Sarah S. Johnston
150 South Perry Street (36104)
Post Office Box 2069 (36102)
J.D., The University of Alabama School of Law, December 2000
B.S., magna cum laude, Auburn University, June 1997
Staff Attorney, Alabama Supreme Court, Justice Jean W. Brown, August 2002 - October 2004
Law Clerk, Alabama Supreme Court, Justice Jean W. Brown, August 2001 - August 2002
Law Clerk, Alabama Supreme Court, Office of the Chief Justice, January 2001 - August 2001
Honors and Awards
National Trial Team
John A. Campbell Moot Court Board
Sarah Johnston practices in the Estate Planning, Probate and Trust section of Capell & Howard, P.C. She has over fifteen years’ experience in representing clients in estate planning, trust and estate administration, trust and estate litigation, and working with family business assets. She regularly advises clients regarding estate planning with retirement benefits.
As an estate planner, she drafts wills, trusts, prenuptial agreements and a wide array of documents to assist with planning for wealth transfer, blended families, incapacity and special needs. Additionally, she assists with pro ami settlements for individuals with special needs.
After the death of a loved one, she advises and represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in probate and trust administrations. When disputes arise, she represents clients in probate court and provides litigation support for estate and trust matters in circuit court. As part of her probate practice, she assists with establishing guardianships and conservatorships.
Publications and Lectures
“Probate Boot Camp” co-presenter, National Business Institute CLE (2020)
“Estate Planning: the Ultimate Guide” co-presenter, National Business Institute CLE (2019)
"Probate Process from Start to Finish" co-presenter, National Business Institute CLE (2019, 2016, 2013)
"Estate Administration Procedures" co-presenter, National Business Institute CLE (2011)
"Estate Planning is for Everyone" Alabama Housing Finance Authority (2017), Trinity Presbyterian Church, women’s small group (2016), NAIFA South Central Alabama (2011)
"Prenuptial/Antenuptial Agreements in Estate Planning" South University's Advancing Education CLE (2010)
Memberships, Affiliations, and Activities
American Bar Association
Alabama State Bar: Board of Editors, The Alabama Lawyer (2018-present); Guest editor, The Alabama Lawyer, Elder Law Issue, September 2019; Strategic Planning Task Force: Chair, Licensing Subcommittee (2020); Chair, Political Public Service Subcommittee (2019)
Future of the Profession Task Force (2018)
Montgomery County Bar Association
Montgomery Estate Planning Council: Secretary/Treasurer (2020)
Junior League of Montgomery (2004-2013)
Q & A
What previous experiences influence your practice?
My very first estate administration involved advising and representing the estate of a person who had died unexpectedly and without any estate planning documents. The unavoidable expenses and administrative burdens imposed on the family only worsened their loss. That experience was a great motivator to me to help all of my clients avoid this kind of result for their loved ones, regardless whether we are planning with an emphasis on blended families, loved ones with special needs, estate taxes, business succession, charitable planning, real property, responsible asset management, pets or personal property items.
Why did you choose to work at Capell & Howard?
It’s a good place to work, and I wanted to work with people who are really good at what they do – it makes me a better attorney to get to work with them!