John F. Bergner

Shareholder; Chair, Wealth Preservation Practice Group
500 Winstead Building
2728 N. Harwood Street
Dallas, Texas 75201
214.745.5289 Direct
214.745.5390 Fax
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John F. Bergner is a shareholder in the Dallas, Texas office of Winstead PC. Mr. Bergner has been with Winstead for more than 28 years and serves as chairman of the wealth preservation practice group. Mr. Bergner is a specialist in estate planning and probate law certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. His practice involves complex tax, estate and business succession planning as well as administration of estates. He earned a B.B.A. and J.D. from Washburn University, and an M.L.T. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Mr. Bergner is active in the American Bar Association and is past chair of the Estate and Gift Tax Committee of the ABA’s Tax Section. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He has lectured at numerous tax and estate planning seminars and is a visiting adjunct professor at the University of Miami Law School. He serves on the Editorial Board of the Practical Tax Lawyer, published by the ALI-ABA.

Representative Experience

  • Provides estate planning and administration of estates and trusts, including charitable and post-mortem tax planning and rendering advice regarding fiduciary responsibilities
  • Represents and counsels individuals and entities regarding asset preservation and creditors in connection with claims against estates and trusts
  • Organizes and qualifies private foundations and other nonprofit organizations
  • Implements sophisticated estate planning techniques, including business succession plans, grantor retained annuity trusts and installment sale of limited partnership interests to grantor trusts
  • Provides counsel to corporate trustees and trust departments
    Bar Admissions
    • Texas, 1985
    • District of Columbia, 1983
    • Missouri, 1983
    • Kansas, 1982
    Georgetown University Law Center
    • M.L.T., 1985
    • Editorial Board, The Tax Lawyer, published by the American Bar Association (1984-1985)
    Washburn University School of Law
    • J.D., 1982
    Washburn University
    • B.B.A., 1979
    Professional & Community Involvement
    • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (Fellow)
    • American Bar Association Estate and Gift Taxes Committee (Member and Chairman, 2006-2008)
    • University of Miami School of Law (Adjunct Professor)
    • Editorial Board of The Practical Tax Lawyer, published by the American Law Institute - American Bar Association (Editorial Board)
    • Communities Foundation of Texas (Advisory Council)
    • Children's Medical Center Foundation (Advisory Council)
    • Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern (Estate Planning Council)
    • National Committee on Planned Giving
    Awards & Recognition
    • Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
    • Top 100 Attorneys, Worth, 2005-2007
    • Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011,  2012, and 2013
    • Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates, 2003-2014
    • Texas Super Lawyers, Estate Planning & Probate, Texas Monthly, 2003-2007, 2009-2013 
    Presentation Topics
    • Waste Not Want Not - Creative Use of General Powers of Appointment to Fund Tax-Advantaged Trusts
    • Advanced GRAT Planning
    • Pre-IPO & Merger Strategies
    • Closely Held Businesses, Succession Planning & Minimizing Transfer Taxes
    • Cutting-Edge Issues in Estate Planning For Deferred Compensation
    • Estate Planning for Oil and Gas Owners
    • How Community Property Laws Impact Estate Planning
    • Executive Planning-Split/Dollar Nonqualified Benefit Plans, Stock Options, Rabbi Trusts, 2nd-to-Die Life Insurance Policy
    • Business Succession Planning Techniques to Minimize Taxes and Family Disputes
    • Crummey Withdrawal Powers: The Whys and Hows
    • Ethics: The Attorney Representing or Serving as Fiduciary
    • Tax Consequence Marital Agreements
    • Comprehensive Charitable Tax Planning

    Venues spoken to:

    • New York University Tax Institute
    • Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning
    • American Bar Association Tax Section Meetings
    • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
    • Maryland Board of Certified Public Accountants Advanced Estate Planning Conference
    • Texas Bar Association Seminars
    • Texas Board of Certified Public Accountants Advanced Estate Planning Conference
    • Various Estate Planning Councils
    • Virginia State Bar Advanced Estate Planning and Administration Seminar
    • University of Richmond Estate Planning Conference
    • Investment Management Consultants Association Conferences
    • Estate Planners Annual Conference
    • University of Chicago Chartered Private Wealth Advisor Program