Craig represents individuals in the estate planning process, with a focus on strategies that minimize taxes. Craig represents families, often multiple generations, and helps implement wealth transfer strategies for closely held business interests as part of an overall business succession plan. Craig's trust and estate administration practice is designed to help families carry out their testamentary goals, with careful attention to tax implications and family relationships.
What is the best part of your job?
Seeing the relief clients feel, knowing that they have planned for their families in case the unexpected happens.
What are you most proud of in your practice?
Knowing that we can bring some order and structure to a family in what is normally a turbulent time after losing a loved one.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love spending time traveling with my family and watching our kids experience new places.
Awards and Accreditations
•The Best Lawyers in America
•AV-Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating
•Mid-South Super Lawyers
•The Best Lawyers in America
•Trusts and Estates (2011-2019)
•Chambers USA (2018)
•AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating
•Mid-South Super Lawyers (2010-2015)
•Birmingham Magazine, Top Attorney
•Trusts and Estates (2009-2011)
•Practice is focused on taxation, estate planning, business succession planning, charitable planning, and trust and estate administration
•Represented clients in connection with family wealth transfer planning, including planning with family limited liability companies and family limited partnerships, tax planning with retirement assets, and other taxation minimization strategies
•Advises clients regarding the probate administration process, including income taxation issues surrounding administration of trusts and estates
•Past faculty member and current planning committee member for the Annual Estate Planning Seminar presented by the Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education
Outside the Office
•Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation
•Board of Directors
•Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama
•Former Board of Directors
•Samford University's Cumberland School of Law
•Adjunct Professor, Estate Planning and Estate and Gift Tax courses
•Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education
•Planning Committee Member
•Former Faculty Member
•Honorable Virgil Pittman, United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of Alabama
Speeches and Publications
•Editor, Sirote's Estate Planning Advantage
•Author, Show Your Heart for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama, Sirote Supports, August 2012
•Speaker, “Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Issues,” Alabama Society of CPA's Annual Meeting, 2012
•Author, “The Bottom Line,” Birmingham Business Journal, September 18, 2009
•Co-author, J.K. Lasser's New Rules for Estate and Tax Planning, Third Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009
•Co-author, “Make Low Interest Rates Work for Your Estate Plan: GRATS and Loans to Family Members,” Estate Planning Advantage, Fall 2008
•Author, “Pavarotti’s Planning Predicament, Estate Planning Advantage, Spring 2008
•Co-author, Strategic Advice for Successful Estate Planning, New Strategies for Estate Planning (Thomson/Reuters), 2008
•Author, “Estate Tax Reform Efforts in 2007,” Estate Planning Advantage, Spring 2007
•Author, “Pension Protection Act Offers New Retirement Plan Beneficiary Options,” Estate Planning Advantage, Spring 2007
•Author, Congressional Bills Could Reshape Estate Planning, Birmingham Business Journal, July 1, 2005
•Contributing Editor, J.K. Lasser's New Rules for Estate and Tax Planning, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005
•Author, Targeted Family Business Carve-out Fails to Avoid Estate Tax, 107 Tax Notes 365, 2005
•Co-author, Now You See It, Now You Don't-NOW YOU SEE IT AGAIN: The Federal Estate Tax, Senior Living, August 2002
•Author, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act: Favorable Tax Treatment for MSAs, 20:2 American Journal of Trial Advocacy 457, 1996
•Author, ERISA: The Inevitable But Unexpected Hurdles of the Plaintiff's Welfare Benefit Plan, 20:1 American Journal of Trial Advocacy 151, 1996
•Sirote’s Private Clients, Trusts and Estates Practice Group and Four of its Attorneys have received Distinguished Recognition from Chambers and Partners in Chambers High Net Worth Guide
•Sirote’s Craig Stephens Chosen by AFPAL as The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham Outstanding Professional Advisor of 2015 for Supporting Philanthropy
•Sirote & Permutt Announces 47 Attorneys Selected as The Best Lawyers in America for 2016
•Sirote & Permutt Announces 28 Attorneys Selected As Alabama Super Lawyers 2015
•Sirote & Permutt Attorneys Included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2015
•Sirote & Permutt Attorneys to Speak at 95th Alabama Society of CPAs Annual Meeting
•Sirote & Permutt Announces 28 Attorneys Selected As Alabama Super Lawyers 2014
•Sirote Attorney Craig Stephens in the News!
•Best Lawyers Recognizes 46 Sirote Attorneys as the Best Lawyers in America for 2014
•Two Sirote Attorneys Selected as Top 50 Alabama Super Lawyers 2013
•Sirote & Permutt Announces 30 Attorneys Selected as Alabama Super Lawyers 2013
•Sirote & Permutt Estate Planning Alert: What to Know Before Donating
•Sirote Legal Alert: The Changing Tax Climate
•Best Lawyers Recognizes 43 Attorneys from Sirote & Permutt as the Best Lawyers in America for 2013
•Corporate, Tax and Estate Planning Attorneys Speak at ASCPA Annual Meeting
•Birmingham Magazine Names 14 from Sirote as Top Attorneys
•The Latest in Estate Planning from Sirote Co-authors Apolinsky and Stephens
•Craig Stephens fellow in the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel
•Best Lawyers has selected 32 attorneys from Sirote & Permutt for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America for 2011
•Birmingham Magazine Recognizes 17 From Sirote As Top Attorneys
Legal Research & Writing, Cumberland School of Law, 1995-1996. Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy. Member, University of Florida Tax Review. Judicial Law Clerk, Judge Virgil Pittman, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama, 1997-1998. Author: American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Vol. 20:1 (1996); American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Vol. 20:2 (1997). Co-Author: "Now You See It, Now You Don't - Now You See It Again: The Federal Estate Tax," Senior Living, August 2002. Contributing Author: J.K. Lasser's New Rules for Estate and Tax Planning, Second Edition (2005 ed.). Author: "Targeted Family Business Carveout Fails to Avoid Estate Tax," 107 Tax Notes 365 (2005). Past Instructor, Financial Planning Certification Course - Estate Planning, University of Alabama at Birmingham Special Studies Program. Guest Lecturer, Estate Planning Courses, Cumberland School of Law. Member: Birmingham and American Bar Associations.