Ytterberg Deery Knull LLP


The attorneys of Ytterberg Deery Knull LLP provide individuals and families and their fiduciaries with legal strategy and meaningful solutions for some of life's most sensitive and important issues. Our professional services are tailored specifically to the needs of each client, with the goals of transferring wealth to future generations, avoiding excessive taxes, and fostering family harmony.Eric concentrates on estate and tax planning for wealthy individual clients and closely-held family businesses.  He also spends a large amount of his time on the administration of decedents' estates, and has successfully handled several federal estate tax audits involving multimillion dollar estates.  Eric has unique experience in the generation-skipping transfer tax area, and has devised several innovative strategies related to that tax.

Eric has substantial experience in other estate planning areas as well, including the creation of family partnerships, life insurance planning (e.g., the use of irrevocable life insurance trusts and split-dollar arragements), charitable giving, and planning for qualified retirement benefits.  Eric also has the ability to do individualized computer modeling, which is often essential to properly evaluate various estate planning options being considered by clients.  Eric has been involved in trust lititgation, representing both beneficiaries and fiduciaries in trust modification actions.

Representative Experience

  • Handled all aspects of the audit of the federal tax return for a $200 million estate containing substantial real estate holdings and oil and gas interests, which was settled on an extremely favorable basis.
  • Provided the estate and gift tax planning advice and services related to the firm's work in connection with the restructuring of a highly complex $200 million family-owned real estate business.
  • Implemented revised estate plans for various clients involving the use of second-to-die life insurance policies owned by multi-generation trusts exempt from federal generation-skipping transfer taxes; each trust was drafted to accomplish the client's unique goals and was integrated into an overall estate plan that maximized the potential tax benefit of available transfer tax ememptions.
  • Used the proprietary computer models he developed to advise clients on the estate planning effects of various qualified plan beneficiary designations.


  • University of Texas School of Law, J.D. with honors, 1981 (Order of the Coif; 1981 Prentice-Hall Student Award in Taxation)
  • University of Viriginia, B.S., 1978 (Beta Gamma Sigma; Beta Alpha Psi)
  • Admitted to practice: Texas, 1981


  • Houston Bar Association, Probate Trust & Estate Section and Tax Section
  • State Bar of Texas, Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Fellow


  • The Best Lawyers in America(R) in trusts and estates law, 2003-2006, 2008-2011
  • "Texas Super Lawyers," Texas Monthly, 2004-2005, 2007-2010
  • "Top Notch Lawyer" in trusts and estates law, Texas Lawyer's Go-To-Guide, 2007


  • "Distributions from Qualified Retirement Plans,"  Southwestern Legal Foundation, May 2000
  • "Timely and Untimely GST Exemption Allocations,"  State Bar of Texas, Advanced Drafting: Estate Planning and Probate Course, October 1999
  • "Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax," State Bar of Texas, Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Course, June 1999
  • "Estate Planning for Qualified Benefits Made Easy - Honest!"  Southwestern Legal Foundation, 36th Annual Institute on Wills and Probate, May 1997

Contact Ytterberg Deery Knull LLP

R. Eric Viehman
3555 Timmons Lane, Suite 1000
Houston, Texas  77027
Phone: 713-980-7718
Fax: 713-980-7799


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Texas

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