Joseph C. Sleeth

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

United States
T:+1 713 651 5527
United States
T:+1 713 651 5527
Joseph C. Sleeth

Joseph C. Sleeth



Joe Sleeth, a partner since 1983, practices in the Houston office. His practice is focused on all areas of wealth transfer planning, with a special emphasis on the transfer of family or privately-held businesses. Joe counsels clients with respect to transfer tax planning, charitable planning, privately-held business arrangements and transfers and business succession planning. Joe also represents individuals and corporate fiduciaries and beneficiaries of estates and trusts.

Many of Joe's clients seek assistance with complex charitable planning, as well as international planning matters. Joe was certified in estate planning and probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1980.

Professional experience

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JD, cum laude, Baylor University School of Law, 1975
BA, Political Science, Baylor University, 1974

While attending Baylor University Joe was a member of Phi Delta Phi. He was admitted to practice law in Texas in 1975.

  • Texas State Bar
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers, 2007 – 2021
  • Best Lawyers - Trusts and Estates, Best Lawyers, 2022 - 2024
  • Chambers HNW, Texas Private Wealth Law, Chambers & Partners, 2016 – 2021
  • Five Star Estate Planning Attorney, Five Star Professional, 2014
  • Texas Top Rated Lawyer, LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, 2012 – 2020
  • Texas Super Lawyer, Estate & Probate, Thomson Reuters, 2003 – 2004, 2006 – 2020, 2022
  • Texas Super Lawyer, top 100 Houston lawyer, Thomson Reuters, 2011
  • National Register's Who's Who in Executives and Professionals, Heritage Registry, 2005 – 2006
  • Co Author, "Tax Alert for Non-U.S. People Owning U.S. Property", Fulbright Briefing, June 26, 2012
  • Co Author, "Tax Changes Effective as of January 1, 2012: Significant Implications For Estate Planning", Fulbright Briefing, January 20, 2012
  • Co Author, "New Estate and Gift Tax Legislation: Highlights and Recommendations", Fulbright Briefing, April 12, 2011
  • Co Author, "Opportunities for Owners of Early Stage Businesses Under the 2010 Tax Relief Act", The International Law Firm of Fulbright & Jaworski - Trusts & Estates, 2010
  • Co Author, "An Informational Lifeline for the Family", The Texas Tax Lawyer, Winter 2011
  • Co Author, "2010 Year End Planning Opportunity", Fulbright Alert, November 17, 2010
  • Co Author, "Selling A Business - Designing Your Life Post Transaction", The International Law Firm of Fulbright & Jaworski - Corporate, October 7, 2010
  • Co Author, "Making Congressional Lemons into Lemonade", The International Law Firm of Fulbright & Jaworski - Trusts & Estates, September 21, 2010
  • Co Author, "2010 Repeal of Federal Estate and GST Taxes: Its Immediate Impact", Fulbright Briefing, January 28, 2010
  • Panelist, "The dynamics of creating and operating a family office," 2014 Texas Family Business Forum, Houston, Texas, May 29, 2014
  • "FBAR and FATCA - Do These Federal Laws Apply to Your Trust Company?," South Dakota Trust Company Forum on Private/Public Trust Companies, May 21, 2014
  • Co-panelist, "FATCA for Trusts and Estates: What Fiduciaries and Beneficiaries Need to Know," Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. web seminar, May 23, 2013
  • Co-panelist, "Current Estate Planning Topics: Shell Seminar Series," Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., Houston, Texas, August 21, 2012
  • Co-panelist, "Private Company Owner Exit Strategy: Window of Opportunity," Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. and Barclays seminar, Houston, Texas, May 22, 2012
  • Co-panelist, "Planning Your Exit: Strategies and Tactics," Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. and Pangaea Solutions, Inc. seminar, Austin, Texas, October 11, 2011
  • Co-panelist, "Traps and Treasures: Effective Property Transfers Between Related Parties and Increased IRS Attention," Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. web seminar, August 24, 2011
  • Co-panelist, "Selling A Business - Designing Your Life Post Transaction," Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. and Bernstein Wealth Management web seminar, October 7, 2010
  • Co-panelist, "The First Step Before Selling Your Business - Planning Your Future," Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. and Barclays Wealth seminar, Houston Texas, October 6, 2010
  • Co-panelist, "Making Congressional Lemons into Lemonade: Creating an Action Plan for Your Estate," Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. seminar, September 21, 2010
  • "FLP's and Other Estate Planning Updates," The Financial Planning Association of Houston, Houston, Texas, 2004
  • "Split Dollar has Split and Hooray for the UPIA: Essentials Financial Professionals Need to Know," Society of Financial Service Professionals, Houston Chapter, 2004
  • "Changes in Trust Administration; Updates on Other Important Texas Trust and Probate Legislation," Continuing Education Program, Texas A&M Foundation Trust Company, Bryan/College Station, Texas, 2003
  • "Successful Planning for the Entrepreneur," Wells Fargo Private Client Education Program, Houston, Texas, 2003
  • "Pursuing Exit Strategies," 2002 Family and Owner-Managed Business Program, Texas A&M University Lowry Mays College and Graduate School of Business, Bryan/College Station, Texas, 2002
  • "Advanced Planning Techniques," Society of Financial Service Professionals, Houston Chapter, Houston, Texas, 2002
  • "Business Succession Planning," Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center, Business Success in Planning Conference, Houston, Texas, 2001 
  • State Bar of Texas
    • Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, former member of the council
    • Texas Guardianship Code Committee, former Chair
    • Tax Section
      • Inheritance Tax Committee, former member
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
  • Houston Bar Association
    •  Probate, Trust and Estate Section
    • Tax Section
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
  • Houston Estate and Financial Forum
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Fellow
  • Texas Academy of Probate and Trust Lawyers
  • Houston Business & Estate Planning Council
  • Southwestern Seminary Foundation, Fort Worth, Texas, Former Trustee
  • Greater Houston Community Foundation, Professional Advisors Council
  • Texas A&M University Foundation Planned Giving Council
  • Baylor University Planned Giving Council
  • Houston Baptist University, Former Trustee
  • Star of Hope Mission, Trustee and Chairman of the Board
  • Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas
    • Special Outside Counsel on planned giving
    • Deacon
    • Bible Study Mentor
  • Joshua Foundation, Houston, Texas
    • Special Outside Counsel on planned giving