Estate Planning Attorney

Setting up a will or trust is the best way to ensure the assets you've worked hard to earn are used to secure your family's future.

Attorney Debra J. Sutton in Lakeland, Bartow, and St. Petersburg, FL, can help you draft valid and enforceable wills, trusts, and more.

See why Florida clients turn to our estate planning attorney for help protecting their best interests. Schedule a consultation today.

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of determining where your estate, or the totality of your assets, will be distributed in the case of your incapacitation or death. Your assets include any real estate property, financial accounts, businesses, vehicles, intellectual property, heirlooms, and other valuable possessions. 

In most cases, when an individual passes, their estate enters probate. This is the process in which the decedent's will is legally validated, an executor (commonly known as a personal representative in Florida) is appointed, and the assets are distributed according to the decedent's wishes.

In a perfect world, probate would be straightforward. In reality, the process is often lengthy, confusing, and costly due to court fees and taxes. That's why it's so important to hire an estate planning lawyer like Debra J. Sutton. Her deep knowledge of probate and family law can save you and your loved ones time and money—and help you potentially avoid probate altogether.

couple smiling while reviewing estate planning

Reasons You Might Need  an Estate Planning Attorney

You Have Children or Dependents

Planning your will or trust now can give your beneficiaries peace of mind and clarity when the time comes for your assets to be distributed. Our lawyer can ensure your documents are valid, enforceable, and lay out exactly what goes to who, reducing the potential for disputes.

You Own Property or a Business

Your ownership of a home or business will be an important factor when planning your estate. Attorney Debra J. Sutton and our business lawyer, Matthew J. Kovschak, can help you with updating and safekeeping deeds, titles, and business transition plans so your legacy is carried on according to your wishes.

You Have Complex Assets

Our Lakeland, FL, law firm has worked with many clients who have out-of-state assets, international assets, part-ownership in businesses, and complex investment portfolios. We can ensure correct transferral procedures are followed in a way that minimizes taxes.

You Want to Give to Charity

Making a charitable gift from your estate is a wonderful way to leave a positive mark on the world. Our estate planning attorney can assist you in planning and documenting a gift to a charity in Florida or elsewhere so it is used in the way you intended it to be and helps you save on taxes.

You Find the Legalese Confusing

Planning a will or trust, choosing a personal representative, and understanding the probate process can be very difficult on your own. Our Florida lawyer aims to make estate planning easy by breaking things down into clear language and helping you make the best choices to benefit your loved ones.

The Sutton Law Firm's Approach to Estate Planning

Our approach to estate planning is compassionate, thorough, and carefully honed over 30 years in practice. We offer personalized service to clients in Bartow, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, FL, and beyond.

Secure the Future of Those You Love Most Speak With an Estate Planning Attorney Today

Your family is the most important thing. Proper estate planning is the best way to confirm they are taken care of when the inevitable occurs. Our law firm based in Lakeland, FL, deeply understands the needs and concerns of individuals who want to ensure the assets they have worked hard for go where they are meant to. 

Whether you need assistance planning a will or trust, locating and calculating assets, determining power of attorney, or modifying an arrangement, we are prepared to help. Request an initial consultation with the Sutton Law Firm in Lakeland, Bartow, and St. Petersburg, FL, by contacting us online or calling:

(863) 533-8912

Attorneys Debra J. Sutton and Matthew J. Kovschak

5-Star Reviews From Lakeland Clients See Why Florida Turns to Our Attorney


Anita Rodriguez


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I highly recommend Ms.Sutton to everyone. She has incredible knowledge and very professional. Her and her staff, the ladies at the office went above and beyond, listened to me and helped me and my children through a very difficult case. They are kind and caring human being. I am forever grateful to the Sutton Law firm.

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Lonnie Bates


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If you are looking for a law firm in the Polk county for family law. Your selection of Sutton Law Firm is a counsel that will do a excellent job for you. being out of state Ms Sutton is very direct and cares about your case. Her assistances are always helpful and take you inquires in a helpful and timely manner. You can't go wrong with Sutton Law Firm.

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Our Featured Services in Estate Planning

Debra Sutton with client writing a will


A will is a legal document that outlines how you would like your assets to be distributed upon death. 

While you do not need a lawyer to draft a will, it's in your best interest to hire one. Attorney Debra J. Sutton in Lakeland can help you make sure your will is properly written and clearly details your wishes for your assets. She can also serve as a witness to the signing of the will, or serve as your personal representative, if you so choose.

Additionally, our family lawyer can help you draft a living will, which documents your wishes for medical care in the event that you are no longer able to make the decisions for yourself.

Mature couple signing a trust


Trusts are arrangements in which you can grant another party, or trustee, the right to hold and manage your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many different types of trusts, including revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, and family trusts. Generally speaking, trusts are appropriate for larger estates.

If properly arranged, certain types of trusts can avoid probate entirely, and some are beneficial for minimizing tax impact.

Our Lakeland, FL, attorney can help you choose the right type of trust for your estate, designate a trustee, and ensure that the trust fund is properly allocated.

Debra Sutton talking with client

Power of Attorney

Power of attorney is a legally binding arrangement that grants a trusted party the ability to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf. Having a power of attorney document in place can afford you peace of mind that your wishes will be honored.

Ms. Sutton can help you draft a power of attorney document, understand the authorities it grants, and revoke and/or plan a new power of attorney, if need be.

More Excellent Reviews For Our Lakeland, FL, Estate Planning Lawyer


Calvin Dillard


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This firm has given me a new opinion on lawyers. Ms. Sutton and her team have helped me in ways hard to imagine. Number one lawyer in the continental US. Thank you

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John Byrne


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Sutton Law is the best. Thru out my career I have worked with many law firms. I know a good one when I see it. And Sutton Law is a good one. They are professional, sincere, and approachable.

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Debra J. Sutton

Sutton Law Firm

Debra J. Sutton is an attorney who is board-certified in both appellate practice and marital and family law by the Florida Bar. At the Sutton Law Firm, with offices in Bartow, Lakeland, and St. Petersburg, Ms. Sutton, Mr. Kovschak, and their team provide individualized, compassionate, and private legal services. Our popular practice areas include:

You can request a consultation with our board-certified attorney right now by filling out our online form or calling (863) 533-8912.

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