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. As an estate planner, she works with individuals and families to implement their planning goals. She drafts wills, trusts, prenuptial agreements and a wide array of documents to assist with traditional estate planning, wealth transfer planning, planning for blended families, incapacity planning and special needs planning, and 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 state circuit court. As part of her probate practice, she assists with establishing guardianships and conservatorships.
Publications and Lectures
“Estate Planning: the Ultimate Guide” co-presenter, National Business Institute CLE (2019)
"Probate Process from Start to Finish" co-presenter, National Business Institute CLE (2013, 2016, 2019)
"Estate Administration Procedures" co-presenter, National Business Institute CLE (2011)
"Estate Planning is for Everyone" NAIFA South Central Alabama (2011), women’s small group, Trinity Presbyterian Church (2016), Alabama Housing Finance Authority (2017)
"Prenuptial/Antenuptial Agreements in Estate Planning" South University's Advancing Education CLE (2010)
Memberships, Affiliations, and Activities
American Bar Association
Alabama State Bar
Alabama State Bar Alabama State Bar Board of Editors, The Alabama Lawyer Elder Law Issue, September 2019
Alabama State Bar Strategic Planning Task Force: Chair, Political Public Service Subcommittee
Alabama State Bar Future of the Profession Task Force
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!