Mary C. Hester joined Taylor Porter in 2006. Previously, she practiced with Liskow & Lewis (1998-2006) and Monroe & Lemann (1994-1998) in New Orleans. Her broad experience includes estate planning and administration; federal estate and gift taxation; trust law; making charitable gifts through charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, private foundations, supporting organizations, or private operating foundations; and counseling nonprofit organizations.
Ms. Hester has been named four times as "Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year" in Baton Rouge by Best Lawyers in America® (2012, 2016, 2018, 2020). She was included in the Louisiana Super Lawyers list of the "Top 25 Women Attorneys in Louisiana," from 2010-2012. She has been listed in Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers since 2008.
Before receiving her Juris Doctor, she was a freelance technical editor and writer with clients including the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and Louisiana State Geological Survey, various departments of Louisiana State University, and LSU Press.
Ms. Hester graduated from Jacksonville University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1976) and Louisiana State University (M.A., 1981, Phi Kappa Phi; J.D., 1994). While in law school she was a member of Order of the Coif and a Senior Editor of the Louisiana Law Review, 1993-1994. She was admitted to practice law in Louisiana in 1994.
Ms. Hester is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel as well as a Louisiana Board Certified Estate Planning and Administration Specialist. She currently serves on the Louisiana State Law Institute Council's Successions and Donations Committee, and formerly served on the Council's Conditional Charitable Donations Committee, the UPMIFA Committee, and the Charitable Trust Law Revision Subcommittee. She formerly served on the Estate Planning and Administration Law Advisory Commission for the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. Her professional memberships include the Baton Rouge, Louisiana State and American Bar Associations and the Baton Rouge Estate and Business Planning Council. Ms. Hester is a Fellow of the Louisiana Bar Foundation and of the American Bar Foundation.
Ms. Hester serves on the Planning Committee for the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center’s Annual Estate Planning Seminar. Her civic affiliations include the LSU Foundation’s Planned Giving Professional Advisors Council, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Foundation Professional Advisors Council, and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation Professional Advisors Council.
- "New Proposed Regulations for Family-Controlled Entities," TP Estate Planning Alert (Sept. 2016).
- “Charitable Lead Trusts: The Time is Right,” Journal of Taxation, vol. 110, no. 1, pp. 4-26 (Jan. 2009).
- “Donor-Advised Funds: When Are They The Best Choice for Charitably Minded Clients?” Journal of Taxation, vol. 108, no. 6, pp. 330-345 (June 2008).
- “Using Charitable Planned Gifts in Estate Planning to Maximize Tax-Efficient Results,” Practice Alert, Federal Taxes Weekly Alert, vol. 53, no. 1 (Jan. 4, 2007), pp. 8-11 (published by Thomson-RIA as a condensation of the Feb. 2006 article in Journal of Taxation).
- “Using Charitable Planned Gifts in Estate Planning to Maximize Tax-Efficient Results,” Journal of Taxation, vol. 104, no. 2, pp. 94-111 (February 2006). Reprinted in Charitable Giving and Solicitation, RIA, ¶ 710, pp. 881-912 (March 2006 update).
- “Retaining a Right to Revoke an Interest in a Charitable Plan,” Estate Planning, vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 26-32 (June 2005) (with coauthor Lizbeth A. Turner).
- “Navigating the Transfer Tax Maze of Charitable Life Income Plans,” Estate Planning, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 32-38 (May 2005) (with coauthor Lizbeth A. Turner).
- “Using Retirement Plans to Make Charitable Gifts,” Louisiana Bar Journal, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 269-273 (Dec. 2002/Jan. 2003) (with coauthor Jacquelyn Morton).
- “Intercountry Adoption from a Louisiana Perspective,” Louisiana Law Review vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 1271-1313 (Winter 1994).
- “Protecting Your Work: Professional Ethics and the Copyright Law,” Chapter 12, Techniques for Technical Communicators, 1993, Macmillan Publishing Co. (with coauthor Jacqueline L. Monday) (book received Award of Achievement in 1993 International Technical Publications Competition).
- “Documenting Illustrations,” Technical Communication, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 102-113 (February 1989) (with coauthors Jacqueline L. Monday and John I. Snead) (reprinted in Technical Editing: Basic Theory and Practice, Society for Technical Communication, 1994).
- “Words Better Left Said: Guidance for Fiduciaries and Ethical Wills,” LSU CLE By the Hour, December 14-16, 2011, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Baton Rouge, La.
- “Words Better Left Said: Guidance for Fiduciaries and Ethical Wills,” Loyola Estate Planning Conference, December 1-2, 2011, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, New Orleans, La.
- "Choice of Entity for Charitable Gifts: Public Charities, Private Foundations, Supporting Organizations and Donor-Advised Funds," Loyola Estate Planning Conference, December 2-3, 2010, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, New Orleans, La.
- “Incorporating Practical Philanthropy into the Estate Plan,” 18th Annual Tulane Estate Planning Institute, November 20, 2009, Tulane University Law School (with co-presenters Thomas B. Lemann and Lizbeth A. Turner), New Orleans, La.
- “Philanthropy: A Practical Approach to Planning Choices,” 39th Annual Estate Planning Seminar, October 8-9, 2009, Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center (with co-presenters Thomas B. Lemann and Jacquelyn L. Morton), Baton Rouge, La.
- “Choosing the Best Charitable Vehicle After the 2006 Pension Protection Act,” 38th Annual Estate Planning Seminar, October 16-17, 2008, Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Baton Rouge, La.
- “Trusts as Beneficiaries of Retirement Plans,” 37th Annual Estate Planning Seminar, October 11-12, 2007, Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Baton Rouge, La.
- “Doing Well While Doing Good: Charitable Life Income Plans,” 15th Estate Planning Institute, Tulane University Law School, November 17, 2006, New Orleans, La.
- “Using Charitable Planned Gifts in Estate Planning,” New Orleans Estate Planning Council, March 6, 2006, New Orleans, La.
- “Charitable Planning with Life Income Plans,” 35th Annual Estate Planning Seminar, February 9-10, 2006, Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Baton Rouge, La.
- “Untying the Gordian Knot: Transfer Taxes and Life Income Plans,” National Conference on Planned Giving, September 28 – October 1, 2005, Kissimmee, Fla. (with co-presenter Lizbeth A. Turner).
- Panel Moderator, “Planning for Death & Taxes,” and speaker on “Charitable Giving” and “Elder Law,” 10th Annual New Orleans Estate Planning Day presented by the New Orleans Estate Planning Council, November 3, 2001, University of New Orleans International Alumni Association, WWL-TV Channel 4, and Kinko’s, Inc., New Orleans, La.
- “Succession Law,” New Orleans Paralegal Association 2001 Education Seminar, September 21, 2001, New Orleans, La.
- “Effective Estate Planning for the Small Estate in Louisiana,” National Business Institute, September 19, 2000, New Orleans, La.
- “Estate Planning Skills for Paralegals,” HMS Continuing Legal Education, July 28, 2000, New Orleans, La.
- “Estate Planning: The Basics,” National Conference of the American Library Association, June 25, 1999, New Orleans, La.