Gunster attorneys received two prestigious awards at the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law (“RPPTL”) section of The Florida Bar convention, which was held the first weekend in June at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach.

William T. Hennessey, leader of Gunster’s probate, trust and guardianship litigation team, was presented with the John Arthur Jones Annual Service Award. The award is named after a former RPPTL Section chair, one of Holland & Knight’s founders, and the “Father of Probate Law,” who passed away on August 12, 2014. The annual service award recognizes Hennessey’s countless hours of dedicated and outstanding service to the section on its major legislative initiatives and projects in 2014- 2015.

Elaine Bucher of Gunster’s private wealth services law practice was presented with the Robert C. Scott Memorial Award for her devoted and valuable service to the RPPTL Section. This award was established in recognition of Mr. Scott’s many years of untiring, devoted and valuable service to the RPPTL section. It is presented as circumstances warrant it.

Florida Bar RPPTL 2015 awards in Miami Beach

Left to right: Elaine Bucher, RPPTL Section Chair Mike Dribin, and Bill Hennessey at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach in early June 2015.

Bucher has served as chair of the section’s Estate & Trust Tax Planning Committee for the past four years. Under her leadership, several valuable pieces of legislation have been passed. One of the most important pieces of legislation the committee has worked on under her leadership is the Family Trust Company Act, which is currently pending before the Florida Legislature.

In the past year, Hennessey served as a member of the RPPTL Section’s Executive Council; as chair of the Legislative Committee (Probate and Trust), handling all of the section’s legislative initiatives; and as chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Estate Planning Conflicts of Interests. He is the immediate past chair of the section’s Probate and Trust Litigation Committee, and a frequent lecturer and author on probate and trust litigation topics.

Hennessey and Bucher – along with four additional Gunster attorneys – have been admitted as fellows of the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Council, a national organization of approximately 2,600 lawyers elected to membership based on demonstrated competence and experience and trust and estate counsels, integrity and commitment to the profession. Bucher is the first female Florida chair of the organization.


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