Craig Martin Stephens

Craig Martin Stephens: Attorney with Sirote & Permutt, P.C.


Craig's practice focuses on representing individuals in the estate planning process, with a focus on tax minimization strategies. Craig represents families, often multiple generations, in connection with implementing 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.

Awards & Accreditations

•Chambers USA, 2018
•Best Lawyers in America
•Mid-South Super Lawyers
•AV-Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating

Outside the Office

Girlspring, Inc.
Board of Directors

Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation
Board Member
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama
Past Member of the Board of Directors

Professional Profile


•Chambers USA, 2018
•The Best Lawyers in America
•Trusts and Estates, 2011-18
•Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2010-16
•AV-Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating
•American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), fellow
•Birmingham Magazine, Top Attorney, Trusts and Estates, 2009; 2011

Thought Leadership

•Practice is focused on taxation, estate planning, business succession planning, charitable planning and trust and estate administration
•Has 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
•Cumberland Law School, Adjunct professor in Estate Planning and Estate & Gift Tax courses
•Past faculty member, and current planning committee member for the Annual Estate Planning Seminar presented by the Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education


Sirote’s Craig Stephens Chosen by AFPAL as The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham Outstanding Professional Advisor of 2015 for Supporting Philanthropy - 11/6/2015

Sirote & Permutt Announces 47 Attorneys Selected as The Best Lawyers in America for 2016 - 8/17/2015

Sirote & Permutt Announces 28 Attorneys Selected As Alabama Super Lawyers 2015 - 5/27/2015

Sirote & Permutt Attorneys Included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2015 - 8/19/2014

Sirote & Permutt Attorneys to Speak at 95th Alabama Society of CPAs Annual Meeting - 6/3/2014

Sirote & Permutt Announces 28 Attorneys Selected As Alabama Super Lawyers 2014 - 4/28/2014

Sirote Attorney Craig Stephens in the News! - 10/16/2013

Best Lawyers Recognizes 46 Sirote Attorneys as the Best Lawyers in America for 2014 - 8/16/2013

Two Sirote Attorneys Selected as Top 50 Alabama Super Lawyers 2013 - 7/2/2013

Sirote & Permutt Announces 30 Attorneys Selected as Alabama Super Lawyers 2013 - 6/14/2013

Sirote & Permutt Estate Planning Alert: What to Know Before Donating - 5/24/2013

Sirote Legal Alert: The Changing Tax Climate - 12/10/2012

Best Lawyers Recognizes 43 Attorneys from Sirote & Permutt as the Best Lawyers in America for 2013 - 11/5/2012

Corporate, Tax and Estate Planning Attorneys Speak at ASCPA Annual Meeting - 6/22/2012

Birmingham Magazine Names 14 from Sirote as Top Attorneys - 2/2/2012

The Latest in Estate Planning from Sirote Co-authors Apolinsky and Stephens - 12/22/2011

Craig Stephens fellow in the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel - 4/25/2011

Best Lawyers has selected 32 attorneys from Sirote & Permutt for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America for 2011 - 8/27/2010

Birmingham Magazine Recognizes 17 From Sirote As Top Attorneys - 3/10/2009

Speeches & Publications

•Co-author, J.K. Lasser's New Rules for Estate and Tax Planning , Third Edition (2009 ed.)
•Editor, Sirote Estate Planning Blog
•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 2012 Annual Meeting
•Author, “Pavarotti’s Planning Predicament”, Estate Planning Advantage, Spring 2008
•Co-author,“Make Low Interest Rates Work for Your Estate Plan: GRATS and Loans to Family Members”, Estate Planning Advantage, Fall 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, “The Bottom Line”, Birmingham Business Journal, September 18, 2009
•Co-author, Strategic Advice for Successful Estate Planning , New Strategies for Estate Planning, (Thomson/Reuters 2008)
•Author, Congressional Bills Could Reshape Estate Planning , Birmingham Business Journal, July 1, 2005
•Author, Targeted Family Business Carveout Fails to Avoid Estate Tax , 107 Tax Notes 365, 2005
•Contributing editor, J.K. Lasser's New Rules for Estate and Tax Planning , Second Edition (2005 ed.)
•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 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 457, 1996
•Author, ERISA, The Inevitable But Unexpected Hurdles of the Plaintiff's Welfare Benefit Plan , 20:1 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 151, 1996

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.

Areas of Practice (8)

  • Tax
  • Private Clients, Trusts and Estates
  • Business & Succession Planning
  • Estate Planning & Administration
  • High Net Worth Individuals & Families
  • Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
  • Individuals, Families, Estates & Trusts
  • Real Estate

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
205-930-5246  Phone
205.212.3858  Fax
University Attended:
Stetson University, B.A., English, 1993
Law School Attended:
Cumberland School of Law of Samford University, J.D., 1997; University of Florida School of Law, LL.M., Taxation, 2000
Year of First admission:
1997, Alabama


•Birmingham and Alabama State Bar Associations
•American Bar Association
•Real Property and Probate Section
•Project Corporate Leadership, 2003-2004
•Clerked for US District Court Judge Virgil Pittman in the Southern District of Alabama
•Alabama Planned Giving Council, past president and board member

Birth Information:
Ft. Pierce, Florida, March 26, 1971

Peer Reviews

  • 4.9/5.0 (9 reviews)
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
  • Legal Knowledge

  • Analytical Capability

  • Judgment

  • Communication

  • Legal Experience

  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Sole Practitioner on 07/27/10 in Taxation

    Continuously since 2002, I have worked closely with Craig on many legal matters involving taxation, wills, and trusts and from that firsthand experience, I know Craig to be an excellent lawyer in all of these practice areas. I have also heard him spe... Read more

    Read more

    Continuously since 2002, I have worked closely with Craig on many legal matters involving taxation, wills, and trusts and from that firsthand experience, I know Craig to be an excellent lawyer in all of these practice areas. I have also heard him speak at several legal seminars and he not only speaks with great clarity, but also presents very well written outlines of the subject. Craig is a an excellent member of the legal profession. Read less

    Read less
  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Associate on 07/06/10 in Estate and Gift Taxation

See All 9 Reviews »

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

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