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Brandon D. Bellew, a partner at Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns, LLP, provides outstanding representation in the areas of trust, estate and guardianship litigation and has done so during his entire career. He represents clients throughout Florida in all types and phases of contested issues relating to trusts, estates and guardianships.

He frequently writes articles and lectures on trust, estate and guardianship litigation topics. He is very active in the Florida Bar’s Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section where he serves on its Executive Council, is active on the Trust Law, Probate Law and Procedure and Probate & Trust litigation committees and currently serves as a Vice Chair of the Guardianship, Power of Attorney and Advanced Directives Committee. Brandon is also currently serving as the President of the Clearwater Bar Association, 2018-2019.

Brandon has been recognized for his professional accomplishments by being named Best Lawyers® 2019 Litigation Clearwater – Trusts and Estates – “Lawyer of the Year”, listed in The Best Lawyers® in America for Litigation- Trusts and Estates (2018, 2019), recognized as a Rising Star in the practice area of Estate and Trust Litigation by Super Lawyers (2010, 2015-2018) and by earning an Avvo “Superb” 10.0 rating.

Brandon’s cases are often highly emotional and sensitive because they involve family disputes relating to the recent death or incapacity of a loved one. He approaches his cases with a problem solver mindset. While he is an experienced trial attorney and aggressively pursues his clients’ desired outcomes, he believes that most cases should be resolved outside of the courtroom because often, that is the most efficient and cost-effective way to give his clients the best results possible.

When Brandon is not practicing law, he spends his time with his family and coaching youth basketball and flag football. 


  • The Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” 2019 for Clearwater – Trusts and Estates
  • The Best Lawyers in America for Litigation- Trusts and Estates (2018-2019)
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star (2015-2018) Estate and Trust Litigation
  • Graduate of the Florida Fellows Institute of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (2017)
  • Avvo “Superb” 10.0 rating.
  • Leadership Pinellas Class of 2013


  • The Florida Bar’s Probate Rules Committee, 2018- present
  • President of the Clearwater Bar Association, 2018- 2019
  • President Elect of the Clearwater Bar Association, 2017- 2018
  • Clearwater Bar Association Board of Directors, 2013-2016
  • Chair of the Clearwater Bar Probate and Guardianship Section, 2014-2016
  • Vice Chair, Guardianship, Power of Attorney and Advanced Directives Committee of the Florida Bar’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, 2017- present
  • Former Chair of Sixth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee 6E
  • Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2006
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida (2006)
  • The Florida Bar (Real Property, Probate and Trust Section)
  • Executive Council of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar
  • Clearwater and St. Petersburg Bar Association (Probate and Real Property)
  • American Bar Association


  • Head Coach of back to back East Lake Flag Football 5th and 6th Grade Division Spring League champions
  • Head Coach for Safety Harbor Recreation Basketball League, 11 to 13-year-old division, 2018 Summer League champions
  • Former youth basketball coach, Sun Coast YMCA
  • Member of the Board of the Dunedin Fine Arts Center Planned Giving Committee


  • University of South Florida B.A. 2003
  • Stetson University J.D., 2006; M.B.A., 2006



A person must be of “sound mind” when he or she makes a will.1 This standard also applies to a trust. Florida case law defines “testamentary capacity” as “the ability to mentally understand in a general way (1) the nature and extent of the property to be disposed of, (2) […]

Categories: Blogs, Trusts & Estates

By Brandon D. BellewBrandon D. Bellew August 2018

There is a long list of rights and benefits that a surviving spouse is entitled to receive from a deceased spouse’s (“decedent”) estate (or trust) under the Florida Probate Code. A surviving spouse may be entitled to all or some of the following probate rights upon the death of his/her […]

Categories: Blogs, Trusts & Estates

By Brandon D. BellewBrandon D. BellewBrandon D. Bellew July 2018

Welcome to my Trust and Estate Litigation blog where I will discuss legal issues that frequently arise in my cases and provide updates and analyses of statutory and case law development in the areas of trust, estate and guardianship law.   I am a partner at Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel, […]

Categories: Blogs, Trusts & Estates

The most common issues that I handle as a probate and trust litigation attorney relate to the grounds to contest a last will and testament or a trust agreement. The grounds to contest the validity of a will or trust generally fall into three basic categories: 1. A formality—i.e. the […]

Categories: Blogs, Trusts & Estates

Disclaimer:  The purpose of this blog is to share information and opinions of the author about Florida law related to estates, trusts and guardianships. Reading this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and the author and its contents are not legal advice. Although, the author will use best efforts to ensure that the case law and statutes referenced are up to date when a blog entry is posted, it is possible that the case law and statutes are or will become outdated, repealed or overruled over time. This blog discusses general situations and is not a substitute for legal advice that relates to your specific situation. This blog is not intended to be advertising.

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