Established in 1987, Gassman, Crotty & Denicolo has been providing legal services throughout Florida, and mainly in the Tampa Bay area, for many years. The firm consists of four attorneys, three law clerks and seventeen nonlawyer personnel with a primary objective of providing specialty legal services with the depth and breadth necessary to accommodate a wide array of client needs.
Alan’s role within the firm includes practicing law, designing legal strategies and systems, developing new practice-related skills and knowledge, speaking at national industry events and contributing articles, books and web content on various aspects of estate planning and corporate law. Alan believes that the firm’s passion and dedication is central to its success.
“We simply love what we do, and we want to do it as well as possible while understanding that the firm must operate efficiently and effectively for our clients and colleagues who choose to work with us. We are committed to going above and beyond for our clients.
I estimate that 20 per cent of our lawyer time and 50 per cent of our law clerk time is spent creating papers, talks, publications and systems that keep us as knowledgeable, up-to-date and effective as possible. We are committed to making sure that we know and understand the common (and sometimes not-so-common) opportunities and challenges that exist for our clients. The intellectual aspect of what we do keeps us fresh and interested in getting good results. We often seek guidance from the best subspecialists in many areas of law to help assure that we arrive at the best, safest, or otherwise most appropriate strategy and follow through.
Within the wider legal industry, the inevitable tax law and health law changes that are due to come about as the result of the recent election are going to change the playing field considerably, and will require new and creative thinking, and close evaluation of what conventional wisdom and other industry leaders indicate is best. This needs to be understood by, and applied to, actual people and businesses without delay, and without a compass to predict what will happen in the next two to four years, which can change things again drastically.”
Alan also leads workshops for law students and recent law graduates to talk about how to best serve clients and their communities. “We explain to the students that it is important to make sure new clients understand what we do and why we do it. We also want to be sure that we understand where the client is and where the client wants to go from a personal and business standpoint to help them get there in every way we can. We often become a friend, confidant, and a source of other good people and structures to help them along the way, and that is very important to us.
This collaborative approach extends beyond our clients to the colleagues who make use of the software, books, and techniques that we have developed. We do not consider our colleagues to be competitors and prefer to work together on joint projects and to improve the standard of practice and education in our industry. We reach out to other law firms a few times a week, and are very thankful for relationships with the best and brightest lawyers and other professionals that can both teach us and help make sure that our clients are best served.
Alan has partnered with InterActive Legal, a well-respected online drafting and practice platform for wealth transfer, elder law, estate, and retirement benefits planning as a Florida advisor, presenter and content contributor. The Alan Gassman Channel on InterActive Legal’s website features books, forms, charts, statutes, videos, and other resources on Florida and Federal law for estate and tax planners.
The Joint Exempt Step-Up Trust (JEST) was developed while Alan was writing articles on the (then new) 2012 estate tax planning laws with noted author Howard Zaritsky, based upon analyzing obstacles that prevent a married couple living in a non-community property state from using a joint trust to get a new date of death income tax basis on the first dying spouse’s death. Now the JEST system is used by many lawyers in Florida and non-community property states, along
with other techniques called the SCGRAT, and MAPS, which Alan and his partners have used and written about.
In 2015 Alan went to visit his friends at Bloomberg BNA in Washington, D.C. to suggest two series of webinars - Creative and Practical Planning and Essential Elements. Bloomberg liked the idea and allows Alan to work with the presenters to design and moderate the 16 webinars each year, featuring the best writers and speakers in the industry.
Alan has also developed EstateView Software along with his partner, Kenneth J. Crotty, his son-in-law, David Archer, MBA, and wellrespected Estate Tax professor Jerome Hesch, J.D. The software was one of only three estate tax illustration and planning software programs chosen for review in the January/ February 2015 edition of the American Bar Association’s Probate & Property Magazine, which highlighted its unique and easy-to-use illustrative dialing system and letter writing feature, which produce customized letters to the client explaining all input information, results, and how the estate tax system works to facilitate this.
“EstateView allows the user to input a client’s data, including financial assets and life insurances. The program then creates an illustration in two different formats showing the client’s projected estate tax liability, the value of the estate, and the amount of estate tax based upon growth rates, CPI, credit shelter trust funding, gifting, life insurance and installment sale scenarios. The resulting illustrations and detailed, editable letters in Word format provide the client with a clear explanation to work from.”
Alan concludes that “moving forward, we are committed to providing our clients with the same passionate, personalized service that they need. We have a great team, and I am very proud of everything we have achieved so far, and look forward to continuing into the future.”
Company: Gassman, Crotty & Denicolo, P.A
Address: 1245 Court Street, Clearwater, FL 33756