TERESA BYRD MORGAN
Florida Bar Board Certified Elder Law Attorney
Teresa has been working in the legal field her entire adult life. At the age of 22, she began working in civil litigation firms in various support positions. During this period, she obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida, and ultimately decided to make law her career.
At the age of 28, Teresa entered the University of Florida College of Law, where she excelled in her legal studies, and graduated with honors in 1987.
Teresa then began six years of service to the First District Court of Appeal as Chief Judge E. Earle Zehmer’s senior judicial clerk. As an appellate law clerk, Teresa reviewed appeals emanating from every area of state law, and drafted many appellate opinions ultimately released by the court.
In 1993, Teresa and her husband decided to build their dream home on the banks of the Suwannee River in rural North Central Florida. She served as a general practitioner in a small law firm for four years, and in 1997 opened her own firm, limiting her practice to the areas of estate planning, probate and trust settlement, business law, and appellate law. When her parents began declining both physically and cognitively and she found herself immersed in the world of caregiving for aged parents, she broadened her practice to include elder law. She is deeply gratified to be able to help families effectively deal with the physical, emotional, and financial aspects of caring for their elderly loved ones.
Teresa is married to Dan Morgan, and they have one child, Jason Morgan, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Defense, and two granddaughters, Caroline and Amelia. Teresa also enjoys being “Resa” to Dan’s additional grandchildren, Cooper, Morgan, Ashley, Latham, Reagan, and Kennedy. Teresa and Dan’s family would not be complete without their pets, which include Daphne, a Maine Coon cat, and Izzie, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
- University of Florida, Juris Doctor, With Honors, 1987;
- University of Central Florida, Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, Allied Legal Services, 1984;
- Brevard Community College, Associate of Arts, Summa Cum Laude, 1982.
- Morgan Law Center for Estate & Legacy Planning, PLLC, Sole Practitioner, 1997 – Present;
- Darby, Peele, Bowdoin & Payne, Associate Attorney, 1993-1997;
- First District Court of Appeal, Senior Judicial Clerk, 1987-1993.
Legal Activities and Honors:
- Licensed to practice Law in Florida and Georgia;
- Florida Bar General Practice Solo & Small Firms Executive Council, Chair, 2014-2015, Continuing Legal Education Chair, 2009-2013; Executive Council Member, 2006 – Present
- James C. Adkins Inn of Court, Member 1997 – 2002; 2007 – Present;
- WealthCounsel, 2010 – Present;
- ElderCounsel, 2012 – Present;
- National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys, Member 1997 – 2009, Director representing Southeast Region, 2003 – 2009;
- InKnowVision Institute, Member 2006 – 2010;
- Apex Leadership Expeditions, Co-Founder and Co-Leader 2006;
- SunBridge Legacy Builder Network, Member 2002 – Present; Co-Leader of Team Training Conferences 2004-2005; Level Three Charter Member, 2003 – 2009;
- Florida Bar Pro Bono Award Recipient, Third Judicial Circuit, 1997;
- Florida Bar Appellate Rules Committee, 1995 – 2001;
- Second Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee, Member 1993 – 1994;
- Tallahassee Community College, Legal Research Instructor, 1993.
- Lake City Medical Center, Board of Trustees 2007 – 2012; 2014 – Present
- Lake City/Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors 2014-Present;
- Lake City Community College, Charitable Foundation Board 2007 – Present, Chair, 2013 – Present;
- Altrusa International of Lake City, Member 1994 – Present, President, 2001-2002;
- St. James Episcopal Church, Member, 1997 – Present, Vestry, 2000-2003; Building Committee 2000-2004;
- Cursillo of the Diocese of Florida, Team Member 2000 – 2001;
- CARC-Citizens With Disabilities, Board Member 1998-1999;
- Another Way Domestic Violence Agency, Board Member 1994-1997; President 1996;
- Friends of Columbia County Public Library, Board Member 1994-1997; President, 1995.
What happens if I die without a will?
Answer: If you die without a valid last will and testament, you will have relinquished to the state of Florida control over how your assets will be distributed. Florida’s law on distribution of your assets may be be markedly different from your desires.
Do I have to sell my home to be eligible for Medicaid?
Answer: No. Homes that have a value of less than $543,000 are not included when determining Medicaid eligibility.