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Practice Area

Estate and Succession Planning

Dean Mead’s Estate and Succession Planning Department is one of the largest and most respected groups of estate planning attorneys in Florida. We are frequently called on by accountants, other attorneys, banks, and trust companies to handle the most sophisticated estate planning, probate, and trust administration cases.

Our Estate and Succession Planning Department specializes in estate and trust administration matters and the development of estate plans which help our clients achieve maximum savings in income, estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. We handle the traditional aspects of personal estate planning, such as the preparation of revocable trusts, wills, and irrevocable trusts. In addition, we work closely with our clients to plan for the succession of family businesses and wealth among generations in a tax-efficient manner. We analyze and implement the latest techniques to reduce estate and gift taxes and preserve our clients’ wealth, including limited liability business entities such as family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, GRATS, and charitable remainder and lead trusts. Further, we assist our clients with the preparation of estate and gift tax returns, audits of those returns, and appeals to the IRS and courts to contest proposed tax deficiencies.

Our Estate and Succession Planning Department constantly monitors the latest developments in both tax and non-tax laws affecting our clients. We advise our clients on the income, gift, and estate tax consequences of charitable gifts and our Team has extensive experience in the establishment of private and publicly supported charitable organizations. We handle the negotiation and preparation of marital agreements and provide asset protection planning for individuals. Our Team has significant experience assisting landowners in multigenerational business succession planning while preserving landholdings. When necessary, we represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries in court and mediation to settle disputes that arise during the administration of a trust or estate.

We recognize that our client’s estate planning needs frequently require expertise in other areas of the law, so we work closely with attorneys in the firm’s other practice groups to provide our clients with the full service they need. We pride ourselves on utilizing the latest technology to provide exemplary service in an efficient and cost-effective manner to our clients.

Areas of Experience

  • Business Succession Planning
  • Charitable Giving
  • Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Tax
  • Limited Liability Business Entities
  • Probate and Guardianship
  • Trust, Estate and Fiduciary Litigation
  • Tax Controversies and Audits
  • Trust Administration
  • Trust and Estate Income Taxation
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Wealth Preservation

The firm’s high level of expertise in those areas is evidenced by the fact that our team members include:

  • Chair of the Department named Orlando Best Lawyers® Litigation – Trusts & Estates Lawyer of the Year for 2013; and the Orlando Best Lawyers® Tax Lawyer of the Year for 2011
  • Chair of the Department recognized among the “Top 50 Women in Florida” by Super Lawyers magazine
  • Chair of the Department is the Founding Board Member and Steering Committee Member of the annual Florida Tax Institute, a program of the University of Florida Levin College of Law
  • Another attorney named Orlando Best Lawyers® Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year for 2017 and 2021
  • Three Fellows in the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel
  • An adjunct professor of Estate Planning in the Graduate Tax Program at the University of Florida Levin College of Law
  • Two Past Chairs of the Tax Section of the Florida Bar
  • Former chair of the Florida Bar Certification Committee for Wills, Trusts, and Estates
  • The Florida Bar Tax Section’s “Outstanding Tax Lawyer of the Year” (2005)
  • Five attorneys who are Board Certified as experts in Wills, Trusts, and Estates
  • Three attorneys who are Board Certified as experts in Tax law
  • Ten attorneys who have master of laws degrees in taxation (LL.M.)
  • Three Past Presidents of the Central Florida Estate Planning Council
  • Past President of the Brevard County Estate Planning Council
  • Past President of the Indian River County Estate Planning Council
  • Past President of the Martin County Estate Planning Council


Tax Controversies

Dean Mead’s Tax Department includes attorneys who focus their practice on tax controversies and regularly represent clients before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during all phases of a tax examination (audit) or controversy, including preparing written protests and representing taxpayers at the IRS Appeals Office and litigation in the United States Tax Court, the Federal…

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