Carl Randolph Coleman | Jacksonville Estate Planning, Wills & Probate, Elder Lawyer


Carl Coleman Lawyer

Carl Randolph Coleman update listing

Estate, Wills & Probate, Trusts, Asset Protection


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The Coleman Law Firm, PLLC, with offices in Jacksonville, Florida and Palm Coast, Florida offers estate planning lawyers, elder law attorneys, and a probate law firm with a practice restricted to the areas of estate planning, wills and trusts, elder law and Medicaid planning, special needs trusts, Florida estate taxes, business succession planning, small business law, wealth preservation and asset protection planning, charitable planning, Florida probate law and trust administration, as well as guardianship for incapacitated adults and guardianship for the property of a minor child. We are participating attorneys in the AARP Legal Services Network for estate planning, wills and trusts, elder law, Medicaid planning, probate and guardianship.

Lawyer.com Member Questionnaire

Please describe a case(s) in the last year or two where you made a big difference.
There are a couple of cases where I believe we have accomplished some fairly significant benefits for clients over the past year or two. The first case was a “pure” estate planning case. The client had substantial IRAs. He and his wife have sufficient assets so that they will never need to touch the IRAs during their lifetimes. The couple are in their early sixties. The issue was the significant income tax and estate tax impact on the IRAs that would occur at their death, given their life expectancies providing for growth of the IRAs over the next 20+ years, even after the required minimum distributions. The clients’ accountant told them there was no option for the tax hit, and there was no way to provide for the IRAs to be used for generations of the family’s descendants. We counseled with the client, understood what their objectives were, and then made our recommendations. He converted significant portions of the IRAs into Roth IRAs, and took the income tax hit last year. We established a “Spendthrift Accumulation Generation Skipping Trust” to be the beneficiary of the Roth IRAs. The “accumulation” part of the trust allows for the required minimum distributions from the Roth IRA to be made to the trust after his death, and accumulated in the trust. There is no income tax that will be imposed on the distributions from the Roth IRA. The trustee of the trust has discretion to make distributions, as needed, with some specific guidelines to the trustee, for successive generations of the family. The assets will be forever protected from the creditors, divorcing spouses, or other third parties for all of the successive generations. We will apply at his death a sufficient amount of his exemption from estate tax and generation skipping tax so that the trust will never be subject to estate or generation skipping taxes (at least for the first five million + of value). In the best case scenario, some 20 or so years after his death, the full amount of the Roth IRA will be in trust to provide substantial economic support for successive generations of his family, free of creditor claims, and not subject to estate or generation skipping taxes. Another significant benefit to the client case was a combination of asset protection and estate planning. We established an estate plan for this family in the 2008-2009 time frame. The family owned substantial real estate holdings, including five operating hotels. With the collapse of the hotel industry that started in 2008, they were faced with a number of financial issues, and ultimately all of the hotels were in foreclosure, facing significant deficiencies in value compared to the outstanding mortgages. Because we structured the estate plan to include substantial asset protection features we were able to work out all of the mortgages on the hotels, but one. We were able to negotiate the satisfaction of one $6 million plus mortgage for a $2.5 million cash payment, and the family kept four of the five hotels, with no remaining personal liability.

How did you build a successful practice?
I practiced law in Miami for 13 years and moved to Jacksonville for personal reasons in 1991. I had one client. I started my Jacksonville practice by offering estate planning seminars on a regular basis. Over the years, my philosophy has been to provide my client with creative, state of the art, estate planning, with exceptional service, a quality product, and a reasonable fee. I listen to what my clients tell me, I learn as much as I can about their personal circumstances, and then tailor their estate plan to their specific family dynamics. We now have four attorneys in the firm, three of whom have LLM degrees in Taxation, and all of whom have stellar academic backgrounds. All of us remain very busy, and I have imparted to them the same philosophy of providing the client with focused personalized service, with a quality product and at a reasonable fee.

What should clients look for in a lawyer?
The first characteristic I believe clients should look for in an attorney is whether the attorney is going to listen to their concerns, their desires, their dreams and goals, and their fears, and build an estate plan, handle a probate matter, administer a trust, or provide the service the client is seeking, and tailor the legal services to the specific issues involved with that individual client. The attorney should be responsive, should provide a quality product, and should charge a reasonable fee for the value of the services rendered.

