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 the UCF 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.