Uniquely Qualified Estate Planning And Probate Attorneys
William D. (Bill) Pargaman died unexpectedly while on vacation on August 3, 2023, leaving a huge hole in both the hearts of his family and the community of Texas lawyers specializing in estate planning.
Bill is survived by his wife Lazan, daughters Elizabeth and Kate, sister Patty Arnold, and nieces Jenny, Katie, and Julie Arnold.
Born in December 1957 to Muriel and Warren Pargaman in New York, Bill moved to Texas at age 10, considering himself a Texan even though he never adopted the accent. Bill was valedictorian of Fort Worth Eastern Hills High School and received undergraduate and law degrees with “Honors” and “High Honors” respectively from the University of Texas at Austin.
In law school Bill became a member of the Chancellors, the school’s most prestigious honor society, and the Order of the Coif. During his early career, Bill became Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law; and made invaluable contributions to the State Bar’s Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law section (REPTL), promoting the organization via a custom REPTL license plate with a horned frog image.
Bill was often the smartest one in the room, but he never acted like it (except on those wonderful occasions when he modestly identified an oversight in a legal plan no one else caught). He had a quick wit and dry sense of humor, loved table games (he was the family’s undefeated Boggle champ), and was a wizard of research with his iPad (Bill could always be counted on to find the best last-minute deals).
Bill also had a thing for computer competency, tools, and new gadgets, which in his mind were usually the answer to almost any household challenge. As a computer virtuoso, Bill created everything from a 30+ page Christmas carol songbook to detailed travel itineraries. He enjoyed reading history and visiting iconic locations, including classic baseball parks and Mystic Pizza.
Bill was a great attorney, and an even better dad. He could not have been prouder of his two daughters and was steadfast in his fatherly duties, present at every event, always available for a hug, and freely imparting advice. He was always their first-line defender.
Bill stayed faithful to the UT football team through its ups and downs, wearing burnt orange and flying a longhorn flag in front of the house on football days and whenever the baseball team played in the College World Series.
As a legal practitioner, Bill exemplified the highest standards of the profession, insisting on doing things right and with integrity. Within the legal community, he was a joy, a mentor, and a dependable friend and resource. His work was exemplary.
Bill served for years and spent countless hours on the State Bar of Texas Professional Development Committee, the Continuing Legal Education Committee, and other organizations that recommended improvements to Texas law relating to wills, trusts, and estates. After helping to shepherd bills through the legislature, Bill wrote educational articles and spoke at seminars to make sure his colleagues were up to date on the latest in the REPTL world. Nearly every estate planning specialist in Texas knew Bill by reputation, and many knew him in person. A tribute to Bill’s career was his induction into The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), an extremely selective organization limited to lawyers with the highest reputations for skill and contributions to the profession.
An exceptionally large community of friends, family and colleagues mourn his loss. Those wishing to make contributions in Bill’s memory are asked to consider Austin Classical Guitar Education Fund or the American Civil Liberties Union, or other charity of their choice. A celebration of life service will be held at a later time.