The Merriman Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
9990 Coconut Road
Bonita Springs, Florida 34135
News & Insights
Robin D. Merriman II, J.D., LL.M., B.C.S., has actively practiced law in the State of Florida since 2013. Since becoming licensed to practice law, Robin has focused his practice in the areas of estate planning, probate and estate administration, trust administration, guardianship, probate and estate litigation, trust litigation, and guardianship litigation. He has been certified by the Florida Bar as an Expert and Specialist in Wills, Trusts and Estates.
Robin has extensive experience handling estate planning matters for high-net worth individuals. For these individuals, he assists with tax planning related to the Federal Gift, Estate, and Generation-Skipping Taxes and in completing Federal Gift Tax Returns (IRS Form 709’s) for those clients who have made taxable gifts as part of their planning. He has experience with assisting business owners with their estate planning, including setting up various business entities, preparing real estate documents, and assisting with real estate transactions. On the other end of the spectrum, Robin has assisted clients who have less complex situations, preparing simple wills and simple trusts, as well as durable powers of attorney, designations of health care surrogates, living wills, designations of preneed guardians, and enhanced life estate deeds (commonly referred to as “ladybird deeds”). Robin has also prepared health care and guardianship directives for parents of minor children, which provide advanced directives for the care and custody of children in the event the minors’ parents are unable to make those decisions.
Probate and Estate Administration and Guardianship Administration
Robin has experience assisting personal representatives and executors with the administration of probate and intestate estates and trustees in the administration of various trusts. He has assisted clients with estates of or trusts settled by deceased high-net worth individuals, which includes assisting them in completing Federal Estate Tax Returns (IRS Form 706’s). Robin has experience working with out-of-state executors and personal representatives, and their respective attorneys, who need assistance with Florida ancillary probate administrations. He also regularly communicates and coordinates with out-of-state attorneys when a Florida resident passes away with property owned in another state. Robin assists with formal administrations of probate and intestate estates, as well as summary administrations of smaller estates.
Guardianship and Incapacity Proceedings
Robin has experience representing clients in guardianship proceedings. He has represented family members bringing guardianship actions to protect their loved ones, as well as guardians who are charged with various fiduciary duties related to their role as guardian. He has represented both professional and non-professional guardians.
Probate, Estate, Trust and Guardianship Litigation
Robin also has significant experience litigating issues related to probate and intestate estates, trusts, and guardianship. He has prosecuted and defended actions involving breaches of fiduciary duties by trustees of trusts, personal representatives of probate and intestate 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 involved 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.
Estate, Trust 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. Most notably, perhaps, he 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.
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.