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Significant Representative Experience on the Treasure Coast

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  • Represented the beneficiaries of multi-million dollar Jupiter Island estate by bringing claims of breach of fiduciary duty and undue influence against the decedent’s second wife who was the Personal Representative of the estate.
  • Represented the co-personal representatives of an estate in a petition to determine beneficiaries and an action to recover significant assets of the estate from an acquaintance of the decedent who claimed ownership of the assets located in Stuart, Martin County, Florida.
  • Represented the Personal Representative of multi-million dollar estate against the decedent’s daughters’ claims of undue influence against personal representative and the testamentary capacity of decedent.  After a three day trial in Palm Beach County, involving over 30 witnesses, the court ruled in our client, the personal representative’s, favor.
  • Represented the Personal Representative of the estate and trustee of a multi-million dollar trust against claims by a former employee of a large Palm Beach company owned by decedent during his lifetime.  The former employee claimed decedent promised him multi-million dollar gift.
  • Represented the Personal Representative of the estate and trustee against claims of undue influence against the Personal Representative and trustee raised by an acquaintance of the decedent.  The acquaintance claimed decedent promised her a significant gift during his lifetime.
  • Represented the Personal Representative of the estate and trustee of a trust that controlled a one-hundred million dollar corporation against claims of breach of fiduciary duty, undue influence, failure to provide accounting accountings, etc. raised by family members of decedent.
  • Represented the personal Representative estate and trustee against claims by the decedent’s ex-wife that decedent committed fraud regarding his financial assets during his lifetime.
  • Represented a Vero Beach beneficiary of a trust against the trustee of her multi-million dollar trust and brought claims of breach of fiduciary duty against the trustee, which ultimately led to the removal of the trustee.
  • Defended the beneficiaries of an estate against claims raised by the personal representative that beneficiaries owed the estate several million dollars based upon promissory notes and guarantees executed during decedent’s lifetime, notwithstanding that decedent wanted debt forgiving upon his death.
  • Represented the beneficiary of an irrevocable trust where the trustee wrongfully conveyed all the assets of the trust to a family member in an attempt to steal the funds from the beneficiary.
  • Represented the beneficiaries of a St. Lucie County estate and trust against the Personal Representative of the estate and the trustee, for failure to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries, which they were entitled to receive, and for failure to provide the required accountings.
  • Obtained approval of a new zoning category permitting hotel resorts in St. Lucie County. Drafted and negotiated provisions of the County Land Development Code governing site plan approvals for hotel resorts, and allowing for condo-hotels.
  • Assisted the developer of a 464 acre biotech research park in annexing into the City of Port St. Lucie and obtaining a land use amendment.
  • Assisted the owner of a 400 acre property in annexing into the City of Fort Pierce.
  • Assisted the developer of a 90 acre industrial park in St. Lucie County with obtaining a land use amendment, zoning change, site plan approval and development agreement.
  • Obtained approvals for several commercial/residential mixed-use developments in St. Lucie County.
  • Obtained approval of a 78 unit townhome community in St. Lucie County.
  • Obtained approval of a 645 acre aggregates mine in western St. Lucie County.
  • Obtained development approvals for two beach front residential communities in St. Lucie County.
  • Obtained development approvals for a 1400 acre luxury golf community in the City of Port St. Lucie.
  • Obtained development approvals for a 341 acre waterfront community in the City of Port St. Lucie.
  • Obtained approvals for two Planned Unit Developments totaling 832 acres in the western annexation area of the City of Port St. Lucie.
  • Assisted the developer of a ranch community in Martin County in obtaining development approvals.
  • Assisted a company in obtaining approvals and incentive grants to build a new manufacturing plant in Okeechobee County.
  • Represented a married couple that operated a multi-state, luxury rental business before the IRS. The IRS argued that the losses from the business were passive and assessed over $500,000 in taxes and penalties. After establishing a strong case before IRS Appeals that the spouse operating the business qualified as a real estate professional, the IRS conceded on all counts and permitted the deduction of all of the losses.
  • Represented a closely-held S corporation operating a large cattle ranch with the tax-free split-up. The corporation was owned and operated by two generations of ranchers consisting of several siblings and their children. As the younger generation became involved with management, discrete family groups established different goals for the direction of the company. In order to avoid a costly and divisive lawsuit, a plan was developed to divide the corporation in tax–free reorganization and avoid the millions of dollars in state and federal income taxes that would normally be due when a corporation distributes its assets to its shareholders.
  • Represented a family in one of the early voluntary offshore disclosure filings with the IRS OVDP program. After the death of their parents, our clients learned one of their parents owned an undisclosed multi-million dollar offshore bank account. In addition to failing to report the account on an FBAR, the parent omitted all of the income from the account for income tax purposes and the account was not reported for estate tax purposes on either parent’s estate tax return. Through participating in the OVDP program, we helped our clients mitigate their tax exposure, including utilizing an estate tax deduction for the OVDP penalty and avoiding a criminal investigation.
  • Represented the descendants of a man suffering from dementia who was secluded from his family for over a decade by his second wife, during which time she methodically transferred his $15 million estate to her and her descendants. After extensive discovery and mediation, the man’s heirs recovered the assets they would have received under his will as if his wife had not taken them during his life.
  • Represented a terminally ill client with succession of a multi-state, multi-generational family farm with holdings in excess of $100 million. We worked with the client to develop a succession plan for the transition of control of the business and to preserve the farm’s assets. After the client’s death, certain of his family members sought to set aside his succession plans through aggressive litigation. However, we were able to mediate a resolution that preserved the bulk of the farm assets to benefit the family as intended and spun-off, in a tax advantageous manner, a small portion of the farm to the challengers.