Travis Hayes is a Shareholder in Gunster’s Private Wealth Services practice group.  Travis is a native of Naples and returned home to practice law in Southwest Florida in 2005. A Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Travis is a frequent speaker and author on trust- and estate-related topics.

Travis focuses his practice in all areas of Trusts and Estates law:

Estate Planning. Travis’ estate planning practice includes: the drafting of wills, revocable and irrevocable trust agreements, advanced estate planning documents to implement sophisticated estate planning techniques (such as community property trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), irrevocable insurance trusts (ILITs), qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs), charitable remainder unitrusts (CRUTs), installment sale documents for transfers to intentionally defective grantor trusts (IDGTs)), and associated documents; advising the firm’s clients on estate, gift, generation-skipping transfer (GST), income, charitable, and post-mortem tax planning; advising clients regarding lifetime gifting programs, including education funding and annual gift planning; providing advice regarding business succession and generational family issues; establishing private foundations and other charitable vehicles in order to carry out clients’ charitable intent; providing advice regarding retirement benefits and insurance planning; and assisting clients with establishing domicile in the State of Florida.

Estate and Trust Administrations & Fiduciary Representation. Travis handles all aspects of estate and trust administrations in order to assist personal representatives and trustees with the management of trusts and settlement of estates.  In guiding clients through the administration process, Travis provides advice regarding: the identification and transfer of probate and non-probate assets; the preparation of federal estate, gift and final income tax returns and representation of the estate in any audit of those returns; post-death planning to minimize estate, gift or income taxes; the preparation of accountings, inventories, and other administration documents required by applicable Florida law; and addressing issues relating to Florida homestead property.  Travis also frequently represents beneficiaries of trusts and estates in order to guide them through the administration process and provide advice regarding a beneficiary’s rights in a trust or estate. Travis frequently advises corporate and professional fiduciaries (including members and employees of family offices) regarding, and assists them in fulfilling, their responsibilities and duties as trustees of trusts and personal representatives of estates.

Probate, Trust and Fiduciary Litigation. Travis frequently represents beneficiaries and fiduciaries in disputes regarding estate and trust administrations, including will and trust contests and breach of fiduciary duty claims. He assists the firm’s clients with: prosecuting claims on behalf of the beneficiaries of trusts and wills; defending claims brought against individual, professional and corporate fiduciaries; representing parties in contested guardianships; representing clients in estate and gift tax controversy matters against the IRS and in tax court; and advising clients through the estate planning and administration process in order to avoid litigation among family members. He also serves as a mediator and as an expert witness for trust and estate disputes and related litigation. 

Travis is an active member of the Executive Council for the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law (RPPTL) Section of The Florida Bar, where he assists with developing, implementing and improving probate and trust law in the State of Florida. He is the immediate past Chair of the RPPTL Probate Law and Procedure Committee, and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the RPPTL Legislation Committee. In recognition of his service to the RPPTL Section, Travis was awarded the At-Large Member of the Year award in 2014 and the Rising Star award in 2018. Travis is also a past Chair of the Probate Rules Committee for The Florida Bar.

Travis is also an active Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He currently serves on the Fiduciary Litigation Committee, Fiduciary Income Tax Committee, and Communications Committee for ACTEC. Travis has presented on various topics at ACTEC Committee meetings and continuing legal education programs (primarily about updates and changes to Florida probate and trust law).

In addition to his work at the state and national levels, Travis is an active member of the local Bar.  Travis is a Past President of the Collier County Bar Association. He is also a past President of the Collier County Bar Foundation and past Chair of the Trusts & Estates Section of the Collier County Bar Association.

Travis has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Trusts & Estates and Litigation – Trusts & Estates, and he holds an AV Preeminent peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He has been named by Florida Trend magazine as a “Legal Elite” in Florida, by Super Lawyers as a Florida Super Lawyer, and by Naples Illustrated as a Top Trusts & Estates Lawyer. Travis was also selected as one of the Top 40 under 40 Trusts and Estates attorneys in the State of Florida for 2015 and 2016 by the American Society of Legal Advocates.

