Elizabeth Bowers Stoops is a probate litigator and estate planner in the Private Wealth Services practice. Elizabeth has spent her entire legal career in South Florida, practicing exclusively in the areas of fiduciary litigation, estate planning and estate and trust administration.
Elizabeth is dedicated to understanding and anticipating clients’ needs and expectations. Prior to joining Gunster, she served as a federal judicial law clerk to the Honorable Donald M . Middlebrooks of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and received an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Florida.
Elizabeth has represented both individuals and large professional fiduciaries in trust and probate litigation matters. Elizabeth represents clients in the following types of matters: will and trust contests; complex and disputed estate and trust administrations; will and trust constructions and reformations; trust modifications, revocations and terminations; surcharge and removal litigation; and competency proceedings. Elizabeth is committed to recognizing that these types of actions often arise from complicated and highly sensitive family dynamics. She strives to understand her clients’ motivations and expectations.
Elizabeth also assists high net worth individuals implement advanced wealth preservation techniques and business succession planning strategies. In addition, she counsels clients regarding how they can transfer wealth from generation to generation with an emphasis on minimizing their tax exposure and maximizing the potential for preservation of assets for their beneficiaries.
Elizabeth serves on the Executive Council of the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section (RPPTL) of the Florida Bar. As a member of several committees within RPPTL, Elizabeth has helped draft legislation pertaining to probate and trust practitioners.
Elizabeth is a graduate of the Florida Fellows Institute of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, as well as an author and lecturer on probate litigation and estate planning topics.
While in law school at the University of Florida, Elizabeth served as an executive editor of the Florida Law Review. She graduated in the top 1% of her law school class and was inducted into the Order of the Coif.
When she is not practicing law, Elizabeth, a double Gator, is actively involved with activities at the University of Florida. She is a member of Florida Blue Key and the Law Alumni Council, and regularly attends Gator sporting events. Additionally, as a Palm Beach County native, Elizabeth is involved in local community activities through Junior League of the Palm Beaches.
- The Best Lawyers in America®, “Ones to Watch”, Trusts and Estates, 2021-22
- Palm Beach Illustrated, “Top Lawyers,” Trusts and Estates, 2020-21
- Jupiter Magazine, “Top Lawyers,” Trusts and Estates, 2021
- Florida Super Lawyers, “Rising Star,” 2017-21
- Federal Clerkship with the Honorable Donald M. Middlebrooks, Southern District of Florida, 2011-12
- Graduate of the Florida Fellows Institute of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, 2015-16
- Order of the Coif
- Executive editor of the Florida Law Review
- Certificate in Estate Planning from the University of Florida
- Dean’s List
- Fellowship with Professor Dennis Calfee, 2012-13
- Research Assistant to Professor Lee-Ford Tritt, 2010-11
- Honors in legal research and writing
- Teaching assistant for Legal Research and Writing and Appellate Advocacy
- Book Awards: Corporate Taxation, Torts, and Florida Law Review
- “Grantor Trust Malfunctions and Fixes,” National Business Institute, August 7, 2018
- “Top Tax Consequences and Roadblocks,” National Business Institute, August 7, 2018
- “Swap Now, Sue Later,” Probate and Pumpernickel Series, May 10, 2018
- “Special Tax Feature: Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Creates Unique Planning Opportunity For Wealthy Clients,” ActionLine, Vol. XXXIX, No. 3, Spring 2018
- “Summary Of The Florida Tax Institute,” Leimberg.com, 2015-17
- Asset Protection Case Law Update,” presenter at the Asset Protection Committee for the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar, 2016
- “Golden Years: An Overview of the Creditors’ Claim Process from Pope to Golden v. Jones,” Probate Law 2016 Seminar, Tampa, Florida, November 18, 2016
- “Who Watches the Watchmen: Exploring the Role of Trust Protectors in Domestic Trusts,” South Palm Beach County Estate and Tax Roundtable Series, Boca Raton, Florida, November 17, 2016
- “Renunciation Of Trust Interest Before Challenge: Maybe You Can Have Your Cake And Eat it Too,” WealthManagement.com, 2016
- “Swap Now, Litigate Later,” presenter at the Probate Litigation Committee for the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar, 2015
- “Saving A Charitable Deduction Through Qualified Reformation: Private Letter Ruling Provides Opportunity For Planners,” WealthManagement.com, 2015
- “Florida Homestead Rights Can Be Waived By Warranty Deed,” WealthManagement.com, 2015
- “Forging Elkins: How To Copy This Taxpayer Victory,” Probate & Property, 2015
- “For Love Or Money: Florida Appellate Court Affirms Finding of Spousal Undue Influence,” WealthManagement.com, 2015
- “Stone v. Stone: For Now, Homestead Rights Can Be Waived By Warranty Deeds,” Leimberg.com, 2014
- Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar, 2015-present
- Executive Council, 2016-present
- Trust Litigation Committee, 2016-present
- Probate Law and Procedure Committee, 2015-present
- Asset Protection Committee, 2015-present
- Palm Beach County Bar Association, 2011-present
- Young Lawyers Division, 2011-present
- American Bar Association, 2016-present
- Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, board of directors, 2018-present
- Florida Blue Key, 2011-present
- The University of Florida’s Law Alumni Council, 2011-present
- Junior League of the Palm Beaches, 2015-present
- Girls Empowerment Mentoring Sessions (GEMS), co-chair