Mr. Richard M. Hess, Jr.,’s AEP®, practice emphasizes wealth preservation and transfer, family philanthropy and the related fields of succession and exit planning for closely-held businesses and professional practices. He assists business partners, entrepreneurs, professional practices, individuals, and family groups in preserving and facilitating the transfer of wealth as well as managing inter-generational philanthropy.

Mr. Hess’ practice includes the subspecialties of estate planning; estate and gift tax planning; estate and trust administration; charitable/philanthropic planning (including charitable trusts and private foundations) and tax-exempt organizations. This work frequently involves developing strategies to protect assets while addressing specialized family needs and goals. He uses a broad array of approaches in order to address each individual client situation while emphasizing simplicity to minimize long-term administrative expenses. This includes mentoring both parents and children in the responsibilities and obligations of wealth transfer, including charitable undertakings, management of assets, decision making, corporate and nonprofit governance, and other matters.

Prior to practicing law, Mr. Hess pursued a career in financial services in his native state of New York, where he worked in investment, insurance, and tax planning. In 1985, he relocated to Denver and in 1988 entered private legal practice specializing in taxation and non-profit organizations.

Mr. Hess lectures frequently to groups of professionals and the public on a range of topics relating to estate planning, estate and gift taxation, estate administration, business planning, professional practice organization, and asset protection. Groups to which he has spoken include the National Endowment for Financial Education, the College of Financial Planning, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado and various insurance agencies.

Mr. Hess is also an active member of many community organizations, he is the current President of the Board of Directors of Belay Enterprises, the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Crestmoor Community Association (Crestmoor Swim and Tennis Club) and Treasurer of the Graland Country Day School Parent’s Association. Richard previously served as President of the Wednesday’s Child Foundation, President of Mountain International Exchange, and President of Curious Theater Company.

Mr. Hess and his wife Alison have been married for over thirty years and have two children. Together they tend their urban farm including their gardens, chickens, and bees. While technically empty nesters, they are kept busy by their menagerie, including cats, dogs, parrots and koi. Mr. Hess is also an avid skier, cyclist and runner.



  • Juris Doctor, Pace University School of Law, 1982,
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Oral Roberts University, 1979



  • Leadership Denver Class of 2001
  • Leadership Arts Class of 2002
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America – Trust and Estates – 2013 through present
  • Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating of AV Preeminent
  • Named an ACCREDITED ESTATE PLANNER® Designee by the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils