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About me

Faced with helping her own aging parents with their elder legal needs, Merrell realized that there was a need for a legal counsel who truly helps clients feel relieved and non-threatened when navigating the estate planning process. To help fill that need, she attended Barry University School of Law and received a Juris Doctorate degree, graduating valedictorian of her law school class.

As a graduate of Winter Park High School and University of Central Florida (UCF), Merrell Bailey, Managing Partner at Your Caring Law Firm, is committed to making estate planning as safe and comfortable as possible. Practicing as an Attorney in Florida since 2001, Merrell limits her practice to planning, with a focus on end-of-life issues, the unique needs of the elderly, unmarried couples, and individuals who hope to protect their family wealth from creditors and predators. Her overall practice areas include estate planning; charitable planning; asset protection planning; family limited partnerships; non-profit organizations; and gift, estate, and generation-skipping tax planning.

Merrell also is a Certified Public Accountant* (licensed in Alabama; inactive status) and previously worked as a CPA and Chief Financial Officer for a number of businesses, concentrating in start-up high technology corporations and turn-around situations. With her dual licenses as both an attorney and a CPA, Merrell brings a strong business background to the firm, and a passion for ensuring that the rights of the elderly are protected.

While in law school, Merrell earned numerous awards, including grading on to participate in Law Review and Moot Court. She holds five business degrees from the University of Central Florida, including a B.S.B.A. in Finance and a B.S.B.A. in Accounting (1985), an M.B.A. (1989), an M.S. in Taxation (2001), and an M.S. in Accounting (2007). Merrell was honored to be inducted in theUCF College of Business Hall of Fame in 2012. 

Merrell is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants; The Florida Bar Association; the American Bar Association; the Orange County Bar Association; Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar Association; Tax Section of The Florida Bar Association; Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association; Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association; and Taxation Section of the American Bar Association.  She has served as Vice President for Florida chapter of the American Association of Attorney -- Certified Public Accountants.

In addition, Merrell is an Adjunct Instructor for the University of Central Florida's College of Business Administration's Dixon School of Accounting, where she has taught Gift and Estate Taxation to rising CPAs in the Masters in Taxation program. She volunteers as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Endowment for Financial Education. 

When not counseling clients or teaching courses, Merrell loves to read, as well as volunteer with Great Dane Rescue. A member of the crew team when she was a student at Winter Park High School and UCF, she now rows at the Orlando Rowing Club.  Merrell serves as an ambassador for UCF as a member of the UCF Town and Gown Council. Merrell, her husband, and their terrible, horrible, very bad puppy, Jane the Great Dane, live in Central Florida and enjoy time with their enormous extended family, most of whom live nearby.

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Practice areas

Licensed

  1. Estate Planning: 75%
  2. Tax: 25%

Payment

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

6 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Suzanne D'Aunoy Meehle

    Merrell Bailey and her partner Hallie Zobel are the only two estate planning and probate attorneys I refer to. Merrell is simply the best, most creative estate planning attorney in Central Florida. I refer all of my small business clients to her firm.

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    Suzanne Meehle Business Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Kari Dawn Coultis

    I endorse this lawyer. I have an opportunity to see Merrell several times each year at different continuing education events, and I always enjoy brainstorming with her on various case-related issues, as well as marketing and practice development ideas. She is a very knowledgable attorney and a great person!

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    Kari Coultis Estate planning Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Your Caring Law Firm

610 S Maitland Avenue
Maitland, FL, 32751

Resume

License
StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
FLMember in Good Standing200206/17/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Awards
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Five Star Estate Planning AwardOrlando Magazine2014
Five Star Wealth ManagerOrlando Magazine2013
Top 50 Businesses and Community LeadersUCF College of Business Administration2013
Hall of FameUCF College of Business Administration2012
Creating Lasting LegaciesWealthCounsel2012
Five Star Wealth ManagerOrlando Magazine2011
Valedictorian of Graduating ClassBarry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law2001
Faculty Professionalism AwardBarry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law2001
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerYour Caring Law Firm2009 - Present
Managing AttorneyEstate Planning and Legacy Law Center, PLC2005 - 2009
Associations
Association namePosition nameDuration
American Association of Attorney-Certified Public AccountantsMember (Previously Vice President -- Central Florida)2007 - Present
The Florida Bar AssociationMember2002 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember2002 - Present
Orange County Bar AssociationMember2002 - Present
National Endowment for Financial EducationMember - Board of TrusteesN/A
University of Central Florida's College of Business Administration's Dixon School of AccountingAdjunct ProfessorN/A
Taxation Section of the American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Tax Section of The Florida Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Alabama Society of Certified Public AccountantsMemberN/A
UCF Town and Gown CouncilMemberN/A
Publications
Publication nameTitleDate
Orlando SentinelLocal Gay Couple May be the First to Transfer Deed While Married2015
WUFT NewsSame-Sex Couples Enjoy More Benefits with Marriage Legalization"2015
Trusts & EstatesDoing it ‘My Way’:Your Baby Boomer Clients Want to Age in Place.Now What?"2015
NALA - Facts & FindingsParalegal's Role in Shaping Seniors' Lifestyles2015
Trusts & EstatesHelp Clients Achieve Lifestyle Independence2015
#TableChatHelp Clients Achieve Lifestyle Independence2015
AICPA InsightsDownton Abbey's Death Duty Explained2014
UCF College of Business - Dean Jarley's BlogFailure Friday: Gablinger's or Miller Lite?2014
Trusts & EstatesThe Shift from Estate Planning to Estate Probating2014
MarketWatchPrimer on Probate2014
On Your OwnEstate Planning for Young People in 9 Steps2014
Growing BolderDying Young: What Our Favorite Actors Teach Us About Protecting Our Minor Children2014
NEFE DigestDealing with the New Disconnect: Diminished Financial Capacity2013
Growing BolderFrom Downton Abbey to Central Florida-Estate Planning Issues on TV and in Real Life2013
Fox Business NewsTaking Away Dad's Checkbook2013
Wall Street Journal"Are You Overpaying for Your Parents' Care?"2013
Orlando Business JournalHow invalidation of the Defense of Marriage Act will affect C. Fla. businesses2013
Growing BolderThe Holiday Turkey is in the... Dishwasher? Top 10 Signs Your Elders May Need Help2013
Wealthcounsel QuarterlyWould You Set Up a 501(c) For Me…for Free? Issues to Consider Before Volunteering Your Time and Expertise2012
Wealthcounsel QuarterlyAssociate Pay: Meet Firm Objectives By Rewarding the Behavior You Wish to Promote2009
Wealthcounsel QuarterlyThe Alchemy of Cash Flow: Tips for Turning Time into Money2008
Education
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Central FloridaBusinessM.S. Accounting2007
Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2001
University of Central FloridaBusinessM.S. Taxation2001
University of Central FloridaBusinessMBA1989
University of Central FloridaBusinessOther - Bachelors1985
University of Central FloridaBusinessOther - Bachelors1985
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Weekly EAGO MeetingAre You Smarter Than An Estate Planning Attorney?2015
Planning WorkshopEstate Planning & The Wizard of Oz2015
Planning WorkshopEstate Planning for Young Adults2015
Planning SeminarSame-Sex Planning2015
Monthly Planning WorkshopCookies & Counsel™ On The Road2015
Monthly MeetingEstate Planning2015
Monthly MeetingEstate Planning2015
Leadership Development ClassEstate Planning for Young Adults2015
Estate Planning Weekly ClassesThe Fundamentals of Estate Planning and Probate: What Every Senior Should Know2015
CFGLLA LuncheonSame-Sex Planning2015
Bizwomen Mentoring MondayMentoring Monday2015
Alumni LunchLegal Panel2015
34th Annual Accounting ConferenceStuck in the Middle With You2015
2015 Financial SymposiumHousing Options for Aging in Place2015
10th Annual Estate and Tax Planning SeminarStuck in the Middle with You: Estate Planning Lessons from Downton Abbey2015
“Windsor One Year Later” PanelThe Windsor Effect: A Panel Discussion on the Political and Legal Changes in Bankruptcy, Estate Planning, and Family Law One Year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Landmark Ruling in United States v. Windsor2014
Your Future, Your LegacyStuck in the Middle With You2014
USF Planned Giving SymposiumStuck in the Middle With You2014
Solo & Small Firm Practice MeetingRipped from the Headlines –Planning Lessons from Celebrity Deaths & Disasters2014
Richness of Life SeminarEstate Planning2014
Planning SeminarEstate Planning2014
Planning SeminarRipped from the Headlines –Planning Lessons from Celebrity Deaths & Disasters2014
Orlando Women’s ConferenceLife Lessons from The Wizard of Oz2014
Estate, Trust & Guardianship Committee MeetingOne Year Later: Windsor2014
Career PanelCareer Panel - Legal2014
Bizwomen Mentoring MondayNationwide Mentoring Event2014
Annual MeetingStuck in the Middle With You2014
Accounting & Financial Women's AllianceEstate Planning Lessons from Downton Abbey2014
33rd Annual Accounting ConferenceTax, Estate Planning, and Guardianship Lessons from Celebrity Deaths & Disasters2014
20th Anniversary LuncheonEstate Planning2014
2014 Financial SymposiumStuck in the Middle With You2014
Winter Florida ForumPlanning After the Craziest Tax Year Ever2013
President’s Appreciation LuncheonAre You Smarter Than An Estate Planning Attorney?2013
Out of the Closet and In Your Office ConferenceMarried There but not Here: Legal Inconsistencies Because Florida Does Not Recognize Your Marriage2013
Orange County Bar AssociationMarried There But Not Here2013
Lunchtime Learning EventAmerican Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA)2013
Central Florida Gay & Lesbian Law Association DOMA Panelist DiscussionDOMA2013
Allgen Financial Services Business RetreatEstate Planning2013
Accounting & Financial Women's AllianceEstate Taxes2013
Accounting & Finance SeminarPlanning in the Land of Oz: Lions & Tigers & Bears…& Estate Taxes (Oh My!)2013
32nd Annual Accounting ConferenceEveryone Who Sleeps With Lady Mary Dies: Downton Abbey Estate Planning Lessons2013
23rd Annual Symposium 2013Advising Clients after the Craziest Tax Year Ever2013
National WebinarPlanning for Children & Beneficiaries2012
Diminished Capacity ForumDiminished Capacity2012
28th Annual Accounting ConferenceOJ Lived Here for a Reason -- Florida Asset Protection2009
2009 AdNet Spring ConferenceProfessional Advisor Education--a National Initiative?2009
Estate Planning SeminarEstate Planning2008
27th Annual Accounting ConferenceEstate Planning Opportunities for CPAs2008