How important is local knowledge to the success of your cases?
When dealing with probate, guardianship, trust administration or other issues that might involve the probate court, it is important to have knowledge of the local court customs, the local judges, and the other attorneys who might be involved in the matter in any other capacity. That local knowledge will assist the attorney to ensure that the best result or the most efficient resolution is achieved. With regard to small business issues and estate planning issues, and very much asset protection issues, knowledge of the local economy, the local court system, and the other lawyers and law firms in the community is critical to providing the client with the most effective representation.

What differentiates you from other lawyers in your community?
The thing that differentiates us from other lawyers and law firms in the local community is that we truly focus on our clients objectives, needs, goals, concerns, fears, and personal desires. We listen carefully to our clients. We explore all of their family dynamics. We provide them with legal service that is tailored to all of those issues and is personalized for each client. We are steadfastly loyal to our clients and always represent their best interest without regard to any other relationships we may have. Our practice has grown through consistent referrals from satisfied clients, and referrals from financial advisors with whom we have long term relationships who know us and how we serve our clients, and continue to refer clients to us after 20+ years.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The peace of mind we see in our clients after the implementation of an estate plan that has been specifically designed to meet their particular needs. It’s the only type of law practice I know of where our clients come in and hug us on a regular basis.

Position Organization Location Duration
OwnerColeman Law Firm, PLLC1991-Present
Managing PartnerColeman, Cosby, Lipscomb & Bounds, PA1988-1991
PartnerFinley Kumble Wagner Heine Underberg Manley1983-1985
Associate AttorneyMershon, Sawyer, Johnston, Dunwody & Cole1978-1983
School Degree Major Graduation
University of Florida Levin College of LawJ.D. Law School1978  
University of FloridaB.S.1972
State / Court Date
Florida1978
  • Board of Governors, Small Business Center Advisory Board, Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce (2010–2012)

    Advisory Board, ATHENA Panel, Jacksonville Women's Business Center (2009–2012)

    Animal Law Committee, The Florida Bar (2005–2009)

    Member, American Bar Association (1979–2009)

    Real Property Probate & Trust Law, Tax, Business Law, Elder Law, The Florida Bar (1978–2009)

    Executive Committee, University of Florida College of Law Alumni Council (1992–2008)

    Program Director - Asset Protection Planning, Florida Physicians Association (1997–2006)

    President, American Association of Independent Investors (1994–1997)

    Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, The Florida Bar (1992–1995)

  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell (2013)

    AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell (2012)

    Top 25 Estate Probate and Elder Law Blogs of 2011 - Winner, LexisNexis (2011)

  • Case Conclusion Date:November 1, 1993 Practice Area:Divorce / Separation Outcome:Client prevailed on appeal, reversing trial court

  • Trusts for Pets under the Florida Trust Code, The Nuts and Bolts of Animal Law (2008)

    Creditors' Claims, Third Party Claims, Asset Protection, The New Florida Trust Code (2008)

    Asset Protection Techniques in Florida, Asset Protection Techniques in Florida (2004)

    Family Limited Partnerships in Florida, Family LIimited Partnerships in Florida (2002)

    Protecting the Passage of Wealth, National Business Institute (1997)

    The Use of Family Limited Partnerships in Florida, National Business Institute (1995)

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Fee: When working with clients for estate planning, elder law, asset protection planning, wills and trusts, The Coleman Law Firm will quote a fixed fee for the work that is to be done. The fixed fee will vary depending on the complexity of the project. When working with probate, trust administration, and guardianships, we often base our fee on our regularly scheduled hourly rates, or a percentage fee based on Florida Statutes. Medicaid planning and VA Benefit planning is usually undertaken on a fixed fee basis. In each case where a fixed fee is quoted, it will include all costs associated with the project except specific out of pocket costs that are directly incurred with third parties on behalf of the client.

Service Type: Private

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Carl Randolph Coleman
10161 Centurion Pkwy, N.
Suite 310
Jacksonville, FL 32256
30.2465792,-81.5506746

MAIN LOCATION

10161 Centurion Pkwy, N.
Suite 310
Jacksonville, FL 32256


Other Locations:
  • Satellite Office in Palm Coast, FL
    389 Palm Coast Parkway, SW, Ste 4
    Palm Coast, Florida 32137
    Phone: (386) 264-7250

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