklahoma City Tax Litigation and Controversy Lawyer of the Year” for 2018, and “Oklahoma City Nonprofit/Charities Lawyer of the Year” for 2020 by The Best Lawyers in America
  • Listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers
  • Named to Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ lists of “Top 10 Oklahoma Lawyers,” “Top 25 Women Lawyers,” and “Top 50 Oklahoma Lawyers”
  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubble Peer Review Ratings
  • Honored with The Journal Record Award by the Oklahoma County Bar Association for outstanding service to the legal profession (2016)
  • 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 Salyer 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 and Oklahoma State Chair)
  • Oklahoma County Bar Association (Board of Directors, 2014-2016)
  • Oklahoma Bar Association (President-Elect, 2019; Vice President, 2014; Board of Governors, 2010-2012; Former Chair, Estate Planning, Probate and Trust)
  • 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)
  • 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)

ATPs display in this column

At The Podium

Estate Planning Tips

2019 OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference
Tulsa, OK | June 21, 2019

Basics of Tax Classification — Public Charities, Private Foundations, Supporting Organizations

New Challenges for Nonprofit Organizations seminar presented by the Oklahoma Bar Association and Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | September 26, 2013

Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning

The Legal Forum Radio Series
October 29, 2011
Attorney Articles

Articles

Your OBF is Hard at Work

Oklahoma Bar Journal |

Counting on you

Oklahoma Bar Journal, Vol. 83, No. 33 |

Practical advice for planned giving to nonprofit organizations

Oklahoma Bar Journal - Volume 83, No.14 |

Cy Pres? S’il vous plait!

Oklahoma Bar Journal Vol. 83 - No. 11 |

2010 year-end estate planning opportunity

McAfee & Taft Tax Bulletin |

Do you need to update your estate plan?

McAfee & Taft AgLINC |

What Do You Need To Know About Oklahoma’s New Education Lottery?

Oklahoma Bar Journal |

Oklahoma’s New Family Wealth Preservation Trust Act

Oklahoma Bar Journal |
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Admissions

  • California, 1989
  • Oklahoma, 1992
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. Tax Court
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Education

  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1989
  • B.A., with honors, Stanford University, 1986
    • National Merit Scholar
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In The News

Oklahoma Super Lawyers 2019
Susan Shields Chambers High Net Worth
Susan Shields elected as 2019 Oklahoma Bar Association’s Board of Governors President-Elect
Super Lawyers 2018
Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2019

The Best Lawyers in America names 107 McAfee & Taft attorneys to 2019 edition

McAfee & Taft, Susan Shields top-ranked by Chambers High Net Worth 2018

Best Lawyers names 11 McAfee & Taft attorneys 2018 ‘Lawyers of the Year’ in 12 practice areas

The Best Lawyers in America names 102 McAfee & Taft attorneys to 2018 edition

Best Lawyers names 21 McAfee & Taft attorneys 2017 ‘Lawyers of the Year’ in 22 practice areas

Shields wins Journal Record Award

The Journal Record |

Susan Shields wins prestigious The Journal Record Award

Best Lawyers names 17 McAfee & Taft attorneys as 2016 ‘Lawyer of the Year’ in 18 categories

Susan Shields honored with 2014 Roger Scott Memorial Award

Susan Shields sworn in as vice president of OBA Board of Governors

Susan Shields named 2013 president of Oklahoma Bar Foundation

McAfee & Taft attorney Susan Shields honored with 2011 Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award

McAfee & Taft attorneys honored with 2011 Leadership in Law Award

Susan Shields Sworn In As New Member of Oklahoma Bar Association Board of Governors

Attorney Susan Shields Joins McAfee & Taft