Brian M. O’Connell

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Brian M. O’Connell

Brian O’Connell leads the firm’s Estate Planning, Probate, and Guardianship department. He has been Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Wills, Trusts, and Estates since 1990, and is an expert in litigation involving estate, trust, and guardianship matters for both fiduciaries and beneficiaries.

Mr. O’Connell has extensive experience in all aspects of estate planning as well as the administration of estates, trusts, and guardianships.

During his more than 30-year career, he has litigated hundreds of contested probate, trust, and guardianship matters and dozens of appeals.  He has administered more than 3,000 estates, trusts, and guardianships.  Mr. O’Connell’s practice includes representing clients in audits and appeals with the IRS regarding estate and gift tax issues.

He frequently serves as a mediator with regard to probate litigation cases.  He also acts as an expert witness, consultant, and co-counsel in the estate, trust, and guardianship area.  A West Palm Beach native, he is involved with a number of local charities.

Mr. O’Connell comes from a storied and influential Palm Beach County family that had a tremendous impact within Palm Beach County, as well as the entire state of Florida. Click on the link to read about The O’Connell Legacy.

Practice Areas

  • Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Guardianships

Representative Matters

  • Represented a professional guardian in multi-state litigation to recover significant assets.
  • Acted as a personal representative for an estate with multiple disputes among beneficiaries involving numerous separate litigated matters.
  • Performed estate planning for retired Fortune 500 executives using the latest tax savings techniques.

Awards and Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5
  • Board Certified in Wills, Trusts, and Estates by The Florida Bar, 1990
  • 2015 Florida Super Lawyers, Estate Planning and Probate
  • Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society, Guardianship Law Pro Bono Award, 2010
  • Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society, Community Service Award, 2001

Professional and Community Activities

  • American Bar Association, Member
  • The Florida Bar, Member
    • Wills, Trusts and Estates Certification Committee
    • Probate and Trust Litigation Committee
    • Guardianship Law and Powers of Attorney Committee
  • Palm Beach County Bar Association, Member
    • Estate and Probate CLE Committee
    • Probate Court Advisory Committee
    • Guardianship Education Committee
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member
  • Speaker at seminars for the general public as well as attorneys concerning estate, trust and guardianship matters
  • University of Florida, Fredric G. Levin College of Law, Member or Board of Trustees
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Inc., Board Member
  • Cardinal Newman High School, Member of Advisory Board
  • St. Juliana School, Member of Advisory Board


  • Florida, 1980
  • Colorado, 1997
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1981


  • LL.M., Taxation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 1980
  • J.D., with honors, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 1979
  • B.S., summa cum laude, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 1976

Personal Interests

Mr. O’Connell enjoys open water swimming, rowing, and travel.

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February 2015|