Stephen Phelps, who retired in 2009 after 30 years of law practice, is the original founder of Phelps Law. As a young attorney back in the early 1980’s, Stephen had the courage to “hang out his shingle” and, as he puts it, sit around and wait for the phone to ring… and ring it did! Over his 30 years of practice, Stephen helped thousands of clients plan for the future. Stephen was preparing Living Trusts for his clients at a time when hardly anyone knew what a Living Trust was. Today, those trusts have withstood the test of time and have served his clients and their families well.
Stephen is loved by his clients. They appreciated his experience, practical wisdom and sense of humor as he counseled them – not just as their attorney but as their close friend.
Stephen’s son, James, and all of us at Phelps Law are grateful for his foresight because we now have the privilege of working with the families who he counseled, and we see their estate plans work in real life… and they really do work!
Stephen and his wife Carolei are now enjoying their 10 children and 48 grandchildren (and still counting). Every single child and grandchild lives within 20 minutes of “Grammy and Papa’s” house, so needless to say, they are not bored in their retirement. That is their legacy!
James Phelps is managing partner at Phelps Law. Born and raised in Arizona, James has strong ties to the state where his family has resided for several generations. He developed a passion for the practice of law at a young age when he worked alongside his father, who is also an estate planning attorney, for many years before attending law school. James has been practicing law since 1999 and devotes his law practice exclusively to estate planning and trust administration and enjoys helping clients achieve peace of mind by preventing “fires” instead of having to put them out.
James has counseled thousands of clients who have benefited from trusts and estate plans that protect wealth, minimize estate taxes and avoid probate. His clients come from all walks of life and have both modest and wealthy estates. James has the unique experience of having handled hundreds of trusts and estates after people have passed away and knows what works and doesn’t when the time comes. James truly enjoys educating others on the importance of estate planning and presents dozens of estate planning seminars each year to organizations, clients and the public.
James graduated summa cum laude in accounting from Arizona State University in 1996, after which he attended law school at J. Reuben Clark Law School and graduated cum laude in 1999. He is a longstanding member of the State Bar of Arizona Probate and Trust Section, WealthCounsel, the Maricopa County Bar Association and the J. Reuben Clark Law Society.
James and his wife, Jolene, have three very active children. He is passionate about living a healthy and balanced life and loves to coach and play competitive tennis. James shares his love of sports with kids as a volunteer coach, and on weekends he enjoys backpacking, camping, paddle boarding and other high adventure activities.
Jeffrey LaClair is a partner at Phelps Law and an experienced estate planning and tax attorney. Jeffrey focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, taxation, asset protection and business planning. Jeffrey designs customized plans using trusts, LLCs and other entities to help clients protect their assets, minimize taxes and avoid probate.
Jeffrey received his Masters of Laws degree in Taxation with a specialization in Estate Planning from New York University, the top tax program in the country. Jeffrey graduated valedictorian of his law school class and holds a law degree, summa cum laude, from St. Thomas University School of Law (Miami, Florida). Jeffrey received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Michigan University, Haworth College of Business, with a major in personal finance.
Starting off in the finance industry, Jeffrey has always enjoyed helping families plan for the future. In his early years as a lawyer, Jeffrey combined his passion of helping others with his understanding of the tax laws by focusing on tax planning and tax controversy work. Now, after having seen first-hand the financial and emotional stress that comes with family fights and IRS disputes, Jeff focuses his practice on comprehensive estate planning that integrates tax planning and business succession planning to proactively avoid family and IRS disputes from happening down the road.
Jeffrey has a particular interest in helping families with special needs children. As a student, Jeffrey had the opportunity to teach students with developmental disabilities and coach Special Olympics. During his career, Jeffrey has worked with various organizations devoted to assisting individuals with disabilities including the Arc of Arizona, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Special Olympics (Arizona).
Jeffrey is admitted to practice in the states of Arizona, New York and Florida. Prior to joining Phelps Law, Jeffrey was an attorney with Mazur Carp & Rubin (now Schiff Hardin, LLP) in Manhattan, New York and Nason, Yeager, Gerson, White & Lioce, P.A., in West Palm Beach, Florida. Jeffrey is a member of the East Valley Estate Planning Council and WealthCounsel.
Jeffrey resides in Chandler, Arizona and enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing sports, hiking, mountain biking and exploring the Arizona outdoors.
Bryan Holm is an experienced attorney with Phelps Law and focuses his practice exclusively on estate planning, trust administration and business organization. Bryan has helped families of all varieties establish customized planning, regardless of the size or circumstances of their estate. Bryan strives to listen to his clients’ concerns and then provides clear and simple solutions, giving each client confidence and peace of mind with their decisions.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Bryan practiced accounting with Ernst & Young, leading audits of Fortune 500 companies and private businesses in a variety of industries throughout the Southwest. While challenging and enjoyable, this experience helped Bryan refine his career aspirations toward providing counsel and direction to individuals and families, rather than large corporations. Bryan’s greatest professional satisfaction comes from developing a relationship of dependable service with his clients and their families.
Bryan’s professional goal is to implement planning that will minimize the distraction of probate and estate administration when incapacity or death happens in a family. Bryan believes that during an emotional time such as this, loved ones should be able to focus on other priorities such as preserving and strengthening family relationships.
Bryan graduated cum laude from the J. Reuben Clark Law School with a focus toward estate planning and was appointed a Senior Editor of the Brigham Young University Law Review. After enjoying local and international clerkships involving constitutional, real estate, family and personal injury law, he focused his practice exclusively in estate planning.
Originally from the Salt Lake area, Bryan migrated south over ten years ago to enjoy the warmer climate. Of course, Bryan returns to Utah during the summer and for a week at Thanksgiving or Christmas to visit family, friends, and the ski slopes — but he’ll always be back enjoying Arizona citrus by January 2nd.
Here in the East Valley, Bryan met and married his wife, Alison, and together they have four wonderful but tireless boys. As a family, they enjoy hiking, backyard sports, membership in their church, and taking on household projects. Bryan is an avid BYU fan and a converted Arizona Cardinals fan, a proud three-time fantasy football champion, and a three-time long-putt champion of the BYU Golf Club. You may also recognize Bryan from his appearances singing (part of) the national anthem on the Today Show in 2008 or on the Hamish & Andy radio program in 2014 (but probably not).