S. Dresden Brunner practices law in the areas of wills, trusts and estates. The scope of the Firm’s services includes estate planning and trust formation and management and probate administration.
We analyze the clients’ situation, make recommendations, and draft the documents needed to put the plan into effect. An important part of this entire process involves ensuring that a client understands the meaning and effect of the documents signed. In response to major changes in the law or in a client's financial or family circumstances, we assist the client in making any necessary changes to his/her estate plan.
Additionally, we are often called upon by non-Florida attorneys to review documents from a Florida law perspective and assist clients with declaring Florida as their domicile. We are knowledgeable on Florida's homestead law and provide services regarding obtaining and maintaining the benefits of Florida's Save our Homes assessment cap, particularly when it pertains to a residence held in a trust. Additionally, we frequently co-counsel with firms which may not have a trust and estate practice.
We assist with the administration of estates and trusts, in advising personal representatives and trustees, advising the fiduciaries on distributions to beneficiaries, accounting to beneficiaries, administering trusts both post-death and continuing for the beneficiaries. This Firm also advises beneficiaries on their rights concerning estates and trusts. We handle non-adversarial matters that require judicial intervention for an estate or trust. For adversarial matters, we will assist with settlement negotiations and work with co-counsel on litigation.
Whether the estate requires a full probate administration or an abbreviated settlement process, we are experienced in all aspects of estate administration. We have also had experience with estate tax returns for non-resident aliens.
We co-counsel with out-of-state lawyers to assist with ancillary probate administrations.
We will work with accountants on the preparation of fiduciary income tax returns and decedents’ final income tax returns. We will assist our clients in finding counsel to assist with elder law issues such as special needs planning.
From time to time, a probate estate administration reaches an impasse and an impartial, experienced third-party is needed to serve as an interim fiduciary. Dresden Brunner has served as Curator and as Administrator Ad Litem of a number of probate estates and worked with the interested parties until her position was no longer necessary.