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Maria Elia Lopez-Gastelum

Estate planning Attorney at The Woodlands, TX

4.9   11 reviews

also known as Maria Gastelum

  • Licensed for 14 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2009
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Maria

Learn Maria’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Estate planning
    As an international estate planning attorney, I assist both foreign and U.S. citizens in organizing their assets and achieving their goals for the proper disposition of their estates during their lifetimes or upon their deaths.

    14 years

  2. Business
    As a dual-licensed attorney, my extensive business planning and transaction expertise range from international commercial transactions and joint ventures to establishing domestic or foreign branches and buying and selling real estate across borders.

    33 years

  3. International law
    The main focus is to help Latin American ultra-high net worth families protect their assets located worldwide. Specifically, their overall estate, business, and strategic tax planning, aircraft and yacht financing, real estate, and personal matters.

    33 years

A law graduate from the Universidad de Monterrey in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, María Elia Gastélum is licensed to practice in Mexico and California and before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Maria Elia is not licensed to practice law in Texas.

As such, María has represented multiple trans-national clients from both the U.S. and Mexico with cross-border interests. María is fluent in English and Spanish, and she has a thorough understanding of cultural differences in business practices.

María’s primary purpose is to assist foreign citizens and U.S. residents in protecting their assets and ascertaining their instructions for the effective disposition of their assets during life and at their deaths. Her planning strategies provide clients with options that allow them to maintain control of their assets and protect their ownership interests while reducing or eliminating their estate and gift tax liability and other tax obligations. She is committed to ensuring that clients' family members are able to maintain their lifestyles in the future, and she implements tools to maintain confidentiality on their affairs. She believes everyone benefits from estate planning, regardless of the size of their estate

Among her other areas of expertise are corporate governance, environmental compliance, immigration issues, import-export matters, employment matters, distribution and franchise agreements, licensing for different activities including the use of natural resources for research purposes, and negotiating agreements with ejidos and Mexican cooperatives for various business ventures. She has conducted due diligence review of real estate, corporate, intellectual property, third-party agreements and other compliance matters for transactions in Mexico and the United States, including mergers, acquisitions, and corporate reorganizations. She has also assisted U.S. and foreign clients involved in government procurement contracts in Mexico to ensure compliance with relevant Mexican laws and regulations.

María has also acted as an expert witness in Mexican law before California legal proceedings regarding real estate and civil status law issues. She has extensive experience with international treaties that govern letters rogatory, legalization, uniformity of powers of attorney, and others. María has supervised, to a successful conclusion, multiple litigation proceedings in Mexico on behalf of both Mexican and non-Mexican clients.

She has also lectured on topics including the distinction between notaries in the U.S. and Mexico, international financing, and intellectual property law.

Contact Maria

Similar lawyers nearby

MEG International Counsel, PC
2001 Timberloch Place, Suite 500
The Woodlands, TX, 77380
4364 Bonita Rd. #274
Bonita, CA, 91902
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4.9 / 5.0
  11 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Alberto | September 13, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional Service
After consulting and obtaining advise from her office, they established a Trust for our family, of which we are very satisified.
Posted by Mayra | September 12, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Gran experiencia y profesionalismo
Muy agradable trabajar con Maria Elia, es muy profesional y siempre con toda la disposición de ayudarnos en nuestras solicitudes.
Posted by Fernando | August 24, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent experience
Maria Elia and her team are a very professional group that helped us overcome some potential problems we could have encounter in the future. She was very keen in developing a specific strategy for my family that so far has worked very well regarding estate planning for foreign nationals. Maria Elia has been very upfront about her legal fees and has answered personally every question we've had during the process. She is very professional and recommend her without hesitation.
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Posted by Aleyda | August 21, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional, personal and a great fit for your needs
I've been very lucky that when I needed legal counsel Maria Elia Lopez-Gastelum was there. She was recommended to me by my accountant and am very glad they gave me her name. She has now helped me on various occasions and I always feel that she has my back. I highly recommend Maria Elia Lopez-Gastelum and her services!
Posted by Andres | August 20, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Review Ma. Elia Gastelum - Legal Counsel
Maria Elia has constantly assisted us in our requests for legal counseling in a very expeditious, courteous, effective and prompt way, and tended to our needs as if we were almost her only client. She advises us with a clear, concise and practical approach. We will always highly recommend her to others.
Posted by Gabriella | August 20, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Incredible Law Services
Maria Elia is by far the best lawyer I have worked with. With incredible attention, she helped me start my own business and explained everything I needed to know of the legal aspects I had to take care of as a new business owner.
Posted by Daniel | August 19, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Asesoría y registro de Empresa LLC
Excelente conocimiento para registrar y crear empresas, aspectos legales y requisitos para registros de empresas LLC así cómo elaboración de contratos en inglés y en español. Atención y disponibilidad de primer nivel.
Posted by Guillermo Barrón | August 19, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excelente abogada
Maria Elia, se ha convertido en mi asesora de cabecera para temas legales y patrimoniales en Estados Unidos, la recomiendo ampliamente.
Posted by ANGEL GERARDO ZEA MIR | August 17, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Posted by Antonio | August 11, 2015
Expert and Caring Attorney
I am an attorney and financial professional. I am also Maria's husband. My colleagues and I work specifically with foreign ultra high-net worth clients, and I haven't found a professional, let alone an attorney, that understands my clients' situations, objectives, and culture to the T as she does. That is why I work with, and refer to her, all of my clients for their estate planning needs and business investments in the U.S., Mexico, and abroad. I've also found that with time, more and more of my colleagues seek her services for themselves and their own clients, as well.
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Posted by anonymous | September 3, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Corp. formation and consultation
Maria Elia helped me open a Corp. (she helped me indicating the different types of entities and what they implied) and I also had consultations on different topics such as labor and brand registration. She was always on time to the appointments and she always answered my phone calls and explained everything with the right knowledge and patience. She is very easy to work with and is always willing to help.
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Contact for Details


AVVO RATING 7.0 (Very Good)

Work Experience

  • Attorney Licensed in Mexico
  • Maria Elia Gastelum
  • 1990 - Present


  • University of Monterrey
  • LL.B - Bachelor of Laws
  • 1989

Legal Cases

  • Created Trust Strategy for Foreign Investment in the U.S.
  • Created Multiple Foreign Trusts for Foreigners to Transfer Real Estate in U.S. and Avoid Estate Taxes
  • Created Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs) for Foreign Couple for Premium Financing Purposes
View all legal cases


  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 2009 - Present
  • Phi Delta Phi
  • Member
  • 1987 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish
  • English


  • Wealthcounsel Quarterly
  • The Role and Opportunities of Fideicomisos in Mexican Real Property
  • 2016

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (2)
Endorse Maria
Estate planning Attorney | Jul 14
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer."
Corporate and incorporation Attorney | Aug 11
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have known and worked with Maria for several years on business and real estate matters. She is very knowledgeable, thorough and diligent. She has the skills and resources to navigate the law on both sides of the border which makes her the perfect advocate for international transactions."
Employment and labor

Avvo Contributions

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The Woodlands Estate planning Lawyer Maria Elia Lopez-Gastelum
Maria Elia Lopez-Gastelum
Estate planning Attorney
The Woodlands, TX
Licensed for 14 years