Estate Planning, Probate & Guardianship
Attorney Christene “Chris” Krupa Downs focuses her practice on wills, trusts, advance directives, estate planning, guardianships, and probate. She has almost 10 years of legal experience handling estate planning, probate & guardianship legal matters for clients in Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Plano and throughout Collin, Dallas and Denton counties.
In addition to her practice, Chris writes and lectures for local and state bar associations, and at legal seminars. She is a member of various professional organizations, including the Collin County Bar Association, the Dallas Bar Association and the Texas Bar College. She is also active in the State Bar of Texas and serves on the board of the Bar’s Computer and Technology Section Council.
As part of giving back to the Texas community, Chris served on the board of This Side UP! Family Center, an organization providing parenting and family-based education, and City House, a homeless shelter for youth in the Plano and northern Texas. Her additional community contributions are numerous and include serving as a public affairs representative for the Junior League of Collin County. She is also a former Treasurer and Executive Vice President of the organization.
My Promise To You
I am an estate planning attorney engaged in kind and person-centered planning that enhances the systems of love and support for families throughout all walks of life. I am here to help families after the death of a loved one and to guide families through the guardianship process.
I charge competitive fees with a commitment to low bono and pro bono services through my volunteer work.
My mission is to make my clients feel valued and heard, understand their objectives, and meet or exceed their expectations.
- I will actively listen to clients to not only hear what is spoken but what is unspoken.
- I will treat my clients with kindness, compassion, and empathy.
- I will serve my community by being an active volunteer in legal organizations, non-profit organizations and civic organizations.
- I will promote knowledge by attending more than the required hours of continuing legal education.
- I will embrace the use of technology to help me provide quality legal services in a timely & efficient manner.
- I will speak in plain English and do my best to avoid “legalese.”
Background & Career Highlights
Attorney with 10 years serving and advising clients on estate planning, probate and estate administration, and guardianship matters including the use of less restrictive alternatives to guardianship.
Juris Doctorate, Texas Wesleyan School of Law
Bachelor of Arts in Government & Politics, University of Texas at Dallas
State Bar of Texas
State Bar of Texas Computer & Technology Section
- Section Council Member, 2018-2021
College of the State Bar of Texas
Collin County Bar Association
Collin County Bar Association’s Estate Planning & Probate Section
- Section Board Member and Past President of Section Board; Section President 2020-2021
Dallas Bar Association
- Former Chair of Lawyer Referral Service Committee
- Former Chair of Pro Bono Activities Committee
Dallas Bar Association’s Probate, Trusts & Estates Section
- 2018-2019 Probate Manual Subcommittee
- Member of Section Planning Committee starting 2020
Dallas Bar Foundation
Estate Planning Council of North Texas
National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
Texas Bar Foundation
Texas Guardianship Association
Profiled in NAELA News, “Together: NAELA Members Making a Difference in Their Community,” October/November/December 2020 Issue
Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Super Lawyers 2020
Presenter, “Estate Planning 101” and “Guardianship & Alternatives,” Weeks Law Firm, various dates.
Presenter, “Basics of Estate Planning,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Dallas Chapter, April 2020.
Presenter, “Guardianship & Alternatives,” Wylie ISD, Virtual Presentation, April 2020.
Co-Presenter, “Probate and Special Needs,” Accessible Law, UNT Dallas College of Law, Fall 2019 Issue, https://accessiblelaw.untdallas.edu/probate-and-special-needs.
Presenter, “Guardianship & Alternatives,” Plano Independent School District, September 2019.
Author & Presenter, “Probate Procedures and Forms of Administration,” State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division, Webinar, July 2019.
Author & Presenter, “Probate Procedures and Forms of Administration, and Whey They Are Used,” National Business Institute, Estate Administration Bootcamp, May 2019.
Author & Presenter, “Handling Distributions,” National Business Institute, Estate Administration Bootcamp, May 2019.
Presenter, “60 Apps and Tech Tips in 60 Minutes,” State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, June 2020.
Presenter, “60 Apps and Tech Tips in 60 Minutes,” State Bar of Texas Computer & Technology Section, Your Duty of Technical Competence Seminar, December 2019.
Presenter, “60 Apps in 60 Minutes,” State Bar of Texas Computer & Technology Section, Disaster Proofing Your Practice, December 2018.
Author & Presenter, “Practice and Client Management Software,” State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, Law Practice Management, June 2016.
Co-Author & Presenter, “Case Management Software – Solo Conflicts, Checks, and Record- Retention,” State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, Law Practice Management, June
Co-Presenter, “Law Practice Management in the 21st Century,” Collin County Bar Association’s “Making Your Practice Work!” Law Practice Management Seminar, January
Co-Presenter, “What’s Up in Office Technology: How to Avoid Malpractice While Using It,” Collin County Bar Association’s “Making Your Practice Work” Law Practice Management Seminar, January
Author & Presenter, “Practical Tips for Organizing the Tech-Savvy Law Office: A Practitioner’s Point of View,” Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar, October 5,
Author & Presenter, “Office Technology: Practical Tips for Organizing the Small, Tech-Savvy Law Office from a Solo Practitioner’s Point of View,” Collin County Bar Association’s “Making Your Practice Work” Law Practice Management Seminar, January 2012.
Co-Author & Presenter, “Practical Tips for Organizing the Small, Tech-Savvy Law Office: A Practitioner’s Point of View,” Dallas Bar Association, Solo & Small Firm Section, October 2011.
City of Plano’s Cultural Affairs Commission
Feb. 2018 – Present
- Vice Chair of Committee
City of Plano’s Complete Count 2020 Census Committee
Feb. 2019 – Present
- Vice Chair of Committee
- Chair of Business Subcommittee
Collin County Historical Commission Mar. 2017 – Dec. 2019
Community Foundation of Texas’s Advisory Council-
-Oct. 2019 – Present
Hope’s Door Advisory Council June 2018 – Present
Junior League of Collin County Aug. 2011 – Present
- 2020-2021 Sustaining Advisor to Family Violence Committee
- 2018-2020 Public Affairs Representative
- 2017-2018 Executive Vice President
- 2016-2017 Executive Vice President-Elect
- 2015-2016 Treasurer
- 2014-2015 Director of Governance (December 2015 to end of JLCC fiscal year)
- 2014-2015 Treasurer-Elect
- 2013-2014 Way & Means Council, Chair of Grants & Awards Committee
- 2012-2013 Ways & Means Assistant II, Donor Management
North Texas Pioneer Rotary Club Feb. 2011 – 2018
This Side Up Family Center Board of Directors
The Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center – Legacy Chapter
Live From Collin County Board of Directors Sept. 2006 – May 2012
CityHouse Board of Directors Jan. 2001 – July 2007
Leadership Plano Class 22