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The Merriman Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
9200 Estero Park Commons Blvd., Ste. 4
Estero, Florida 33928

Telephone: 239.301.3495
Facsimile: 239.908.0829
E-Mail: reception@merriman-law.com

The Perspective

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Robin D. Merriman II, J.D., LL.M., B.C.S.

Robin D. Merriman II, J.D., LL.M., B.C.S.

Robin D. Merriman II, J.D., LL.M., B.C.S., is the Managing and Founding Partner of The Merriman Law Firm, P.L.L.C.  Since becoming licensed to practice law in the State of Florida, he has primarily focused in the practice areas of estate and tax planning, probate and estate administration, trust administration, guardianship, probate and estate litigation, trust litigation, and guardianship litigation.  Robin has been certified by The Florida Bar as an Expert and Specialist in Wills, Trusts & Estates and currently maintains this distinction.

Education

After graduating from Harrodsburg High School as Valedictorian, Robin subsequently attended the University of Louisville, serving as President of the Sigma Chi Sigma Chapter of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity, graduating with a double-major in Philosophy and Humanities and a minor in Religious Studies.  He was awarded the Richard Campbell Smith Memorial Award for Excellence in Philosophy in 2009, while simultaneously being commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel by Governor Steve Beshear, thereby earning the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

In the fall of 2010, Robin ventured south to the University of Miami School of Law, earning his Juris Doctor (J.D.) in 2013 and graduating magna cum laude.  After earning his Juris Doctor, Robin began practicing law in Lee County, Florida.  While actively practicing law, Robin continued his legal studies so that he could better serve his clients, which culminated in Robin earning his Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from New York University School of Law in 2018.

 

Florida Bar Board Certification

In the summer of 2019, The Florida Bar granted Robin the distinction of being a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist (B.C.S.) and Expert in Wills, Trusts and Estates.  Board certification requires lawyers to pass a comprehensive examination that evaluates a high level of knowledge, skills, and expertise in a specialty field.  Each board-certified lawyer undergoes a rigorous peer review process that assesses competence in a specialty field, as well as professionalism and ethics in the practice of law.  Board certification is conferred upon lawyers by the most credible and highest authority over the State of Florida’s legal community – The Florida Bar.  As of April 2021, out of the more than 100,000 members of The Florida Bar, only 308 were board certified in wills, trusts and estates.

 

Experience

Probate and Estate Administration and Trust Administration

Robin has experience representing clients in a variety of cases and in many different circumstances within the scope of his expertise.  He represents clients in the formal administration of probate and intestate estates, as well as in summary probate and intestate proceedings.  Robin assists executors and personal representatives with ancillary administrations of estates of non-Florida residents, as well as domiciliary estates of Florida residents who own out-of-state property.  Robin advises trustees in the administration of various types of trusts, as well as counseling trust beneficiaries concerned with a trustee’s actions regarding the administration of a trust.

 

Estate Planning

Robin works with clients to develop estate plans that are modeled for each client’s unique circumstances.  He understands how complex family structures, tax considerations, and asset protection issues must be taken into account in preparing a client’s estate planning documents.  Robin has experience formulating plans that are tailored to avoid Federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping taxes.  Once a client’s estate planning vehicles are created, he works with the client to ensure that they are properly funded.  For recent arrivals to Florida, Robin has experience assisting clients with ensuring they take the proper action to establish Florida as their state of residence, which can serve to eliminate various out-of-state taxes.

 

Guardianship and Incapacity Proceedings

Robin represents clients who desire to initiate guardianship and incapacity proceedings to obtain the appointment of a guardian for an incapacitated person.  Robin counsels  alleged incapacitated persons against whom guardianship and incapacity proceedings have been filed.  Robin also represents parents and other family members and friends who may need to set up a guardianship over a minor child.

 

Probate, Estate, Trust and Guardianship Litigation

Robin has significant experience in probate and estate litigation, trust litigation, and guardianship litigation. He has prosecuted and defended actions involving breaches of fiduciary duties by trustees of trusts, personal representatives of probate estates, agents under a durable power of attorney, and court-appointed guardians.   Robin has initiated and defended lawsuits that seek to set aside various testamentary instruments, including wills, codicils to wills, trust instruments, and beneficiary designation forms on retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and payable on death accounts.

Robin has represented surviving spouses in elective share proceedings, as well as in pretermitted spouse and family allowance proceedings.  He has litigated contested proceedings centering on the capacity of an alleged incapacitated person, on the validity of a durable power of attorney and designation of health care surrogate, and on the appointment of a guardian.  Whether the issue be the contesting of a will or trust or the determination of the capacity of an alleged incapacitated person, Robin is familiar with litigating issues of incapacity, undue influence, fraud, duress, and coercion.

 

Trusts, Estates, and Guardianship Appeals

Robin has experience in handling appellate cases in the areas of probate and estates, trusts, and guardianship.  He has argued before the Second District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida, and, perhaps most notably, helped obtain a written opinion in Covey v. Shaffer, 277 So. 3d 694 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019), a case in which the Court held that an alleged incapacitated person had a right to a hearing prior to the institution of an emergency temporary guardian.

 

Community Involvement

Robin is actively involved in the Estate Planning Counsel of Lee County, Florida, the Southwest Florida Guardianship Chapter of the Florida State Guardianship Association, and the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar.  He is also a member of the Calusa Inns of Court.

 

The Person

An avid reader of classics, Robin is a bourbon enthusiast who enjoys listening to records, playing the guitar, and attempting to play the piano.  He enjoys competing in tennis and basketball and attending live sporting events and concerts.  He prefers political history over politics, chess over checkers, and Locke over Rousseau.  If you have a few hours to spare, he would be happy to converse on the differences between the political philosophy undergirding the American Revolution versus that of the French Revolution or, if time is of the essence, to prove to you why Jordan is better than LeBron.