Craig R. Hersch is a partner in the law firm of Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Kinsey & Hill, P.A. of Fort Myers, Florida, founded in 1924. He is a Florida Bar Board Certified Wills, Trusts & Estates attorney who also holds his license as a Florida CPA, earning his Bachelor of Science in Accounting (1986) and Juris Doctorate degrees (1989) from the University of Florida.

Not only does Mr. Hersch have broad legal and tax credentials, but he has extensive knowledge of how financial matters fit into estate planning from his role as a founding shareholder and director of a community trust company. From this unique blend of experience, Hersch created “The Family Estate & Legacy Solution®”, which now serves as his firm’s cornerstone client discovery and planning process. This process serves to transform a client’s legal, tax and financial concerns into a coordinated, understandable and comprehensive estate plan.

For 10 years, he has authored a popular estate planning column entitled, “Will Power” that is published weekly in the Sanibel Island Sun and delivered to homes and businesses on Sanibel and Captiva Islands in Southwest Florida. The articles can also be found on his law firm’s website blog at www.sbshlaw.com.  

Mr. Hersch is a frequent lecturer at continuing education seminars for attorneys and accountants and has authored several articles appearing in a variety of professional journals. Hundreds of his clients typically attend his private educational workshops where he lectures on timely estate planning topics. All workshops are professionally videotaped, catalogued by subject matter, and offered in DVD form free of charge upon request or by downloading them off his firm’s website. More than 600 families currently enrolled in the firm’s Family Estate & Legacy® maintenance program also have exclusive access to Mr. Hersch’s insight and wisdom, including ongoing document updates necessitated by legal and tax law changes.

Mr. Hersch enjoys an AV Martindale Hubbell rating, the highest attainable by the independent national attorney rating service, has been selected as a Worth 100 Top Attorney, and named a Super Lawyer Top US Lawyer for five consecutive years by Thompson Reuters.

Mr. Hersch's multiple expertises in law, taxes, accounting and finance uniquely qualifies him to address topics that many Southwest Floridians are curious about. A sampling of these topics includes:

* Why new Florida residents need to update their estate plan

* Why those who have dual residences need a revocable trust – and what happens if they don’t

* How Florida homestead laws may thwart your estate plan

* How the new Florida Durable Power of Attorney laws affect almost every resident

* Why every responsible adult needs to have an estate plan

* When to consider advanced estate planning techniques – and what are they?

* How estate and gift tax law is so different than income tax law – and why that is important

* Differences between wills and revocable trusts

* Why everyone needs a living will document and how it is different than a health care surrogate

* How do you build a support system for those who will be making financial decisions for you if you should become incapacitated or suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s?

* What your adult children need to know about your estate plan – before it’s too late

* When you shouldn’t name your oldest child as your successor trustee or personal representative

* Second marriages and estate planning

* How to protect the inheritance you leave loved ones from divorcing spouses, predators and creditors

* How you can work to prevent someone from successfully challenging your will or trust

* Why it’s a bad idea to disinherit a beneficiary by leaving them a token amount, such as $1

* Who might be a beneficiary of your estate plan – even if they’re not named in your documents

* Legal matters when a loved one dies – what do you need to know about probate

* Why putting assets in a joint account to avoid probate is a BAD idea

* The peculiarities and pitfalls of IRAs and 401(k) beneficiary designations

* When you should put insurance in a trust

* Why using discount brokerage firms might be a bad idea that costs your family more than you save