  • Real Property, Probate and Trust Law (RPPTL) Section of The Florida Bar – Rising Star, 2018
  • Real Property, Probate and Trust Law (RPPTL) Section of The Florida Bar – At-Large Member of the Year, 2014
  • The Best Lawyers in America -Trusts & Estates; Litigation -Trusts & Estates
  • Florida Super Lawyers – Estate Planning & Probate
  • Florida Trend, “Legal Elite” – Wills, Trusts & Estates
  • Naples Illustrated, Top Trusts & Estates Lawyer
  • American Society of Legal Advocates, Top 40 Under 40
  • AV Preeminent rating as independently determined by Martindale Hubbell
  • Co-Author:  Florida Estate Planning (treatise published by Thomson-Reuters as part of West’s Florida Practice Series)
  • Co-Author: “Relationship Dissolution Planning” (a chapter of The Florida Bar practice manual, Asset Protection in Florida)
  • Co-Author: “It’s All About That Basis (Step-Up)!” – Naples Daily News Estate Planning Guide, 2022
  • Speaker: “Florida Community Property Trust Act” – Florida Bankers Association 63d Annual Wealth Management Conference, 2022
  • Speaker: “Florida Community Property Trust Act” – Florida Bankers Association 63rd Annual Wealth Management Conference, 2022
  • Speaker: “2022 Estates and Trusts Bill” – 42nd Annual RPPTL Section Legislative Update, 2022
  • Speaker: “Advising the Personal Representative in the Administration of the Estate” – ACTEC Summer Meeting, 2022
  • Speaker: “2022 Trusts, Estates, and Guardianship Law Legislative Update” – Collier County Bar Association, 2022
  • Speaker: “2022 Trusts, Estates, and Guardianship Law Legislative Update” – Lee County Bar Association, 2022
  • Speaker: “Florida Probate Practice & Procedure” – The Florida Bar’s Wills, Trusts and Estates Certification Review Course, 2022
  • Speaker: “Florida Community Property Trust Act” – The Florida Bar’s Wills, Trusts and Estates Certification Review Course, 2022
  • Frequent speaking engagements throughout the State of Florida (including recent presentations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota, and Fort Myers) to Bar Associations, Estate Planning Councils, and other Trusts & Estates-related groups

 

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
    • Fellow
    • Member, Fiduciary Litigation Committee
    • Member, Fiduciary Income Tax Committee
    • Member, Communications Committee
    • Graduate, Inaugural Class of the Florida Fellows Institute
  • The Florida Bar
    • Past Chair, Florida Probate Rules Committee
    • Past Member and Chair-Elect, Grievance Committee 20B
  • Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar
    • Member, Executive Council
    • Past Chair, Probate Law and Procedure Committee
    • Past Chair, Florida Business Corporation Act Task Force
    • Current Vice-Chair, Legislation Committee
    • Past Vice-Chair, Digital Assets and Information Study Committee
    • Past Vice-Chair, Member Communications and Information Technology Committee
    • Past Vice-Chair, Legislative Update Committee
    • Member, Trust Law Committee
    • Member, Probate and Trust Litigation Committee
    • Member, Estate and Trust Tax Planning Committee
    • Member, Asset Protection Committee
    • Member, Strategic Planning Committee
    • Past Lead Circuit Representative for the 20thJudicial Circuit
    • Primary Drafter of the Florida Community Property Trust Act (Part XV of the Florida Trust Code)
    • Primary Drafter of the Florida Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (Chapter 740 of the Florida Statutes
  • Collier County Bar Association
    • Past President
    • Past Member of the Board of Directors
    • Past Chair, Trusts and Estates Section
    • Past Chair, Young Lawyers Section
    • Estate Planning Council of Naples, Past Member
    • Planned Giving Council of Naples, Past Member
  • University of Florida Advisor Network (UFAN), Member
  • University of Florida Levin College of Law, Guest Professor for Estates & Trusts Course
  • University of Miami Graduate Program in Estate Planning, Student Advisor
  • Ave Maria School of Law, Guest Professor for Estates & Trusts Course
  • Collier County Bar Foundation, Past President
  • United Way of Collier County, Past Member of Board of Directors
  • David Lawrence Center, Past Member of Young Executives Board of Directors
  • Red Cross of Lee County, Past Member of Planned Giving Committee
  • Drug-Free Collier Foundation, Past Member of Operations Committee
  • Naples Chamber of Commerce, Graduate of the Inaugural Class of the Growing Associates in Naples (GAIN) Program
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